In Asia, Economics, International Manifesto Group

This panel debates the significance of RCEP and the CAI in accelerating the shift of the world’s economic centre of gravity to the East.

Unpacking China’s New Trade Deals was a panel discussion organized by the International Manifesto Group.The discussion took place Sunday, March 28th at 2:00-4:00PM GMT (8:00-10:00AM CDT) over Zoom.

As Western-biased multilateral institutions enter into crisis and the US has launched a New Cold War against China, China has recently concluded the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment. RCEP, focuses on Asia, covers a third of the world’s population and production, while the CAI between China and the EU is regarded as the most ambitious deal ever concluded by China. This panel debates the significance of the shift of the world’s economic gravity to the East, and for key signatories and other countries.


Bruno Drweski, historian, political scientist of Belarus and Poland, co-director of the Polish section of the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations (INALCO), Sorbonne University, member of the Directory Board of the anti-war and anti-imperialist organisation ARAC created at the end of the First World War.

John Ross, Senior Fellow at Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China.

Horace Campbell , Professor of African American Studies and Political Science at Syracuse University. His recent book is Global NATO and the Catastrophic Failure in Libya. He is author of: Rasta and Resistance From Marcus Garvey to Walter Rodney; Reclaiming Zimbabwe: The Exhaustion of the Patriarchal Model of Liberation; Pan Africanism, Pan Africanists and African Liberation in the 21st Century; and Barack Obama and 21st Century Politics.

Rainer Rupp, economist, former intelligence agent with the Foreign Intelligence Service of East Germany (HVA), for which he succeeded in penetrating NATO headquarters in Brussels in 1977, where he made a career in the political affairs division. In 1993 “Topaz” (his nom-de-guerre) was uncovered and arrested, and in 2001 he was released from prison. Already from his prison cell he started writing regular commentaries for socialist newspapers on politico-military and geo-economic developments.

Tomoo Marukawa, a Professor at the Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo. His work focuses on Chinese economy and industries. He has published six books in Japan, including “Contemporary Chinese Economy” and several others on Chinese industries. He has also published articles on China’s regional unemployment issues, sharing economy, Sino-Japanese economic relations, automobile and mobile phone industries in various academic journals.

C. P. Chandrashekhar, professor at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He has published widely in academic journals, and is the co-author of several books, including The Market that Failed: Neo-Liberal Economic Reforms in India and Demonetisation Decoded: A Critique of India’s Currency Experiment. He is a regular columnist for Frontline and Business Line.

Mick Dunford, Emeritus Professor, University of Sussex, Visiting Professor, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Managing Editor, Area Development and Policy.

Joseph Purugannan, head of the Philippine Office of Focus on the Global South, convenor of Trade Justice Philipinas, regional coordination committee member for RCEP campaign, convergence space and thematic clusters on trade justice and corporate accountability of the ASEAN Civil Society Conference/Peoples Forum (ACSC/APF), and the Asia Europe Peoples’ Forum (AEPF) respectively. Joseph spearheads Focus’ work as well in the Asia Task Force on the Legally Binding Instrument (ATF-LBI), the Global Campaign to Reclaim Peoples Sovereignty, Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity, and the Peoples Sovereignty Network, a collective and inclusive space open to communities, movements, and people who are engaged in resisting corporate violence and constructing people’s sovereignty.

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