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The Nikkei View

Indo-Pacific Economic Framework needs to bolster free trade

U.S. stance toward China should not be black and white

IPEF ministers gather for a photo in Los Angeles on Sept. 8.   © Kyodo

The 14 member countries of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, a new U.S.-led economic bloc, agreed to begin formal negotiations at a ministerial meeting in Los Angeles last week.

The framework -- which includes Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, India, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam -- is intended to create a counterweight against China, which wields its economic clout as a diplomatic tool.

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