China - Southeast Asia
Chronology from Jan 2016 to May 2016
: The 22nd China-ASEAN Senior Officials Consultation is held in Singapore. The meeting focuses on advancing China-ASEAN relations and regional cooperation in East Asia. Chinese Foreign Affairs Vice Minister Liu Zhenmin urges ASEAN states to resolve territorial disputes through dialogue and warns of “negative consequences” if the Philippines wins an arbitration case in The Hague.
: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets counterparts from Brunei, Cambodia, and Laos. They reach a four-point consensus on the South China Sea, emphasizing that the dispute should be resolved through consultations and negotiations of the claimant states.
: China and Vietnam begin their 11th joint fishery patrol in the Gulf of Tonkin. The joint activity includes two marine police vessels from each side observing fishing vessels and making random inspections in the common fishing grounds.
: Foreign Minister Wang Yi arrives in Myanmar to meet counterpart Aung San Suu Kyi. They agree to deepen bilateral communication, mutual trust, and pragmatic cooperation.
: Chinese military aircraft lands on Fiery Cross Reef for an emergency evacuation of three ill Chinese construction workers stationed there.
: China and ASEAN countries agree to expand cooperation in regional law enforcement. Yunnan Police College in Kunming will establish the China-ASEAN Law Enforcement Academy to help train 2,000 police officers from ASEAN law enforcement agencies over the next four years to address such emerging security threats as cyber- crime, drug smuggling, and human trafficking.
: Malaysia Foreign Ministry summons China’s ambassador for “clarification” and “to register Malaysia’s concern” over the encroachment of some 100 Chinese fishing boats into Malaysia’s territorial waters in the South China Sea which were accompanied by a Chinese Coast Guard vessel.
: Vietnamese Coast Guard announces the seizure of a Chinese resupply vessel that was allegedly disguised as a fishing boat for trespassing into Vietnamese territorial waters.
: Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan meets Vietnamese counterpart Phung Quang Thanh. They pledge to strengthen military ties, minimize tension and conflict, and exercise restraint in areas of difference.
: Senior officials from Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam convene in China for the inaugural Mekong-Lancang Cooperation (MLC) leaders’ meeting to discuss coordination mechanisms within the Greater Mekong Sub-region and drought issues in the impacted Lower Mekong areas.
: Chinese Coast Guard patrol boat enters Indonesian waters near Natuna Islands to prevent local maritime authorities from seizing a Chinese fishing boat for illegal fishing. Indonesian officials clarify the incident is a fishing dispute rather than a border dispute, and add that Beijing and Jakarta are in communication to resolve the incident peacefully.
: Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson congratulates Myanmar’s President Htin Kyaw and offers support to his government’s efforts in political and ethnic reconciliation.
: China’s chief justice, Zhou Qiang, says China will launch an “international maritime judicial center” to safeguard its territorial claims and protect its maritime rights.
: China stations several ships near Jackson Atoll in the disputed Spratly Islands, preventing local Filipino fishermen from accessing the surrounding fishing grounds. Manila lodges formal protests with Beijing.
: Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Singaporean counterpart Vivian Balakrishnan exchange exploratory ideas on ways to minimize risks of unplanned encounters at sea. Both sides reaffirm the importance of respecting freedom of navigation and over-flights in international waters for regional peace and stability.
: President Xi Jinping meets Hoang Binh Quan, special envoy of Vietnam’s Community Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong, in Beijing. Xi calls for the “proper handling of differences” and deepening the comprehensive and strategic bilateral partnership.
: Gen. Wang Jiaocheng of the People’s Liberation Army’s newly established Southern Theater Command announces it will be “highly vigilant” and “capable of dealing with any security threat” in the command’s jurisdiction, including the South China Sea.
: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi states that the Philippines violated Article 4 of the 2002 Declaration on Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea by resorting to arbitration instead of dialogue and bilateral negotiations.
: China confirms deployment of fighter jets to Woody Island.
: China announces that it will carry out its first bilateral naval exercise with Cambodia. The drills will focus on humanitarian operations and search and rescue exercises.
: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi says that the deployment of surface-to-air missiles on Woody Island is intended to build “limited and necessary self-defense facilities.”
: State Councilor Yang Jiechi meets Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Nor Namhong in Beijing for the China-Cambodia Intergovernmental Coordination Committee meeting. They agree to deepen high-level bilateral engagements, strengthen their strategic communication and coordination on international and regional affairs, and support each other on issues concerning their respective “core and major interests.”
: Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou visits Taiping Island (Itu Aba). United States and Vietnam criticize the visit for adding tension to the disputed waters.
: China’s Haiyang Shiyou-981 deep-water rig begins drilling activities 90 miles west of the disputed Parcel Islands. The oil rig deployment comes at a sensitive time amidst Vietnam’s Communist Party Congress.
: Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs lodges a formal protest with Myanmar following a land mine explosion along the two countries’ border. It urges Myanmar security forces to contain the civil conflict between the Kachin rebel groups and the Myanmar military.
: China lands two commercial jets on the Fiery Cross Reef, prompting formal protests from Vietnam and the Philippines.
: China lands a small civilian aircraft on a recently completed runway on Fiery Cross Reef. Vietnam, Philippines, and Japan protest the action, accusing China of destabilizing the region.