BEIJING, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) — The signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is “a victory of multilateralism and free trade,” Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on Sunday.

Li’s remarks were made as he attended the fourth RCEP Summit, held via video link.

“The signing of the RCEP is not only a landmark achievement of East Asian regional cooperation, but also a victory of multilateralism and free trade,” Li said.

With the largest participating population in the world, the most diverse membership and the greatest development potential, the free trade bloc will definitely inject new impetus into regional development and prosperity, and contribute to global economic recovery and growth, Li said.

Li said that after eight years of negotiations, the signing of the RCEP has brought light and hope to people amid the current grim international situation, showing that multilateralism and free trade remain the correct direction for the world economy and human progress.

The RCEP allows people to choose solidarity and cooperation when facing challenges, instead of resorting to conflict and confrontation; and to choose mutual assistance and support, rather than taking a “beggar-thy-neighbor” approach or a “wait-and-see” attitude, he said, adding it shows the world that opening up and cooperation are the only way to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.

The RCEP agreement was signed Sunday among its 15 participating countries. 


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