bilaterals.org logo
bilaterals.org logo

China

China actively seeks bilateral trade and investment deals outside of the World Trade Organisation. The government has put priority on forging agreements with neighbouring countries of Asia, but also many other countries on whom it relies for minerals, energy, food, infrastructure or geopolitical support.

Beijing has signed bilateral trade agreements with ASEAN (2002), Hong Kong (2002), Macau (2003), Thailand (2003), Niger (2005), Chile (2006), Pakistan (2006), New Zealand (2008), Peru (2008), Singapore (2008), Costa Rica (2010), Taiwan (2010), Switzerland (2013), Iceland (2014), Australia (2015), Korea (2015), Georgia (2017), Maldives (2017) and the Eurasian Economic Union (2018). China is also a party to 127 bilateral investment treaties.

China is currently in bilateral negotiations with the European Union (investment), the Gulf Cooperation Council, Israel, Mauritius, Moldova, New Zealand (to upgrade the current agreement), Norway, Pakistan (upgrade), Singapore (upgrade), the Southern African Customs Union and Sri Lanka, as well as with Japan and Korea for a possible a three-way deal. Further down the horizon, there is talk of eventual negotiations with Canada, Chile (upgrade), Colombia, Fiji, Mexico, Mongolia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Palestine, Panama, Peru (upgrade), Switzerland (upgrade) and Uruguay.

Regionally, China has proposed a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific, an initiative that would encompass the 21 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation nations, in direct rivalry with US-led projects like the Trans-Pacific Partnership. But that intitiative is currently on hold.

China is currently part of the talks on a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). RCEP is a mega-regional trade agreement proposed by the Association of South East Asian Nations with its FTA partners : China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.

If concluded, it would give Chinese corporations market access to India — in goods, services and investment — that it does not have through its own FTAs.

China also sees RCEP as a key element of its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), an infrastructure project meant to link Asia with Europe, passing through Africa, and with an extension to Latin America.

China is also using the BRI to push more countries to sign free trade agreements to consolidate the trade and investment leverage that the project opens up.

last update: June 2018


China and Peru sign free trade agreement, extending Asian influence in Latin America
China and Peru signed a free trade agreement today (Wednesday) that will pave the way for further cooperation between the two countries and broaden China’s influence in Latin America.
China, Costa Rica to launch trade talks
China and Costa Rica will launch free trade talks in January and hope to seal a deal by 2010, Chinese President Hu Jintao said Monday during his first visit to a Central American country.
China seeks to cement trade clout with Latin America
Hu Jintao and scores of business people sweep through Latin America to reinforce Beijing’s economic power in the region
China, Peru to ink trade deal as Hu visits Americas
China and Peru are poised to sign a free trade agreement when the Chinese president visits Latin America this month, a sign of the growing ties between the Asian economic giant and the resource-rich countries whose exports it needs.
China signs zero-tariff trade deal with Senegal
China signed Friday a trade deal with Senegal to offer zero-tariff treatment to more than 400 categories of goods imported from Senegal.
Chinese medicine industry regarded as important element under Economic Partnership framework
The 3rd Chinese Medicine Regional Co-operational Symposium yesterday began at the Macau Tower where Bi Zhijian, chief of the Economic and Trade Committee of Guangdong province said that the Chinese medicine industry was one of the important items within the CEPA (Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement) framework.
China, Singapore agree on free trade accord
China and Singapore concluded negotiations on a free trade agreement, China’s first with another Asian country, news reports said Friday. The agreement, finalised in talks this week between Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng and Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan in the northern coastal Chinese city of Tianjin, is likely to be signed at the Asia Europe Meeting Summit in Beijing Oct 24-25.
Hong Kong, China expand free-trade agreement
Hong Kong expanded a free-trade deal with mainland China on Tuesday in an agreement that includes giving mining and exploration companies and related services easier access to the Chinese market.
China: Free trade ahead
China is now involved in 12 FTA negotiations with 29 countries and regions including the Asia-Pacific region, Latin America, EU, Africa and Oceania
Handled with tact, FTAs can do what WTO can’t
Compared with a multilateral organization like the WTO, FTAs are much more convenient for China in several aspects.