How to Move Forward: East Asia Free Trade Area or Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia?
Both EAFTA and CEPEA are ASEAN-centric proposals on East Asia. Both are comprehensive economic partnership agreements with FTA-plus and WTO-plus features, and include special and differential treatment and economic cooperation provisions to assist low-income countries. The PRC has long favored ASEAN+3, while Japan has proposed an ASEAN+6 configuration. This has split the ASEAN membership, with some favoring ASEAN+3 and others favoring ASEAN+6. It is noted that both proposals exclude the politically sensitive membership of Hong Kong, China and Taipei,China. ASEAN+3 cooperation started as an initiative for monetary and financial cooperation in the wake of the Asian financial crisis. The grouping adopted the Chiang Mai Initiative in 2000 aimed at fostering regional financial stability and later the regional surveillance mechanism and the Asian Bond Market Initiative. The EAFTA or ASEAN+3 was first proposed by the East Asian Vision Group in 2001 and comprises the countries of ASEAN10, PRC,