China - Korea

Chronology from Jan 2009 to Mar 2009

: Seoul’s Sejong Center for the Performing Arts stages China’s “Butterflies” in the first major exchange of plays since the establishment of cultural ties in 1992.

: PLA Chief of Staff Chen Bingde meets ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Kim Tae-Young and tours military bases in South Korea.

: Ssangyong union workers announce plans to sue SAIC for mismanagement, seeking compensation for damages and cancellation of SAIC’s 51 percent stake.

: High-level officials from China, Russia, South Korea, and Mongolia attend the 10th Consultative Commission Meeting of the Greater Tumen Initiative in Ulaanbaatar to further regional cooperation on Tumen development.

: ROK nuclear envoy Wi Sung-lac meets Chinese counterpart Wu Dawei in Beijing to discuss Pyongyang’s planned satellite launch and stalled Six-Party Talks.

: Pyongyang declares it will launch a satellite between April 4 and 8.

: A Bank of Korea official announces the central bank is in talks with its Chinese counterpart to convert part of a 38 trillion won ($27.2 billion) currency deal into dollars.

: The Ministry of Knowledge and Economy says it will expand export insurance for shipments to China to 20 trillion won ($14 billion), a 30 percent increase from 2008.

: DPRK Premier Kim Yong-il makes a five-day visit to China where he tours Shandong Province and meets senior officials in Beijing including Premier Wen Jiabao, NPC Standing Committee Chairman Wu Banguo, and President Hu Jintao.

: North Korean officials arrest two U.S. journalists on the Sino-North Korean border for “illegally intruding” into DPRK territory.

: The Ministry of Knowledge Economy reports that Hong Kong has replaced China as South Korea’s largest overseas market in terms of trade surplus ($2 billion).

: Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi at China’s annual parliamentary session calls for enhanced China-Japan-ROK cooperation on the financial crisis and says FTA negotiations with ROK should begin as early as possible.

: Ssangyong says sales dropped 69.4 percent in February, with domestic sales plunging 51.5 percent and exports 82.7 percent.

: Air purifier sales in South Korea jump in sales with forecasts of especially severe “yellow dust” from China this spring.

: DPRK state media reports that China has repeated its invitation to Kim Jong-il to visit Beijing for a summit with President Hu Jintao.

: Pyongyang announces it is preparing to launch a communications satellite.

: ROK agriculture officials report that South Korea imported a record $112.7 million worth of kimchi in 2008, mostly accounted for by Chinese imports that reached 13.5 percent of local consumption.

: ROK Minister of Strategy and Finance Yoon Jeung-hyun and Chinese counterpart Xie Xueren meet on the sidelines of the ASEAN Plus 3 special meeting of finance ministers.  ASEAN Plus 3 finance chiefs agree to expand their regional currency swap fund from $80 billion to $120 billion to cope with the financial crisis.

: Ssangyong says it will downsize business operations and cut executive wages by up to 54 percent in a bid to meet procedures for court receivership.

: Chinese nuclear envoy Wu Dawei visits Pyongyang to express concern over activity at North Korea’s primary missile launching facility.

: Ssangyong announces plans to revamp its assembly lines.

: A local supplier for Ssangyong collapses due to the automaker’s deteriorating financial situation, putting at risk 200 more vendors.

: Ssangyong wins court approval for bankruptcy protection.

: DPRK media says China has decided to give “free aid” to North Korea.

: ROK Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan meets senior officials in Beijing including Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi and Premier Wen Jiabao.

: Ssangyong reveals that its auto sales dropped 82 percent in January.

: Hyundai and Kia report a record number of car sales in China in January.

: President Obama calls President Hu to reaffirm his pledge to denuclearize North Korea through Six-Party Talks.

: The ROK government says it will ban imports of dried persimmon from China after the discovery of a harmful parasite in the product.

: The ROK government announces it will discontinue support for parts suppliers of Ssangyong in face of worsening economic conditions.

: Chinese party official Wang Jiarui visits Pyongyang and meets high-level DPRK officials.  He delivers a letter to Kim Jong-il from President Hu Jintao on the occasion of Lunar New Year.

: Chinese petrochemical makers accuse South Korean firms of dumping.

: ROK Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs announces that South Korea and China have agreed to shuttle flights linking Seoul’s Gimpo Airport and Beijing’s Capital International Airport.

: North Korea holds a New Year reception for Chinese diplomats in Pyongyang.

: About 150 direct suppliers to Ssangyong plead with creditors and the ROK government to provide financial assistance.

: Chinese Foreign Ministry hosts gatherings with North Korean diplomats in Beijing.

: Family members urge Seoul to press Beijing for the release of South Korean abductee who escaped North Korea in May 2008 after three decades in captivity.

: Ssangyong suspends production at its sole plant in Pyeongtaek.

: The Seoul Central District Court grants receivership to Ssangyong.  Union workers say they are prepared to negotiate a turnaround plan.

: The North Korean consulate general in Shenyang opens its branch office in Dandong city bordering North Korea.

: A Chinese Foreign Ministry delegation visits Pyongyang for 60th anniversary celebrations of China-DPRK diplomatic relations.

: Ssangyong Motor Co. files for court protection from creditors.  The board reconvenes in Shanghai to finalize restructuring plans.

: China’s Assistant Foreign Minister Hu Zhengyue visits Pyongyang to discuss 60th anniversary-related exchanges.

: The Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention heightens bird flu warnings after a teenager in Beijing is suspected of dying from the virus on Jan. 6.

: SAIC injects $45 million into Ssangyong and resumes negotiations with Korea Development Bank over a possible restructuring plan.

: ROK Unification Ministry says the current slowdown in North Korean defectors to South Korea is partly due to tightened border controls in China.

: ROK Ministry of Strategy and Finance says South Korea will implement anti-dumping duties on Chinese and Taiwanese polyester yarn for the next three years.

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