Edited by Ka Zeng
Chapter 16: China’s policy on free trade agreements
Free trade agreements (FTAs) have been an important channel through which China pursued economic benefits with selected partners in selected sectors and expanded its economic relations beyond the WTO. They have also been handy tools for Beijing’s diplomatic objectives. This chapter provides an overview of China’s activities in forming FTAs, and analyzes how China’s FTA policy has changed over time since the Asian Financial Crisis. Through examples of China’s key FTAs, this chapter demonstrates how the Chinese leadership has sought to balance between national political and economic interests as well as between domestic and international interests in formulating its FTA policy. Such balancing acts have not proven easy, given China’s multiple objectives and diverse domestic interests.
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