New Delhi: A day after India opted out of the mega Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement, China on Tuesday said it will follow the principle of mutual understanding and accommodation to find a solution to the outstanding issues raised by India for not joining the deal. China also expressed hope that India will reconsider and join the deal at an early date.
India on Monday, in a significant development, decided not to join the RCEP agreement, saying a number of key concerns were not addressed during the delegation-level talks.
“There will be no compromise on core interests. The RCEP agreement does not reflect its original intent. The outcome is not fair or balanced,” sources told ANI.
During the summit, PM Modi on Monday conveyed the country’s decision not to join the RCEP deal. “The present form of the RCEP Agreement does not fully reflect the basic spirit and the agreed guiding principles of the RCEP. It also does not address satisfactorily India’s outstanding issues and concerns. In such a situation, it is not possible for India to join RCEP Agreement,” PM Modi was quoted as saying by PTI.
“India stands for greater regional integration as well as for freer trade and adherence to rule-based international order. India has been pro-actively, constructively and meaningfully engaged in the RCEP negotiations since inception,” PM Modi said during the summit in Bangkok.
The development comes as the country has been forcefully raising the issue of market access as well as protected lists of goods mainly to shield its domestic market. The decision from India came as there were fears that the country may be flooded with cheap Chinese agricultural and industrial products if the country signs the agreement.
On the other hand, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that his country still welcomes India to join the deal.
“The RCEP is open. We will follow the principle of mutual understanding and accommodation to negotiate and resolve those outstanding problems raised by India and we welcome an early joining by India,” Shuang was quoted as saying by PTI.
He further added that the RCEP is a regional trade agreement and mutually beneficial in nature for both the countries.
“If it is signed and put into implementation it is conducive for the Indian goods entry into China and other participating countries. In the same vein, it will also help Chinese goods to enter the markets of India and other participating countries,” he said.
(With inputs from PTI)