China - Korea

Chronology from Apr 2007 to Jul 2007

: ROK Minister Whang Joung-il, the number two official at the South Korea embassy in China, dies suddenly after eating a sandwich and receiving incorrect medical treatment at a clinic in Beijing.

: Samsung Economic Research Institute President Jung Ku-hyun says that South Korea is not being “sandwiched” between Japan and China, arguing instead that Southeast Asia has been hurt by diversion of global investment to China.

: POSCO announces the completion of a cold-rolling steel mill in Liaoning province with Benxi Iron & Steel Company.

: Six-Party Talks resume in Beijing to discuss further steps in the implementation of the Feb. 13 agreement.

: The Korea International Trade Association requests that the ROK government crack down on the sale of Chinese counterfeit goods in Korea.

: Following a second feasibility study in preparation for negotiation of a China-South Korea free trade agreement (FTA), focusing primarily on the impact of an FTA on the South Korean agricultural market, ROK Minister of Trade Kim Hyun-chong predicts that South Korea’s next administration will begin FTA negotiations with China.

: South Korean wireless network producer Nodesystem announces a deal with China’s Zondy Cyber Group on the use of China’s digital map, which can be used to produce GPS car-navigation systems for the Chinese market.

: PRC Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi visits North Korea; the first high-level visit since the Feb. 13 six-party agreement.

: Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi visits Pyongyang and meets National Defense Chairman Kim Jong-il.

: Woori Finance and Investment Company announces that it has bought Chinese non-performing loans with a face value of $88 million, the largest Korean investment in Chinese non-performing debt.

: Assistant Secretary Hill visits Pyongyang and meets DPRK Foreign Minister Pak Ui-chan and nuclear talks counterpart Kim Gye-gwan.

: The first Korea-China-Japan Industrial fair is held in Seoul to foster industrial and commercial exchange.

: Woori Bank announces that it has become the first South Korean bank to receive approval from the Chinese government to set up a local retail banking unit.

: The Korea Times reports that Hynix Semiconductor CEO Kim Jong-kap sees China as opportunity for growth and argues that the “sandwich” theory is an exaggeration.

: Newly-appointed DPRK Premier Kim Yong-il meets PRC Ambassador to the DPRK Liu Xiaoming in Pyongyang.

: Central Committee of the Korean Workers’ Party (KWP) hosts reception in honor of a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) delegation led by Lu Hao, member of the Central Committee of the CCP and secretary of the Gansu Provincial Committee of the CCP. A KWP delegation led by Secretary of the Pyongyang City Committee of the KWP Kim Jin-ha visits the PRC and meets CCP International Department head Wang Jiarui.

: The South Korean, Chinese, and Japanese foreign ministers inaugurate a regular dialogue, engaging in discussions on North Korea, a three-way free trade agreement, and additional cultural exchanges. In a separate bilateral conversation, Song Min-soon requests Yang Jiechi to conduct a thorough investigation into a May 12 freighter accident in the East China Sea.

: PRC People’s Liberation Army chief of the General Staff Liang Guanglie meets counterpart JCS Chairman General Kim Kwan-jin in Seoul. The two sides agree to set up military hotlines on the 15th anniversary of the normalization of PRC-ROK relations in August.

: ROK President Roh Moo-hyun states in an MBN interview that China should seek an FTA with China following the establishment of a KORUS FTA.

: A South Korean freighter, the Golden Rose, sinks after colliding with the Chinese freighter Jinshen in waters off Yantai on China’s east coast, killing 16 sailors (seven of whom were Koreans) and sparking a controversy given that Chinese authorities notified the Korean embassy of the accident nearly 21 hours after it occurred.

: ROK prosecutors charge nine former and current employees of Kia Motors with collusion to leak confidential data on Kia’s manufacturing process to a Chinese company.

: Doosan Heavy Industries announces that it will supply core facilities for Chinese nuclear reactors to be built in Shanmen and Haiyang.

: ROK Defense Minister Kim Jang-soo meets Chinese counterpart Cao Gangchuan during a four-day visit to Beijing and agrees to establish military hotlines.

: Doosan Infracore, the leading supplier of excavating equipment in China, announces that it will build a second 320,000 sq m production facility in Suzhou in addition to its current plant 500,000 square meter plant in Yantai.

: Ono Hisashi, head of the Nomura Research Institute (NRI) Seoul office, makes a presentation at a Seoul seminar “Diagnosis of ‘Sandwiched’ Korean Economy and the Relevant Solutions,” sponsored by the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, that South Korea is increasingly “sandwiched” by Japan and China.

: Chae Tae-bok, secretary of the Central Committee of the Korean Workers’ Party, meets a visiting delegation of the International Liaison Department of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party led by deputy head Liu Hongcai.

: Five Korean shipbuilders and the Ministry of Commerce, Energy, and Industry discuss a five-year plan to strengthen high-end production in response to the aggressive expansion of Chinese shipbuilders into the low-end market.

: Korea and China sign an agreement between environmental ministries to cooperate in protecting 337 species of migratory birds in the two nations.

: Wen participates in the opening of SK Telecom’s new test bed center to promote commercialization of Chinese third-generation mobile technology, TD-SCDMA.

: Premier Wen visits Seoul for a summit with ROK President Roh Moo-hyun to discuss bilateral and regional economic and political issues including the North Korean nuclear problem and a prospective ROK-PRC FTA.

: Korea, Japan, and China announce that their ministries of health will jointly form a $1 million fund to fight avian influenza.

: PRC Premier Wen Jiabao urges more rapid preparations for a PRC-ROK FTA in a joint interview with South Korean journalists.

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