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China-Japan-Korea

The governments of China, South Korea and Japan are expected to commence negotiations on an eventual trilateral free trade agreement between the three countries during 2012 by first concluding bilateral agreements.

In December 2011, the three countries held a final joint study meeting on the feasibility of an FTA among them.

In January 2012, the South Korean and Chinese presidents announced that they would move towards negotiating a bilateral agreement between the two countries. In March 2012, the three countries concluded an investment agreement among themselves which is viewed as a step towards a more comprehensive FTA. In May 2012, China and Korea held their first round of negotiations towards an FTA in Beijing.

Negotiations on a Japan-Korea bilateral FTA, which stalled in 2004, despite several attempts to revive them, have to contend with unresolved tensions stemming from the Japanese occupation of Korea in the first half of the 20th century and Japanese resistance to lowering tariffs on agricultural imports. Any eventual FTA between China, South Korea and Japan needs to be seen in the context of ongoing economic and political rivalry between China and the USA, as Washington pursues plans to create a new regional free trade and investment agreement by joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

last update: May 2012


Chengdu Trilateral Summit still to deliver
The fact that China, Japan and South Korea (CJK) engaged in an agreed-upon trilateral summit framework, and bilateral dialogues on the sidelines, was no small achievement given heightened tensions between the three countries.
S. Korea, China, Japan divided over open data in trilateral FTA talks
South Korea, China and Japan have made some progress in negotiations on a free trade agreement (FTA) following the trilateral summit held late last year.
Protectionism, after all: China, Korea, Japan use non-tariff barriers to impede imports
Countries like China, South Korea and Japan may boast of low tariffs but they have erected huge non-tariff barriers (NTBs), most of which are tailored to mask the ferocity of trade protectionism, in a bid to control the imports they deem undesirable.
Seoul, Beijing, Tokyo agree to accelerate trilateral FTA talks
Top trade officials from South Korea, China and Japan agreed to accelerate their trilateral free trade talks and ramp up efforts to conclude a mega Asia-Pacific trade deal.
20 years on: China, Japan, ROK seek cooperation amid uncertainties
A news report on the current cooperation of China, Japan and the ROK in tackling the issue of unbalanced regional development.
South Korea and Japan seek to resolve trade dispute, amid dim economic outlook
The two Asian powerhouses have recently been locked in a trade dispute but tensions “have de-escalated compared to what the situation was in summer,”
China, S.Korea, Japan to hold trilateral FTA negotiations in Seoul
China, South Korea and Japan will hold a new round of negotiations on the trilateral free trade agreement (FTA) this week in Seoul.
China expects smooth negotiations on Free Trade Zone with Japan, ROK
China expressed the hope for smooth progress of negotiations on Free Trade Zone with Japan and Republic of Korea (ROK).
Japan, China, S.Korea FTA talks under way
High on the agenda are rules for protecting intellectual-property rights.
Premier Li urges China-Japan-South Korea FTA talks
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang urged Japan and South Korea to speed up free-trade agreement (FTA) talks as the three parties mark the 20th anniversary of the launch of the China-Japan-South Korea cooperation mechanism this year.