"We've got to make sure we're writing the trade rules in the fastest-growing region of the world, the Asia-Pacific, as opposed to having China write those rules for us". Critically examine the statement.

Model Answer:
The statement was given by US President Barack Obama pointing China’s growing clout, in reference to trade agreements signed under TPP.
TPP includes many APEC members’ countries with a coastline on the Pacific Ocean, but does not include major APEC economies like China and Indonesia.
With United States being driving force for TPP can keep china far away from TPP and in strategic clout in the Asia Pacific region affecting China’s trade and bringing US closer to its other trade partners.

  • However, undermining China at such phase when TPP is yet to come into operation is not a good idea. China has very strong trade and investment links with several TPP members. Since 2005, China has been taking more steps to improvise its own regional integration efforts. These include:
  • ASEAN+3: China is part of ASEAN+3 (China, Japan, Korea)
  • East Asian Summit (EAS): this includes ASEAN, China, Japan, Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand, US and Russia.
  • Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership: RCEP involves the integration of the ASEAN’s FTAs with non-ASEAN Asian economies. It would aim to consolidate the FTAs that ASEAN has with Australia, New Zealand, China, India, Japan and Korea. The consolidation would result in the ASEAN connecting to the rest of the major Asian economies in a ‘hub and spoke’ economic framework with ASEAN as the hub.

In the years to come, there is an expected growth of both TPP and RCEP. (238 words)


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