CHINA, INDIA, AND REGIONAL ECONOMIC INTEGRATION IN ASIA : THE POLICY AND LEGAL DIMENSIONS

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-305
Number of pages37
Journal / PublicationSingapore Year Book of International Law
VolumeX
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

Abstract

Trade regionalism, through regional cooperation and integration and in the form of regionaltrade agreements (R.T.As), is rising globally, although Asia has jumped on the bandwagononly recently. Asian economic integration is the “second-best” approach which Asian countriesunfortunately have to follow. In the process of integration, China and India, given the sizeof their populations, as well as their central strategic position in international and regionalrelations, will inevitably play fundamentally important, and sometimes even dominating, roles. This paper argues that regional economic integration in Asia should first of all seek to achieve sub-regional integration in East Asia and South Asia, while linking up the two sub-regions with bilateral F.T.As, amongst which the most important one should be a China-India F.T.A. Eventually, all the F.T.As will be consolidated into one pan-Asian F.T.A. China and India must take the lead in promoting Asian economic integration. They are advised to lead the region in the practice of open regionalism (with whatever Asian identity) and conduct deeper integration. Lastly, it is suggested that Asian countries should, at this stage, establish an institution to develop(non-binding) common principles and guidelines for the sub-regional and bilateral F.T.As.