2010 however not all asian countries joined asean one

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2010). However, not all Asian countries joined ASEAN. One country is obviously missing, is the largest country, China. China shopped around and seemed to be considered becoming a member of ASEAN along with other Asian countries. However, true to form they did things their own way. China decided they should become their own region and countries could sign the agreement they developed or not. China, being the last openly Communist country, will always have a difficult time ‘meshing’ with other democracies and republics around the world. China is physically their own ‘region’ lying together with the ASEAN countries, but with their own set of rules. China thus created CAFTA (Chinese Free Trade Agreement) January 1, 2020 (CAFTA, 2010). Touted as the world’s biggest free-trade area, CAFTA will bring together 1.7 million consumers with a combined gross domestic product of US $5.9 trillion and total trade of $1.3 trillion. Under the agreement, trade between China and Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Singapore has become duty-free for more than 7,000 products’ (Spears, 2010). Other countries who plan to complete their partnership into CAFTA by 2015 are Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam. They have not yet been allowed to join CAFTA because their economies are not are at the same level developmentally as are the present members, the initial ASEAN countries and of course China. It is interesting however, depending on the source of information; one may or may not see CAFTA mentioned. For example, the BBC announced the above agreement in the following way: ‘A new free trade area comes into effect on Friday, incorporating China and the six founding members of the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean)’ (Walker, 2010). No mention of CAFTA in the entire article. Yet, ‘supporters say they are a step on the way towards comprehensive global trade liberalisation. But critics say they undermine that effort and put poor countries left out at a disadvantage (Walker, 2010). In fact, Akbayan the Philippine party-list Representative, Walden Bello, reacted today in the face of ASEAN’s in ability to create a solid economic region and CAFTA, stating, ‘here we are launching a free trade area with China that 2
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