Top Asian News 3:46 a.m. GMT

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ASEAN, China, other partners set world's biggest trade pact

China and 14 other countries have agreed to set up the world’s largest trading bloc, encompassing nearly a third of all economic activity, in a deal many in Asia are hoping will help hasten a recovery from the shocks of the pandemic. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP, is to be signed virtually on Sunday on the sidelines of the annual summit of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations. “After eight years of negotiating with blood, sweat and tears, we have finally come to the moment where we will seal the RCEP Agreement," Malaysia's trade minister, Mohamed Azmin Ali, said in a statement.