The historical calling of the signing of RCEP Agreement.
The formation of Regional Comprehensive Economy Partners (RCEP) should be regarded as the Foundation Stone of the Asian century (21st century) and the peaceful trading bloc which could rival EU trade bloc, is a sure way of raising millions of Asians out of poverty as the Chinese had done in elevating 850 million of their citizens out of poverty. Its growth could catalyse the amalgamation of all trading blocs into a global one, and preceding the coming of lasting world peace and prosperity for all.
Grace Ho’s article in the Strait Times (15Nov2020) gave the most comprehensive report of the forming of the trade pact which covers $30 trillion markets, 29.1% of world GDP and 30% of the world's population.
The RCEP was signed by 10 ASEAN countries PLUS China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand on Sunday 15 Nov 2020. A trade pact nearly 10 years in the making: 5 things to know about RCEP
Grace wrote about the 10-year background on the formation of the pact and discussed 5 major issues affecting the pact. For a detailed discussion, the reader is requested to read the original article in the Strait Times.
The decision to form RCEP without the US does dent the US reputation and global leadership. However, it also signals new thinking in the Asia Pacific that they can resolve problems and conflicts by themselves without involving the US. Their immediate elephant in the room is China and they have to find ways and means to accommodate China on her rise and make sure the economic progress benefits all members. In this instance, China has proved to be more manageable overall than the US and will continue to be. It also dismisses the hypocritical propaganda and disinformation from the US and some of her allies that Government and CCP of China cannot coexist peacefully.
Australia has an opportunity to unfreeze her poor relations with China if she makes a genuine effort to be part the Asia Pacific and played her tune in harmony and in concert with our Asian neighbours, enjoying shared prosperity and peace for all in the Asia Pacific. We are pleased to see our Treasurer Josh Frydenberg quoted in The Australian on 18 November 2020 that Australia is " ready to engage with the Chinese Government in respectful, mutually beneficial dialogue".
RCEP will never be like NATO, as it concentrates on the win-win trading relationship, peaceful coexistence and most importantly no hurtful and wasteful confrontation, and silly gun diplomacy.
Lastly, this pact is a rules-based pact, and it will allow China to show her Asian neighbours her good intentions and ability to adhere to rules made by all the members of RCEP in contrast from the arrogant, unilateral dictatorial behaviour of US in the past.
The RCEP could prove to be a peace driving trading vehicle. When RCEP grows and extends to be a proper World Trade Pact, then poverty will be eliminated in all countries around the globe and there shall be lasting peace on earth.
Dr Anthony Pun, OAM, Foundation President CCCA & National Coordinator NCALG
Mr Kingsley Liu, President, CCCA
Dr Ka Sing Chua, National Senior Adviser, Chinese Community Council of Australia.
National Chinese Australian Leaders Group:
Maria Chan, Shirley Huang, Dickson Mak, Daphne Lowe Kelley, James Leung, Lee Xj Li, Tony Tang, Tony Pang, Mark Wang, Kee Guan Saw, Junxi Su, Khoon Tan, Michael Yau OAM. Li Zhang, May Hu, OAM. Sam Wong AM