China - Southeast Asia
Chronology from May 2018 to Aug 2018
: Malaysian PM Mohamad visits Beijing and meets senior leadership, including President Xi and Premier Li. Mahathir reiterates his position that a number of large scale infrastructure projects with China will be canceled or subject to further review as they are not financially sustainable.
: Chinese and ASEAN foreign ministers agree to a draft code of conduct for the disputed South China Sea. Singapore’s Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan chairs the meeting and indicates that the draft is a collective first step in aligning regional priorities and preferences in reducing conflict in the maritime dispute and to ensuring greater stability in the region.
: Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi visits Kuala Lumpur to convey Beijing’s priority for deepening bilateral cooperation.
: Regional leaders and foreign ministers meet in Singapore for the ASEAN Plus One (China), ASEAN Plus Three (China, Japan, and Korea), East Asia Summit, and the ASEAN Regional Forum.
: China Railway No. 8 Engineering Group, a state-owned enterprise responsible for the construction of the China-Laos railway, marks a milestone in completing two cross-Mekong bridges in Laos. The railway is expected to be fully operational in December 2021.
: Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng meets Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean in Beijing to discuss deepening bilateral business, trade, and economic ties within the regional Belt and Road Initiative framework.
: Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe visits Phnom Penh and meets Prime Minister Hun Sen. The discussion focus on key areas of pragmatic cooperation in the military, defense, and security sectors.
: Yi Xianliang, director general of the Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, leads a delegation to Manila to discuss the South China Sea. Both sides agree to manage maritime disputes through continued and sustained dialogue and diplomatic negotiation.
: China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issues a statement congratulating Malaysia’s Prime Minister-elect Mahathir Mohamad, indicating that the Malaysian leader made many “important contributions” in the development of relations and that it hopes to consolidate and further enhance the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership with Malaysia.
: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang meets Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Bogor, Indonesia. They discuss bilateral relations as the two countries mark the fifth anniversary of the establishment of a comprehensive strategic partnership. Areas of cooperation include areas of complementarity between China’s Belt and Road Initiative and Indonesia’s Global Maritime Fulcrum concept to strengthen bilateral and regional economic ties.
: Philippine news media report Manila’s concerns over China’s installation of antiship and surface-to-air defense systems in the Spratly Islands. Officials in Manila indicate they are monitoring and verifying the situation and confident the missiles are not directed against the Philippines.