Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, WPR’s newsletter and engagement editor, Benjamin Wilhelm, curates the top news and analysis from China written by the experts who follow it.
Signs of improved ties between China and Japan have rekindled hopes of swift progress toward establishing the China-backed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP, which would be the world’s largest free trade deal if it ever comes to fruition. China initially unveiled the agreement as a rival to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from after taking office. Japan led the efforts to salvage and revise the TPP without the United States.
Last week, Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan hosted a high-level Japanese delegation for meetings that, among other things, were intended to lay the groundwork for a visit to China by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe; that visit is expected to happen in October.