has slamm- ed Congress for allegedly surrendering abjectly to China through various trade agreements, saying the UPA chose to enter RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership)
knowing that India either already had existing free trade agreements or exploring one with all potential RCEP members except China.
It said that even though it was recognised on file that RCEP may result in Chinese imports and adversely impact domestic industry, Congress chose to go ahead without any economic rationale. The attack came against the backdrop of Congress’ continued attack against the government over its China policies. BJP said it was ironical that Congress, whose government was exploring a regional trade agreement with China during UPA’s tenure, has now cast itself as “anti-China”. In 2005, a presentation was made to then PM
and Chinese premier Wen Jiabao on the RTA, BJP said in a statement.
It also said the then
commerce minister Kamal Nath
had proposed a RTA with China to the Trade and Economic Relations Committee in 2006. The party said that negotiations were on for an East Asia FTA of ASEAN+3 countries (China, S
, Japan) that were exploring an FTA when the idea was expanded to conceive RCEP and TERC, headed by PM Manmohan Singh, concluded on Nov 2, 2012 that staying out of RCEP that also had China was not a practical option. In 2011, India agreed to join RCEP negotiations. The then commerce minister Anand Sharma signed the file on October 24, 2012. The original RCEP deadline was 2016. It said the NDA government took a strong position to safeguard the country’s interests during RCEP negotiations.