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Competitive or Complementary?: China's Role in Trade Cooperation with ASEAN in the 1990s and 2000s


China proposed the establishing of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (CAFTA) in 2001, indicating a shift in the focus of its trade policy from the international level, as reflected by its efforts to enter the World Trade Organization, to the regional level. The establishment of the CAFTA resulted in a substantial increase in trade value and substantive changes in trade structure between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Detailed studies of the revealed comparative advantage index for machinery and transport equipment, manufacturing goods and food and live animals categories reveal that China has played an increasingly complementary role in trade cooperation with ASEAN in the 2000s.

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