China - Korea

Chronology from Jan 2006 to Mar 2006

: Ssangyong Motor CEO Choi Hyung-tak announces that the company would no longer build a jointly invested plant with its parent company, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) in China, following speculation that the Chinese government had rejected an application to build an auto plant in China.

: ROK Financial Supervisory Commission Chairman Yoon Jeung-hyun hosts a two-day seminar on trilateral financial supervisory cooperation among supervisory authorities of China, Japan, and South Korea on how to implement an early warning system for financial instability, monitor hedge funds, and implement Basel II.

: The Hong Kong Trade Development Council sponsors seven leading Hong Kong universities for recruiting students held at the Korean Student Fair.

: Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency announces that four people were arrested smuggling fake Korean cigarettes from China containing higher than average levels of harmful substances.

: ROK military announces plans to revise defense laws related to cyber-warfare to address cyber-warfare capabilities from China and North Korea.

: Finance and Economy Minister Han Duck-soo urges South Korean corporations to improve their technical capacity to counter a threat from rising Chinese technological competitiveness in an address at the 11th Asia Economic Panel meeting.

: ROK Financial Supervisory Commission announces that two Chinese companies will list shares on the Korea Stock Exchange by July.

: Korea Institute for Defense Analysis poll shows that 38 percent of South Koreans consider China to be the biggest security threat Korea will face within 10 years, followed by Japan (23.6 percent), North Korea (20.7 percent), and the U.S. (14.8 percent).

: A 30-member delegation led by first deputy chief of the Workers’ Party Central Committee Jang Song-taek arrives in China to view China’s economic reforms, following the same route as Kim Jong-il’s visit in January.

: Ssangyong Motors Company announces that it is considering cost cutting measures by sourcing components via a subsidiary of its owner, the Shanghai Automotive Industrial Corporation (SAIC).

: ROK Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs announces that it will invite 11 government officials from China to study Korea’s past rural development policies; i.e., the Saemaul (“New Village”) movement.

: ROK Minister of Trade Kim Hyun-chong expresses doubts about the possibility of a ROK-PRC free trade agreement.

: ROK Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Energy releases a survey showing that China is cutting into the technology advantage enjoyed in a wide range of sectors by South Korean firms.

: A Korea Times opinion poll reveals that 40 percent of respondents believe that China should be South Korea’s top priority, while 60 percent believed that South Korea should declare neutrality in the event of a cross-Strait conflict where the U.S. wants to employ “strategic flexibility” to intervene in such a conflict.

: The Korea Iron and Steel Association releases data showing that a quarter of China’s steel exports came to Korea, while South Korean steel exports to China declined by over 24 percent during the past year.

: ROK National Institute of Environmental Research reports that rainfall in Seoul has become more acidic as a result of air pollutants traveling from China.

: Chinese Vice Minister Wu Dawei visits Pyongyang in a failed attempt to jumpstart the Six-Party Talks.

: ROK Ministry of Justice announces plans to issue new employment visas from July for ethnic Koreans living in China and Russia.

: Christian Council of Korea (CCK) closes down the Commission to Help North Korean Refugees (CNKR) on the basis of reports that activists sought profits from its programs to assist North Korean refugees transiting China en route to South Korea.

: National Defense Commission Chairman Kim Jong-il hosts a Lunar New Year’s banquet for Chinese embassy staff in Pyongyang.

: South Korean government issues a travel warning for Koreans traveling to Qindao and Shenyang following reports of murders, robberies, and kidnappings targeting Korean citizens in those cities.

: South Korean Ministry of Justice announces that over 10.3 million Koreans traveled overseas in 2005, with 28.7 percent of travelers visiting China.

: ROK National Intelligence Service announces the detention of two former Samsung Electronics employees who sought to smuggle critical LCD panel technology to China to build their own factory in Shenzhen.

: Taiwanese and Chinese media outlets decide to drastically cut the number of Korean dramas to be shown in China and Taiwan respectively in 2006.

: Korea Customs Service announces that South Korea’s merchandise trade with China in 2005 reached $100.6 billion.

: DPRK Defense Commission Chairman Kim Jong-il makes a secret week-long visit to China, accompanied by every member of the Central Committee of the Chinese Politburo and follows the route taken by Deng Xiaoping during his famous “southern tour” of 1992.

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