China - Southeast Asia

Chronology from May 2019 to Aug 2019

: Chairman Xi and President Duterte meet in Beijing. The visit marks Duterte’s fifth state visit to China since taking office in 2016, and his eighth meeting with Xi.

: China and Laos launch a joint humanitarian rescue exercise near Vientiane. The drill includes medical rescue operations in response to natural disasters. More than 500 soldiers are involved.

: Ships from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) are spotted in waters south of the Philippines. Officials in Manila express deep concerns and note that the passage is not “an act of friendship.”

: Chinese survey ship Haiyang Dizhi 8 returns to the Spratly Islands where it has been engaged in a month-long stand-off with the Vietnamese government.

: China’s Maritime Safety Administration conducts training near the Paracel Islands.

: Philippines Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin files a diplomatic protest against China after over 100 Chinese fishing vessels were recorded around Philippines’ claimed Pag-asa (Thitu) Island.

: Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen commits $40 million to weapons purchases from China “to strengthen the army.”

: Chinese ambassador to Myanmar visits Rakhine state to promote and support establishment of the Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone, development of a deep sea port in the Bay of Bengal, and an offshore gas terminal.

: China and Malaysia agree to restart the East Coast Rail Link project. The rail project will be managed by a joint venture company of China and Malaysia to operate and maintain the rail line network.

: The Wall Street Journal publishes report indicating that China and Cambodia signed an agreement to establish a Chinese naval base in Cambodia. The two governments publicly deny the report.

: US Department of State calls on China to “cease its bullying behavior” in coercing ASEAN members from pursuing oil and gas activities in the South China Sea.

: Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry accuses Chinese oil survey vessel Haiyang Dizhi 8 of activities that “violated Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf,” in the South China Sea.

: Southeast Asian leaders meet in Bangkok for the 34th ASEAN Summit. They adopt a joint declaration to combat plastic pollution in oceans and release statements regarding regional economic and security collaboration, the de-escalation of tensions in the South China Sea, and investigations into human rights violations in Myanmar.

: President Rodrigo Duterte calls the sinking of a Philippine fishing boat by a Chinese vessel “just a collision,” warning against military action toward China.

: Philippine government calls for an official investigation into the incident involving the Chinese boat sinking a Filipino fishing boat.

: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang sends a congratulatory message to the newly elected prime minister of Thailand, Prayut Chan-ocha. Li expresses interest in deepening comprehensive strategic cooperation in Sino-Thai relations.

: Chinese vessel sinks a Filipino fishing boat near Reed Bank and leaves the 22 Filipino crewmen stranded.

: Chinese Defense Minister Gen. Wei Fenghe and Singaporean counterpart Ng Eng Hen agree to revise a defense pact that would allow for larger bilateral military exercises and an increase in high-level dialogue between defense officials.

: Chinese Chairman Xi Jinping meets Cambodia’s King Norodom Sihamoni in Beijing on the sidelines of the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations (CDAC). They pledge to increase cultural, educational, and people-to-people exchanges.

: Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry rejects China’s annual fishing ban in the South China Sea, citing sovereignty infringement. The annual ban, which runs from May 1 to Aug. 16 this year, affects the Paracel Islands, parts of the Gulf of Tonkin, and Scarborough Shoal.

Date Range