China - Southeast Asia

Chronology from Jan 2011 to May 2011

: Vice Chairperson of the CMC Guo Boxiong, meets Thai Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwan in Beijing to advance bilateral cooperation between the two armed forces.

:   Premier Wen Jiabao visits Jakarta and meets Indonesian officials to discuss ways to strengthen coordination and cooperation on regional and international security issues.

:   Premier Wen Jiabao visits Malaysia. Wen and Prime Minister Najib Razak agree to expand bilateral trade and strengthen cooperation in infrastructure, finance, scientific research and development, as well as in cultural and educational areas.

:   China and Laos celebrate 50 years of the establishment of diplomatic ties.

: Chinese Foreign Ministry issues a formal statement calling upon counterparts in Thailand and Cambodia to continue to stay calm and to resolve their differences on the border dispute through dialogue and consultation.

:   Guo Boxiong, vice chairperson of the Central Military Commission (CMC), meets Vietnamese Defense Minister Phung Quang Thanh, in Beijing.  They agree to strengthen the strategic partnership and enhance military-to-military cooperation.

:   Jia Qinglin, chairperson of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, arrives in Myanmar for a four-day visit and meets senior members of the new government in Naypyidaw.  The two sides sign a number of cooperation pacts, particularly on the economic front.

:   The 17th annual ASEAN-China Senior Officials’ Consultative Meeting is held in Hangzhou, China.

:   Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Ma Xiaotian visits Jakarta for the fourth round of the China-Indonesia Defense and Security Consultation. The Jakarta Post reports that China and Indonesia agree to begin joint arms production, beginning with C-907 missiles that are part of the weaponry for Sukhoi jet fighters.

: Deputy Director of the Department of International Trade and Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Commerce Sun Yuanjiang attends a seminar on East Asia Free Trade Area in Hefei and announces that China work toward simplifying application procedures for preferential certificates of origin and customs clearance for both Chinese and ASEAN-based companies.

:   Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Fu Ziying arrives in Phnom Penh and meets Prime Minister Hun Sen for the second round of the China-Cambodia Strategic Economic Dialogue.  Fu announces that China will continue to encourage more Chinese entrepreneurs to invest in Cambodia, especially in the agricultural, mining, and manufacturing sectors.

:   Senior Chinese and Malaysian officials meet in Kuala Lumpur to discuss the challenges of cross-border crimes.  They agree to address problems such as telecommunication fraud, economic crimes on the high seas, human and drug trafficking, and money laundering.

: Defense Minister Liang Guanglie meets Indonesian Vice Minister of Defense Sjafrie Sjamsoedin in Beijing to discuss bilateral defense and security cooperation.  They agree to step up military-to-military relations and to work to provide regional stability and security.

:   Chinese Minister of Public Safety Meng Jianzhu visits Vientiane and meets President Choummaly Saysasone, They pledge to improve bilateral cooperation, especially in the areas of border security, drug and human trafficking, and other cross-border crime.

:   China and Myanmar sign a new deal that paves the way for the development of the Kyaukphyu economic zone in Myanmar and other related port and railroad infrastructure projects. According to Chinese statistics, bilateral trade reached nearly $4.5 billion in 2010.

:   Beijing issues a statement calling for calm and restraint from Thailand and Cambodia to prevent an escalation of border tensions as it continues to maintain contact with officials in Bangkok and Phnom Penh to help resolve the conflict through consultation.

:   Wu Bangguo, vice chair of the National People’s Congress, visits Jakarta and meets President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.  They agree to deepen bilateral relations, particularly in such areas as energy security, technology, agriculture, fishing, and tourism.

:   Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi meets ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan and other ASEAN foreign ministers in Mohan Port along the border between China and Laos to mark the opening of the newly completed highway that links Kunming to Bangkok.

:   Liu Jianchao, Chinese ambassador to the Philippines, says resolving territorial claims in the South China Sea will take time, patience, and that negotiations should be conducted with greater accommodation and understanding of all parties involved.  He reiterates Beijing’s opposition to any external intervention from such parties as the US in the South China Sea.

:   Alongkorn Ponlaboot, deputy commerce minister of Thailand, presides over the opening ceremony of the inaugural meeting of the ASEAN-China Business Forum convened in Bangkok.  Senior Chinese and ASEAN member states officials attend the launch of the new forum that will help expand regional business, trade, and economic dialogue.

:   Chen Zhili, vice chair of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), visits Bangkok and meets Chai Chidchob, speaker of the House of Representatives, and other senior parliamentary members of Thailand. The two sides agree to increase parliamentary exchanges and visits to help strengthen bilateral relations, especially in such areas as investment, culture, tourism, and education.

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