China OKs world’s largest free trade deal including Japan, ASEAN

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The Chinese government said Monday that it has formally ratified the world’s largest free trade deal signed last year by 15 Asia-Pacific countries, including Japan, South Korea and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

China hopes other countries will speed up their processes to put into force the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, Commerce Minister Wang Wentao told reporters on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People’s Congress, the nation’s parliament.

In an attempt to boost its economic influence in the region, China has also recently expressed its eagerness to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact, from which the United States withdrew in January 2017.

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