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Regional Trade Agreement of Asia

RegionalTrade Agreement of Asia

RegionalTrade Agreement of Asia

RegionalTrade Agreements (RTA’s) are not new to many. Their significance inworldwide politics and economics is growing. Trade treaty is a wideranging tariff and tax arrangements that often embrace investmentguarantees (Lesteret al., 2016).Over time there have been distinctive waves of these tradeagreements, and most notably the Asian Regional Trade Agreement. Thetreaty comprises of several distinctive aspects because it is lessformalized and focuses more on creating economic integration andpresence of major divisions among the member states.


Oneof the unique aspects with the agreement is that it is lessinstitutionalized and formalized when compared to RTAs of otherregions. That is, the activities of the regional agreement are notundertaken in accordance with the strictly laid down rules ofconvention or etiquette. Lynch(2010) indicates that the RTA tends to foster cooperation in theirwritten provisions but in reality the members disregard them.

Also,unlike RTA’s in other regions, the Asian agreements tend to focuson ensuring economic integration instead of leading the same. Forexample, within ASEAN, trade patterns, and production brought aboutintegration that was far beyond its effort to codify it through theRTA (Lynch,2010).Another aspect that differentiates this RTA with the others is thatthe monetary cooperation in the region in some protuberant instancesis more obvious as compared to trade cooperation. An illustration ofthe same is whereby the Chiang Mai initiative has a superior monetarycollaboration between ASEAN countries and Japan. The cooperation ismuch greater when related to the efforts to create an RTA between theASEAN and Japan of various configurations.

Thefourth distinctive aspect as regards to this RTA is that there is adivision among the largest traders which is brought about by thevision of the regional agreement. For instance, Japan and Chinadisagree on several RTA-related issues. Lynch(2010) states that Japansuggests that the United States should be included in theregional-wide agreement, while China opposes the same. Additionally,China remains hesitant to include both India and Australia in thetreaty. It prefers to eliminate Japan out of the sub-regional RTA’s.

Thecase contrasts the European integration. Germany and France forinstance, propose an association with each other as well as with therest of the Europe. The factor has driven the European Union forwardand remains firm (Cini&amp Borragán, 2016).When compared to the Asian one it is as if Germany would propose fora European integration only if France were out of consideration.Similarly, France would go for the European cooperation only ifGermany were excluded. Such results would limit the integration.

Onmatters regarding RTA’s eternal security, Japan remains hesitant toform a pan-Asian FTA with the United States. Reason being that if itis in the same grouping with China and U.S is included, then itsrival would be stronger (Lynch,2010).The interests of the country as far as eternal security is concerned,are far more similar to the American as compared to the Chinese ones.In short, both Japan and United States would be alarmed by theincrease in the presence of the Chinese military in the region.Similarly, both states are also worried about the presence of thenuclear weapons in North Korea than is China. It is compounded by thecontinued animosity between Japan and China over the whitewashedversion of Japan’s role during the World War II and continuedterritorial conflict between the two countries. The difference insecurity matters between China and Japan threatens to destroy thesubstantial and developing commercial association between them,despite some considerable diplomatic efforts.

However,India stated that it would join an EAS pan-Asian free trade treatyand would be interested in indulging in solving such security issues.Since then India has developed a healthy relationship with China(Lynch,2010).They have eliminated the border disputes and decided to concentrateon economic cooperation. Nevertheless, China’s preference would bethat India is eliminated from an EAS-inspired FTA, in addition toother countries like New Zealand and Australia. It would like todwell a lot on economic issues but not those that focus on domesticgovernance, like human rights. However, India inclusion in the EASwas highly supported by Japan and Singapore. The two preferred tobalance the influence of China in any EAS-inspired FTA that mayemerge in future.

Thetwo Christian denominations in Asia comprise of Catholicism andProtestantism. Protestant Christianity first entered China in thenineteenth century and developed rapidly during the Qing Dynasty.Recently the number of Protestants has reached to 40 million in thecountry (Moffett,2014).The house churches are the main networks behind its growth. On theother hand, statistic conducted in 2010 shows that the percentage ofCatholics in Asia is just 3 percent compared to the 72 percent inLatin America. However, Philippines, which is an Asian country, hostmore than half of the 131 million Catholics in the continent and itis the third largest community of Catholics in the world. In India,there are more than thirteen million Catholics. The church and otherChristian denominations control most of the learning institutions inthe region. However, in the neighboring Pakistan, Catholicism hasbeen highly neglected and accused of going contrary with theblasphemy laws.

Ingeneral, the protestant Christianity is growing faster than theCatholicism in the Asian region. However, there is dispute betweenPhilippines and other Asian countries regarding recent evolution ofChristianity. For instance, while Philippines has encouragedChristianity, China has declared the growth in the region unstable.The country has maintained a standard figure for four decades, thatis, 12 million in 1980, 1990, 2000 and 2010 (Moffett,2014).While there are no limitations on the number of Christians incountries like Philippines, Chinese government has set ReligiousAffairs Bureau to manage it. It controls the state’s disparatemovements and institutions like Protestants and Catholics.Philippines which is also a member of the RTA has been protesting themove made by the Chinese Government.


Cini,M., &amp Borragán, N. P. S. (2016). Europeanunion politics.United Kingdom U.K.: Oxford University Press.

Lester,S., Mercurio, B., &amp Bartels, L. (Eds.). (2016). Bilateraland regional trade agreements: Commentary and analysis(Vol. 1). United Kingdom U.K.: Cambridge University Press.

Lynch,D. A. (2010). Tradeand globalization: an introduction to regional trade agreements.Rowman &amp Littlefield Publishers.

Moffett,S. H. (2014). AHistory of Christianity in Asia, Vol. I: Beginnings to 1500.New York N.Y.: Orbis Books.