China - Korea

Chronology from Oct 2006 to Dec 2006

: In a meeting with Japanese Diet Speaker Kono Yohei, PRC State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan argues that “an expected crucial achievement was not made [in six party talks] due to mutual distrust between the U.S. and North Korea.”

: Samsung Electronics, the world’s third-largest cell phone producer, announces that it has struck a deal with Beijing Airway Communications to launch a Korean mobile Internet platform, called WiBro, in China.

: The “second phase” of the fifth round of Six-Party Talks is held in Beijing, but no apparent progress is made during these negotiations.

: Ssangyong Moters Labor Union representatives travel to Shanghai in hopes of meeting with controlling shareholders at Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. (SAIC) regarding restructuring and investment plans for Ssangyong’s plant in Korea.

: Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency announces the arrest of 224 people on charges of trafficking narcotics from China following a 40-day crackdown on drug trafficking.

: Chinese diplomats remain overnight in their cars as a result of the driver’s refusal to take a breathalyzer test in an eight-hour standoff with Seoul Metropolitian Police authorities. News of the incident infuriates South Korean netizens.

: Hyundai Research Institute warns of risks to South Korean investors in China arising from Chinese efforts to focus on “qualitative growth” by promoting technology transfers as conditions for entry of foreign direct investment, enhancing international competitiveness of domestic companies and encouraging them to move up the technology ladder.

: Korea Iron and Steel Association reports that ROK exports of steel products to China dropped by 14.4 percent to 3.4 million tons, while Chinese imports to the Korean market have increased by 46 percent to 8.4 million tons through October as a result of improved Chinese steel production quality and price competitiveness.

: The Bank of Korea announces that China was the largest destination for South Korean foreign direct investment in 2005, amounting to $10.1 billion, or 26.2 percent of South Korea’s overall investment.

: The Korea Food and Drug Administration (KFDA) announces it will inspect cultivated flatfish imported form China for nitrofuran, a carcinogen.

: Presidents Roh and Hu discuss the North Korean nuclear issue at the APEC meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam.

: PRC Ambassador to South Korea Ning Fukui sayes his country will consult with a concerned country, apparently referring to North Korea, before seeking UNESCO World Heritage status for Mount Paekdu on its border with the North.

: Chinese Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai and ROK Trade Minister Kim Hyun-chong agree to a feasibility study on a China-South Korea free trade area (FTA) at the official level in early 2007.

: Hyundai Steel, Korea’s second largest steel producer, is reported to be considering requesting an anti-dumping investigation of Chinese mills that have undercut Hyundai’s market share in steel H-beams.

: Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency announces that China will enforce tougher trade restrictions on processed and manufactured products from Nov. 22 to restrict South Korea’s use of China as a production base for third-country manufactured goods exports and to create more value-added products for the Chinese market.

: South Korean Ministry of Culture and Tourism sponsors “Feel the K-pop in Shanghai” with leading K-pop stars including Fly to the Sky, SG Wannabe, and V.O.S., and Typhoon.

: At the invitation of PRC Vice Minister Wu Dawei, Assistant Secretary of State Chris Hill and DPRK Vice Minister Kim Gye-gwan meet in Beijing and agree to return to six-party dialogue and to include discussions of U.S. Treasury “financial measures” related to the DPRK as part of the talks.

: South Korean Foreign Minister/UN Secretary General-designate Ban Ki-moon discusses the North Korean nuclear standoff with President Hu and PRC Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing during a visit to Beijing.

: A ceremony is held as part of Korean Air’s strategy to make China its “second home market” following agreements between China and South Korea to gradually open their skies.

: State Councilor Tang briefs Secretary of State Rice on his meetings in Pyongyang with Kim Jong-il.

: UNSCR 1718 unanimously imposed limited sanctions on North Korean nuclear and missile parts procurement, conventional weapons, and luxury goods following North Korea’s nuclear test.

: ROK President Roh Moo-hyun travels to Beijing for a one-day summit with PRC President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao, and National People’s Congress Standing Committee Chairman Wu Bangguo. The two presidents agree to support “appropriate and necessary measures” by the UN Security Council in response to North Korea’s nuclear test.

: State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan travels as Hu Jintao’s special envoy to Washington, Moscow, and Pyongyang for consultations following North Korea’s nuclear test. In Pyongyang, he is the first high-level official to meet with Kim Jong-il following North Korea’s test.

: North Korea announces that it has safely and successfully conducted its first test of a nuclear bomb. A 3.58-3.7 magnitude tremor was detected in the North’s northeastern Hamkyong Province. Subsequent analysis yields estimates that the yield from such an explosion would be less than one kiloton, raising questions whether the device worked properly or was intentionally designed to minimize yield and avoid environmental contamination.

: The Korea Shipowners’ Association expresses concern that Busan port is losing its competitive edge against rapidly rising competition from Shanghai and Shenzhen, which are attracting container ships from Busan, the fifth busiest port in 2005 with over 11.8 million TEU in volume.

: The UN Security Council adopts a statement warning North Korea to refrain from conducting a nuclear test.

: North Korea says it will conduct a nuclear test to prop up its self-defense against “growing U.S. hostility against the communist regime.”

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