China - Southeast Asia

Chronology from Jan 2018 to May 2018

: Song Tao, head of the CCP International Department, visits Nay Pyi Taw and meets Myanmar President U Win Myint and State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi. The two sides agree to increase high-level, party-to-party exchanges and strengthen bilateral diplomatic and political cooperation.

: Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Cayetano announces that China and the Philippines will conduct joint explorations for oil and gas in the South China Sea.

: Wu Shicun, head of China’s National Institute for South China Sea Studies, observes that the negotiations on the South China Sea between China and ASEAN should conclude with a legally binding Code of Conduct.

: China agrees to work with the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) states and the Mekong River Commission for sustainable management of the Mekong River and to promote sustainable development goals in the region.

: Chinese Foreign Minister and State Counselor Wang Yi visits Hanoi and meets Vietnamese counterpart Pham Binh Minh. They agree to refrain from taking unilateral measures that would complicate the maritime dispute in the South China Sea and pledge to resolve differences through the bilateral steering committee for cooperation and in regional forums.

: China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on the sidelines of the Greater Mekong Sub-region Summit in Hanoi.

: China carries out a naval drill involving the Liaoning aircraft carrier and more than 40 other combat ships in the waters south of Hainan. Officials from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) say the drill is part of a routine exercise, although the scale and location reflect China’s growing capabilities to maneuver military assets in and around the South China Sea.

: The United Wa State Army, one of Myanmar’s main ethnic groups, indicates that it would like the greater involvement from the Chinese government to provide stability at the China-Myanmar border and to help resolve the ongoing conflict between the ethnic groups and the Myanmar government.

: Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano visits China and meets Foreign Minister Wan Yi. They agree that China and the Philippines will cautiously proceed with discussions on joint oil and gas exploration in the South China Sea.

: China and Cambodia carry out the second Golden Dragon joint military exercise. The live-fire exercise takes place in a mountainous area in Cambodia, with drills focusing on counter-terrorism, infrastructure repairs, mine clearance, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

: Chinese and the ASEAN officials meet in Nha Trang, Vietnam, for the 23rd Joint Working Group meeting on the Implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea.

: Second meeting of China-Philippines Bilateral Consultation Mechanism on the South China Sea (BCM) is held in Manila.

: Singapore’s Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan hosts ASEAN foreign ministers and announces the regional grouping has agreed to work toward the conclusion of an effective code of conduct for the South China Sea.

: Senior officials from China and Vietnam finalize plans for joint border checkpoints. Under the “two countries, one inspection” system, Customs officials will jointly carry out inspection work along two neutral zones and checkpoints. The joint border inspection will become operational in May 2018.

: Environment ministers from the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) states meet in Chiang Mai and agree on a joint five-year action plan on environmental cooperation that focuses on promoting green technology, environmentally friendly logistics, climate change resilience, and disaster risk management in the GMS.

: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrives in Phnom Penh to attend the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) Leaders’ Summit. The leaders of the six LMC countries pledge to cooperate on the development and sustainability of the Mekong River.

: Chinese Premier Li meets Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen for an official visit. They celebrate the 60th anniversary of bilateral ties and agree to deepen political, diplomatic, security, economic, and cultural ties in a joint communique.

Date Range