Sovereignty Problems and Insufficient Legal Structure in the Process of East Asian Legal Community Building under the System of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)

An emergent regional community-building order needs to invest in trust-building, and establish common principles, and both processes should be undergirded by the rule of law. In that sense, a community is a creation of law and should be understood to characterize the binding force of law as a substratum for the foundation of an economic community.
Having concluded the RCEP in 2021, East Asia is next expected to promote community-building, however, its integration systems have been recognized as having insufficient legal structure.
The principle of the rule of law supports the rational exercise of public power early during integration and subsequently endorses protecting the qualified interests of its subjects. Since the WWII, East Asia’s incomplete modern statehood and its distorted sovereignty games—arbitrarily interpreted non-intervention and reciprocity—between member states have restricted opportunities to rationalize the exercise of public power by community-based institutions.