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Journal of World Trade ; 56(5):757, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-2034532


In early 2020, the world economy plunged into a major recession due to the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, and non-performing loans (NPLs) went back on the agenda for banks and regulators in many countries. This is a timely article as it focuses on an attention-drawing regulatory catalyst for changes to the position of foreign investors in the Chinese NPLs disposal market. It uses the Phase One Trade Deal between the United States (US) and China as an opportunity to assess whether or not China is ready to shift towards a new approach for foreign investors trading in the primary NPLs market. Existing studies have been quick to conclude that the US–China Phase One Trade Deal will lead to a policy shift in the Chinese NPLs market through Article 4.5 contained therein. If the US– China Phase One Trade Deal is reviewed in its entirety and if China's concepts of stability, its state ownership policy and its recent treaty practice are all carefully considered, however, the involvement of foreign investment in the NPLs market may be viewed less optimistically. Using the US–China Phase One Trade Deal as a prism, it can be seen that bilateralism in trade policy may have its own limitations. China's perception of and policy towards international institutions and regimes show its willingness to integrate into the existing multilateral trade order even though its policy is still obscure and hesitant. Washington should be prepared to soften its decoupling stance to promote cooperation and coordination of the two countries in multilateral institutions.