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RCEP trade pact hands China a global edge, for now

Free world needs a fresh approach to strengthen liberal block

A poster of Chinese President Xi Jinping is displayed at the Forbidden City. With the failure of the U.S. to join the TPP, Beijing pressed forward with the RCEP.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- The world's largest trade pact that encompasses 30% of the global economy is set to come into force as early as this year.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP, was ratified in Japan's upper house of the Diet on Wednesday, bringing it one step closer to reality.

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