National Institute of International Strategy, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
An established power (the United States) and an emerging power (China) put forward two different cross-regional regional trade agreements (RTAs): the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) and the Belt and Road Initiative. Both are based on Asian countries, the world’s most dynamic economic region, and are mutually exclusive so far. By comparing their links, cooperation mechanisms, objectives and positioning, we find that they belong to two different types of regional economic cooperation mechanisms. The former is rule-oriented, with a high threshold and exclusive features, reflecting the Western philosophy; while the latter is development-oriented, open and diversified, belonging to a new type of regional economic cooperation mechanisms, which embodies the Oriental philosophy. As far as the rules are concerned, the Belt and Road Initiative is far less than the TPP, but its development-oriented feature meets the needs of the developing countries. Admittedly, the Belt and Road Initiative does not exclude the possibility of constructing its rules and governance in the future. As a result, it is a type of public goods that China provides for the region and even the world. The interactive relationship between the two mechanisms will largely determine the direction of a new model of China-US relations, as well as the trends of the Asian economic integration and the global economic pattern.
the Belt and Road Initiative;Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP);regional economic cooperation mechanisms;international economic rules;rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific region
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