NEW DELHI: A day after 15 countries signed the China-backed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), Beijing on Monday said India had committed a strategic blunder by not being a part of it.Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece The Global Times, quoting Chinese experts, said, “The Indian government argues that as China has an advantageous position in the deal, and India has a ballooning trade deficit with China, such a context would leave India in an unfair position, were it to join.
However, most international observers believe that it’s the work of some interest groups in India, trying hard to obstruct India’s participation for their own interests, while Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP made concessions in order to win their support.” The pact was signed on Sunday by 15 countries — South Korea, China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and 10 ASEAN member states — after eight years of negotiations. India was on the negotiation table but pulled out saying that the deal was not in its national interest.
“The Indian economy has been hit hard by Covid-19 and recorded a record contraction during the April-June quarter of 23.9%. According to an IMF estimate, it may shrink 10.3% in 2020. Though the RCEP may still leave a chance for India, it will be hard for the nation to reset its direction unless New Delhi clearly realises that its core interest has been hindered by its skewed strategy,” the Global Times article added.ENS