Hanoi (VNA) - Singapore and China will try their best to expedite talks on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan told reporters in Beijing on June 12 after meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.

Meanwhile, Wang reaffirmed China's position that the country will work to conclude RCEP negotiations as soon as possible.

RCEP talks were launched in 2012 with the participation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), China, India, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the Republic of Korea, but not the US. The nations have expressed hope of signing a deal by the end of the year, though previous targets have been missed.

RCEP is expected to create a free trade area of 3.5 billion people, and its main focus is reducing tariffs. The RCEP negotiations have given new impetus by US President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.-VNA