China - Southeast Asia

Chronology from Jul 2002 to Oct 2002

:   China’s Chief of General Staff Fu Quanyou meets with Cambodia’s acting head of state, Senate President Chea Sim, and Prime Minister Hun Sen.  Fu also meets with Cambodia’s Co-Ministers of Defense Tea Banh and Prince Sisowath Sirirath.

: DM Chi visits the Phillipines.

:   Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji, meeting with Thai Prime Minister Thaksin on the margins of the fourth Asia-Europe Summit in Copenhagen, says that cooperation between the two countries has achieved remarkable results.

: Singapore Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew visits Taiwan.

:   A press release following the conclusion of the sixth China-Malaysia Economic and Trade Commission meeting in Kuala Lumpur states that total trade between the two countries from January to July this year stands at $7.4 billion, making Malaysia China’s largest trading partner among the ASEAN countries.

: China warns Singapore of “trouble” if it establishes an FTA with Taiwan.

: NPC Chairman Li Peng visits the Philippines.

:   China’s Vice President Hu Jintao meets with Phan Dien, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee, urging that China and Vietnam “earnestly push forward bilateral friendship and cooperation in the new century.”  Dien also meets with Chinese Vice Premier Qian Qichen.

:   Indonesia announces that it will hold the first meeting of a China-Indonesia Energy Forum in Bali later in the month.  Top leaders of China’s public energy sector are expected to come to discuss cooperation in the power sector, coal production, development of a gas pipeline linking East Kalimantan and East Java, and a $400 million Chinese soft loan to develop power plant in Sumatra.

: NPC Chairman Li Peng visits Indonesia.

:   Meeting with His Majesty Bhumibol Adulyadej, King of Thailand, and Princess Sirindhorn at the royal palace at Hua Hin, Li Peng commends Thailand’s treatment of its ethnic Chinese subjects.  The Thai monarch tells Li that he has encouraged members of his family to visit China to increase mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples.  In his meeting with Prime Minister Thaksin, Li announces the gift of a pair of pandas to the Thai nation to commemorate the birthdays of the King and Queen.  Thaksin reaffirms Thailand’s adherence to the “one China” policy.

:   China’s NPC Chairman Li Peng meets with former Thai Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai, and tells him China wishes to learn from Thailand how to manage its participation in the World Trade Organization.  Li states that China is pleased that a Thai, Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi, has taken over as WTO director general.  Chuan thanks Li for China’s refusal to devalue its currency since the Asian economic crisis began five years ago.

: China and Vietnam hold round of border talks in Kunming.

:   Indonesia’s Department of Immigration calls for reinstatement of tighter entry requirements for Chinese citizens, many of whom reportedly come on tourist visas but engage in business.  Constraints on Chinese visitors were relaxed after the resignation of President Soeharto in 1998.

: Burmese officials and representatives of the China Yunnan Corporation sign an agreement on construction of jute-based paper mills in northern Burma.

:   Thailand announces that it plans to network its textile industry with that of China, starting with links to “Underwear City,” a huge manufacturing base for undergarments, in Guangdong.

:   The Malaysian naval ship Kd Sriinderapura arrives in Shanghai for a five-day goodwill visit.

:   Chinese sources state that Beijing will invest $360 million to improve a 97-km section in Yunnan of the road linking Kunming and Bangkok

:   China lifts the ban on travel to the Philippines that has been in place since August 2001, following kidnappings of Chinese nationals, some of whom were murdered. Philippine consular officials have been instructed to streamline visa procedures to encourage more Chinese tourists to visit the country.  Tourism Secretary Richard Gordon states that the Philippines “must take advantage of the Chinese tourist market, as it is the largest growing market in the world.”

:   China announces the implementation of agreements with the Philippines to combat transnational crime and drug trafficking.  The Philippines has been concerned at large quantities of “shabu” (methamphetamines) entering the country from China.  Shabu is the most-abused drug in the Philippines.

: Burma announces that it has opened three border trading points with China.  According to Burma’s figures, the value of border trade increased 25 percent from 2000 to 2001.

: China’s Defense Minister Chi Haotian receives a senior delegation from the Lao People’s Army, noting that the two countries still help each other and carry out close cooperation in national and military construction.

:   China and the Philippines trade accusations of unfair trade practices at a meeting of the Philippine-China Joint Trade Committee. They subsequently agree to improve the bilateral trade and investment structure through complementary product diversification and intensified two-way investments.  They also discuss a proposed Manila-Clark railway system, which Chinese firms may build under a concessional loan.

: Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad meets with visiting Vice Chairman of the National People’s Congress Jiang Chunyun, and tells him that Malaysia will continue to pursue its foreign policy of friendship and cooperation with China.  Jiang expressed appreciation for PM Mahathir’s role in promoting cooperation within the framework of ASEAN, the ASEAN Plus One, and ASEAN Plus Three forums.

: Xinhua announces that Thailand is negotiating to participate in the construction of a hydroelectric project in Yunnan with a capacity of 5.5 million kilowatts.  The plan is to share the power produced by the dam among Guangdong and Yunnan provinces in China, and Thailand.

:   East Timor Foreign Minister Jose Ramos Horta describes China as his new country’s “closest possible ally,” noting that East Timor wants China’s friendship as an “economic powerhouse,” and would not be lecturing Beijing on human rights violations.

: Indonesian business people establish an Indonesia-China Business Council in Jakarta to strengthen trade ties between the two countries, and establish a more favorable trade balance for Indonesia, which is concerned that inexpensive Chinese imports are driving Indonesian enterprises out of business.

:   The Philippines opens a Consulate General in Shanghai.

:   China announces it will send 100 Sichuanese rabbits to Thailand as part of a poverty elimination program, to replace “inferior Thai rabbits” that generate poor returns.

: Vietnam’s Trade Minister Vu Khoan tells Zhang Xuewen, deputy governor of Guangxi province, that Vietnam will strengthen cooperation with Guangxi.

: Indonesia announces it will sign an agreement with China to curb the rampant smuggling of cut logs that is rapidly reducing its forests. The agreement, similar to one with Malaysia, apparently does not exclude the export of cut timber. Illegal Indonesian sawmills have reportedly turned to shipping cut timber as a way of circumventing bilateral agreements designed to protect the environment.

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