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Abstract

This paper discusses the recent regional trade agreements that China has concluded rapidly following accession to the WTO in 2002. Agreements are in place with Hong Kong, Macao, ASEAN, Australia, and New Zealand, and are either in negotiation or under discussion with South Africa, Chile, India, and the Gulf Cooperation Council. These agreements differ sharply in form and substance, and involve process commitments to ongoing negotiation and cooperation on a wide range of issues. Differences relating to the regional agreements negotiated by the EU and the US are emphasized, as are later potential difficulties these agreements create in moving to an Asian trade bloc centred on them.

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