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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


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.
Korea-China-Japan FTA still long way to go
South Korea, Japan and China are making slow progress on FTA negotiations amid contentious issues involving each country’s interests.
Korea, China, Japan to hold FTA talks in Beijing
South Korea, China and Japan will hold their 14th round of negotiations to discuss ways to open goods and services markets and lower other trade barriers.
China set to strengthen economic ties with Japan, South Korea amid trade row with United States
Premier Li Keqiang says three nations should speed up free-trade talks, as Beijing also seeks to maintain influence on Korean peninsula.
Chinese premier calls for advancing China-Japan-South Korea FTA negotiations
China-Japan-South Korea FTA negotiations were launched in November 2012, with the 12th round of the negotiations being held in Tokyo in April 2017.
THAAD reprisals undermine China FTA
China has shown no hesitation in disregarding its obligations under the free trade agreement with South Korea to take retaliatory measures against the deployment of a US missile defense system in the peninsula, say Korean media