- World’s largest free trade agreement has been signed in the Asia-Pacific region
- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson once again in quarantine
- Trump plans to present new measures against China before his term ends on January 20
World’s Largest Free Trade Agreement has been Signed in Asia-Pacific Region
15 countries in the Asia-Pacific region have signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement, known as the world’s largest free trade agreement ever signed.
After 8 years of negotiations at the Regional, Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) meeting held within the scope of the 37th Leaders Summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the world’s largest free trade agreement was signed. RCEP includes 10 Southeast Asian countries, as well as South Korea, China, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.
15 Asia-Pacific countries will gradually reduce the customs imposed between them in the coming years as per the agreement; Logistics will be facilitated through common trade rules. The agreement covers areas such as trade, services, investments, e-commerce, telecommunications, and copyrights. The gross domestic product of the world’s largest free trade zone with 2 billion 200 million consumers is around 30 percent of the world’s GDP. The agreement is expected to be approved in the signatory countries and enter into force in the near future.
Thus, it has to be noted that China, Japan, and South Korea are parties to a free trade agreement for the first time ever at the same time.
Speaking at the meeting, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong talked about the RCEP agreement in the following way: “We have come to this day after 8 years of 46 negotiations and 19 ministerial-level talks. I am very grateful to the efforts of the relevant countries and ministers who worked tirelessly in this process.”
The new free trade agreement is expected to strengthen China’s position and influence in the region with the world’s fastest economic growth.
However, the agreement is expected to place some US and other international companies at a disadvantage by not including them in the free trade zone.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson Once Again in Quarantine
According to the latest news, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson once again quarantined himself for contacting someone who had a positive Covid-19 test.
Earlier on March 27, Prime Minister Johnson’s Covid-19 test was positive, and he was hospitalized on April 5.
In the statement made by the Prime Minister’s Office Number 10, it was stated that Johnson had contacted someone who was registered in the National Health Services (NHS) Test and Tracking System and had a positive coronavirus test and was therefore informed to isolate himself.
It was also shared that Boris Johnson is in good health and does not have any symptoms yet.
In the statement, it was noted that Johnson quarantined himself and that he would continue his work from the Prime Minister’s Office.
According to the rules in the UK, those who have previously received Covid-19 treatment are not exempted from quarantine. Upon the notification of the Test and Tracking System, people must go into quarantine for at least 2 weeks, even if their tests are negative.
Prime Minister Johnson stated on October 31 that a 4-week national quarantine will be applied from November 5 until December 2 in the United Kingdom.
All retail stores will be closed, except for markets and pharmacies where basic products are sold under the quarantine. Bars and restaurants will only serve takeaway. Unlike the first quarantine in March, schools and universities will remain open.
England for now is the country with the highest number of deaths in Europe during the pandemic, more than 20 thousand cases have been seen daily in recent weeks, while the death numbers have started to exceed 300.
Trump Plans to Present New Measures Against China Before His Term Ends on January 20
According to news from Axios, US President Donald Trump is preparing to implement a series of harsh policies and trade restrictions against China before his term in office expires. By this series of policies, Trump wants to consolidate his legacy in China before his term expires.
The Trump administration will also tighten its stance towards China regarding labor camps and other labor practices in the Xinjiang region.
According to the news, Trump management is planning to impose restrictions on trades with Chinese companies and public institutions linked to human rights abuses or threatening US national security in Xinjiang and Hong Kong.
Axios, citing government sources reported that President Donald Trump intends to increase the pressure on China before stepping down.
While officials on Trump’s team seek to impose more trade restrictions and sanctions on Chinese companies, no further action will be taken regarding Chinese consulates in Taiwan and the US.
National Security Council spokesperson Jon Ullyot said about the issue: “If China doesn’t change its behavior and move forward to becoming a more responsible global actor, it will not be good for future US presidents to reverse Trump’s historical moves for their careers.”