CHINA CAN'T DODGE ASIA TRADE LEADERSHIP ROLE
(Reuters Breakingviews) - Asian leaders, dismayed by American disarray on free trade, are warming up to "China-led" alternatives to the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). But Beijing says it doesn't want a leadership role forging the new pacts necessary to reinvigorate regional trade. It is understandable why China would want to duck the reputational damage TPP's failure is inflicting on the United States, but the world's second largest economy is in a leadership position now whether it likes it or not. China has bent over backwards to put itself in this position after being left out of the TPP, launching a regional infrastructure bank, pushing its currency into the IMF reserve basket.