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CJK Economic Trilateralism: The Prospects and Perils of a New FTA
Published September 3, 2013
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After more than a decade of energetic pursuit of FTAs, a moment of decision has arrived in 2013. Three far-reaching, multilateral initiatives are simultaneously under negotiation: TPP, Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and the CJK FTA. Their fates are intertwined, and their impact on the institutionalization of regional economic integration promises to define the future of Northeast Asia. The focus in Part III of this book is the CJK FTA, which, if concluded, will dramatically expand and deepen intra-Asian integration. If China succeeds in drawing both Japan and South Korea closer economically in this way, it would ensure that trilateralism, which was regularized in 1999 and gained momentum through separation from ASEAN + 3 in 2008, but appeared to be in jeopardy due to growing regional tensions from 2009 to 2013, is not dead. If Japan were to balk at what many now view to be China’s suffocating embrace, the chances would rise for a sharp Sino-Japanese split with far-reaching implications for the region, with likely spillover damaging Sino-U.S. relations. Moreover, if South Korea were then to go ahead with a bilateral FTA with China, the divide could extend to Japanese-South Korean relations. How the CJK FTA talks proceed will have ripple effects on the other negotiations and on the balance between integration and polarization in Asia. As TPP negotiations intensified in the spring of 2013, drawing Japan closer to the United States, the CJK FTA talks seemed to be falling behind.
This section contains the following chapters:
Introduction by Editor-in-Chief Gil Rozman
The Chinese Perspective
Scott Harold, RAND Corporation
The South Korean Perspective
Chang Jae Lee, Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
The Japanese Perspective
T.J. Pempel, University of California, Berkeley
The U.S. Perspective
Claude Barfield, American Enterprise Institute (AEI)

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