China - Korea
Chronology from Jan 2007 to Mar 2007
: Amnesty International sends a letter to ROK President Roh Moo-hyun criticizing Korea’s forcible deportation of migrant workers following a fire in February at the Yeosu detention facility that took the lives of nine migrant workers.
: China receives the first DPRK military delegation to visit in over six months – the longest interval between military exchanges reported in PRC media over the past year – according to Xinhua. The last military delegation, headed by the deputy chief of staff of the DPRK army, visited in late September 2006, before the DPRK nuclear test.
: The China National Symphony Orchestra holds two concerts at the Seoul Arts Center Concert Hall and the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in honor of the 15th anniversary of China-ROK diplomatic normalization.
: The South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT) announces the launch of a joint feasibility study with Chinese counterparts of the desirability of a China-South Korea FTA.
: The PRC hosts the sixth round of Six-Party Talks, but is forced to call a recess as a result of failure by the U.S. and DPRK to resolve financial issues surrounding Macao-based Banco Delta Asia.
: South Korean Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development announces that from 2012 South Korean high school textbooks will include information on South Korea’s historical and territorial disputes with China and Japan.
: The South Korean Ministry of Justice begins implementation of a new H-2 visa for ethnic Koreans from China and the former Soviet Union that provides more flexible work rules and entry guidelines and other privileges in South Korea.
: Kim Jong-il visits the PRC Embassy in Pyongyang on the occasion of the first full moon following the Spring Festival at the invitation of PRC Ambassador Liu Xiaoming and receives a “verbal message” from Hu Jintao.
: South Korea’s National Institute of Environmental Research reveals results of a study that shows emissions of sulfur dioxide in coastal areas surrounding South Korea are four to 10 times higher than in other parts of the North Pacific due to China’s industrialization.
: The Korea Intellectual Property Office announces that its patent registration system takes less than nine month to register a technology patent, a measure that is anticipated to help prevent technology infringement by foreign competitors, especially from China.
: Former Chinese Ambassador to Korea Li Bin has come under investigation by the PRC government for leaking state secrets. Li Bin is alleged to have revealed to news media information related to Kim Jong-il’s January 2006 visit to China.
: Korea Meteorological Association issues its first nationwide warning on yellow dust from China. This warning occurs almost one month earlier than usual.
: Yellow dust from China arrives on the Korean Peninsula, one month earlier than previous years.
: Korea International Trade Association (KITA) projects that China will become the largest exporter in the world and the largest exporter to South Korea this year.
: Media sightings of Kim Jong-il’s oldest son Kim Jong-nam in Beijing en route from Macao to Pyongyang stimulate speculation about North Korean succession and China-DPRK relations.
: A Chinese-Korean detainee is suspected to have started a fire at the Yeosu immigration detention center that claimed the lives of nine foreign inmates.
: The PRC hosts the third session of the fifth round of Six-Party Talks, and announces a Feb. 13 agreement on initial measures to be taken to implement the Sept. 19, 2005 Joint Statement.
: Korea and China signed an agreement to actively cooperate to promote establishment of electronic governance systems.
: The daughter of a South Korean prisoner of war criticizes the South Korean government for its failure to assist her in bringing her father’s remains from China to South Korea.
: Twenty North Korean guards are reported to have fled to China after having been accused of bribery for helping defectors.
: Five female South Korean short-track silver medalists raise signs reading “Mount Paektu is our territory” at a medal awards ceremony during the Winter Asian Games in Chuncheon, South Korea, triggering Chinese demands for an apology from South Korean Foreign Ministry counterparts.
: South Korea’s opposition Grand National Party seeks a National Assembly probe into recent incidents in the course of handling North Korean refugee cases at the South Korean consulate general in Shenyang, China.
: The Korea Trade Investment-Promotion Agency urges South Korean companies to weigh the risks of China’s changing business environment carefully before making investments in China.
: Top army commanders from South Korea and China announce plans to enhance military cooperation and improve military exchange programs during the visit to South Korea of PLA Deputy Chief of the General Staff Gen. Ge Zhenfeng.
: ROK FM Song Min-soon visits Beijing to meet Chinese counterpart Li Zhaoxing and other Chinese leaders on Six-Party Talks and other bilateral issues.
: South Korean media strongly criticizes the ROK Foreign Ministry for revelations that it failed to safeguard the families of South Korean prisoners of war in Shenyang who sought to come to South Korea. Chinese police raided their hotel and repatriated the families to North Korea.
: South Korean fisherman Choe Uk-il returns to South Korea from China 31 years after his detention in North Korea.
: Roh Moo-hyun, Wen Jiabao, and Abe Shinzo meet on the sidelines of the ASEAN Plus Three summit in Cebu. Roh proposes Gimpo-Shanghai direct air service and the institutionalization of a three-way meeting among South Korean, Japanese, and Chinese foreign ministers.
: The South Korean public is enraged by media reports of a recording of a conversation between the wife of abducted fisherman Choe Uk-il and an ROK consular official who asks how she got his mobile telephone number. The case highlights chronic difficulties on the part of the South Korean Foreign Ministry in safeguarding rights of South Korean citizens who have escaped from North Korea.
: The National Theater of Korea cancels a “2007 Seoul Spectacular” New Year’s gala sponsored by the overseas Chinese New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV) under pressure from the Chinese government.