China - Southeast Asia

Chronology from Apr 2003 to Jul 2003

:   WHO declares Beijing has conquered SARS.

: A Chinese Communist Party delegation meets in Jakarta with the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), Indonesia’s largest political party, headed by President Megawati Sukarnoputri.

:   Chinese FM attends ASEAN Regional Forum meets in Phnom Penh; ARF calls on North Korea to rejoin the NPT and urges early release of Aung San Suu Kyi.

: Cai Wu, deputy head of the International Department of the Chinese Communist Party, leads a delegation attending the general assembly of the United Malays National Organization, leader of the coalition that governs Malaysia. The party leader will also visit Indonesia and East Timor.

: Senior health officials of China and Thailand, meeting in Beijing, agree to enhance cooperation in SARS control, food safety, and traditional Chinese medicines, among other fields.

: ASEAN Plus Three and separate Plus Three (ROK, PRC, Japan) meetings in Phnom Penh.

: China’s FM, Li Zhaoxing, meets with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen in Phnom Penh.  According to Xinhua, the Cambodian leader thanked Li for China’s development assistance to Cambodia.

:   Thai Deputy PM Somkid Jatusripitak announces Thailand will form link between China and ASEAN on free trade issues.

: Chinese FM Li Zhaoxing visits Hanoi.

: Laotian Community Party leader Khamtay Siphandone visits Beijing, meets with President Hu and Premier Wen Jiabao.  Wen promises that China will play a more active role in Lao economic development, and that China has decided to reduce or forgive certain loans, and to contribute the equivalent of $6 million in new aid.

: A PRC Foreign Ministry spokesperson announces China will not interfere in a matter that is between the Burmese government and the opposition parties.

:   The World Bank releases research report endorsing China’s central role in East Asian economic integration and urges countries in the region to continue to adapt to China’s emergence as a major world and regional trader.

:   China’s vice health minister calls on Asian governments to enhance the sharing of information about SARS at Beijing SARS symposium.

: Meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, on the margins of the Evian G-8 summit, Prime Minister Mahathir of Malaysia and Chinese President Hu agree that the United Nations plays an irreplaceable role in safeguarding world peace and stability, and that all countries should “properly deal with international issues within the framework” of the UN.

: China and 10 other Asia-Pacific countries, including five ASEAN members, agreed to establish an Asian Bond Fund worth more than $1 billion.

:   Violent attack on a motorcade of Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and her followers; Suu Kyi’s is arrested and detained.

: Manila media report that Philippine Defense Secretary Angelo Reyes ordered the Philippine Air Force to keep a close watch on the South China Sea in light of reports that other countries claiming the Spratly Island group have built new fortifications there.

: China’s president, premier, and foreign minister all send messages of congratulation to East Timorese President Xanana Gusmao on the first anniversary of the Democratic Republic of East Timor.

: Vietnam’s FM rejects a two-month ban on fishing in the South China Sea, announced by Beijing in mid-May, and warns that any action by another country affecting the Spratly or Paracel Island archipelagoes or Vietnam’s exclusive economic zones or continental shelf would violate Vietnam’s sovereignty. The statement called for negotiations to solve disputes in the island regions, and urged China to exercise restraint.

: China joins 10 other countries as observers of Cobra Gold, a joint military exercise in Thailand held each year with the U.S. (and in recent years, Singapore).  This is the largest annual U.S. military exercise in Asia, although the U.S. force contribution this year is about half the size of 2002.  The focus is peacekeeping and antiterrorism training.

: Thailand-based Chia Tai Group donates $1.2 million to China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs to support the fight against SARS.

: Twenty-four Chinese peacekeepers, members of the PRC’s civil police force, return from a one-year assignment to the UN peacekeeping operation in East Timor.

: Bank of China officially opens a branch in Jakarta, for the first time since the BOC suspended operations in Indonesia in 1964.

:   The Philippines agrees to form link between China and ASEAN on free trade issues, but with some reservations.

: Indian media report that the Indian security establishment is unnerved by China’s construction of an airport in Burma across the border from Nagaland in India’s sensitive northeastern region.

: ASEAN health ministers’ meeting in Bangkok, Thailand.

: China and Indonesia sign an agreement under which China will donate 1,000 motorcycles to the Indonesian police. Xinhua reports the value of the donation at $1 million.

:   PetroChina announces it will join Malaysia’s Petronas to buy additional stake in Amerada Hess oil and gas rights in East Java.

: Vietnam holds a ceremony on Grand Spratly Island, led by Deputy National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Phuc Thanh, to commemorate the “28th anniversary of the liberation of the Spratly archipelago.” Hanoi’s forces seized a large part of the archipelago April 29, 1975, one day before Saigon fell.  At about the same time, Lt. Gen. Phung Quang Thanh, chief of the general staff of the Vietnam People’s Army, visited several Spratly islands to observe military units stationed there.

: A Malaysian company signs an agreement with the Shanghai municipal government to invest an initial $400 million to set up a computer chip factory, with additional funds in later phases.

: A Chinese police official in Yunnan announces the destruction of a major drug factory in Burma’s Shan state by police units of the two countries.  Chinese media reported another joint police operation destroyed a drug factory “deep in a forest in Myanmar” April 28.

: Xu Rongkai, governor of Yunnan province, meets with Laotian Deputy Prime Minister Asang Laoly. Xu notes that “some cooperation programs between Yunnan and Laos are faring well,” and promises to encourage more investment in Laos.

: Vietnamese Communist Party General Secretary Nong Duc Manh visits Beijing.

: China announces that the Lao government has given a 30-year concession to a Chinese company for copper mining in Phongsaly province. China’s initial investment will be $950,000.

: Liang Guanglie, chief of the General Staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), meets commander of the Philippine Air Force Nestor R. Santillan in Beijing.

Date Range