China - Southeast Asia

Chronology from Jul 2006 to Oct 2006

: Vietnam’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry and China’s National Development and Reform Commission host a one-day forum to help boost bilateral trade and economic ties.  In addition to officials from both governments, representatives from 500 Vietnamese enterprises and nearly 100 Chinese companies attend the forum.

: Vu Xuan Hong, president of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations, concludes his visit to China by signing a Memorandum of Understanding to promote people-to-people contacts between China and Vietnam.

: The Chinese embassy to Cambodia announces that it has entered into a partnership with the Association of Khmer Chinese in Cambodia (AKCC) to help promote and develop Chinese language courses in more than 70 primary and junior schools in Cambodia. Since 2000, the Chinese government has allocated more than $150,000 to help fund and train Chinese language instructors.

: According to Xinhua News Agency, the Chinese government donated nearly 500 tons of rice and $62,500 worth of anti-malaria medicines to Myanmar. Beijing aims to support Myanmar’s poppy-substitute program, helping local governments reduce poppy cultivation while raising household income by introducing alternative crops.

: The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson issues a brief statement commenting on the military coup in Bangkok as Thailand’s internal affair and that the Chinese government will not interfere with Thailand’s sovereignty. The spokesperson maintains that political and economic relations between the two countries will not change. The Chinese embassy in Bangkok also announces that it has set up a hotline to answer any inquiries and provide assistance to Chinese nationals in Thailand.

: China attends the International Drug Enforcement Conference held in Bali, Indonesia. More than 80 participants from ASEAN countries, East Asia, South Asia, the U.S., and Europe agree on promoting joint efforts to stop drug trafficking and dealing activities.

: At a UN Security Council procedural meeting, China votes against a U.S.-backed proposal to include Myanmar’s deteriorating situation in the Council’s agenda. Chinese Ambassador to the UN Wang Guangya calls the move “preposterous” as it violates the principle of non-interference in Chinese foreign policy. As this was a procedural vote, China could not use their veto to block the decision.

: Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Political, Law and Security Affairs Widodo Adi co-chairs with Chinese State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan the first deputy prime ministerial level meeting of the China-Indonesia dialogue mechanism on law enforcement issues.

: Liang Guanglie, chief of the general staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, tells visiting Neang Phat, secretary of the Cambodian Ministry of National Defense, that the Chinese armed forces seek enhance closer military exchanges with the Cambodian army.

: Chinese FM Li holds talks with Brunei Foreign and Trade Minister Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, affirming bilateral friendly and cooperative ties.  At the conclusion of the talks, both sides sign an MOU on tourism cooperation.

: Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo meets a visiting Chinese delegation led by Liu Yunshan, member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party. They exchange views on deepening bilateral trust and economic cooperation. Both sides also agree to resolve the South China Sea dispute through further dialogue.

: Chinese Finance Minister Jin Ren Qing meets Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen in Cambodia. Hun Sen says Cambodia is in need of a $200 million loan from China to develop its infrastructure, including bridges in the Tonle Sap Lake and the Mekong River, and various highways.

: While meeting with ASEAN Secretary General Ong Keng Yong at the “ASEAN Cultural Week” launched in Beijing, Li Changchun, a senior official of the Chinese Communist Party announces that China is ready to develop a strategic partnership based on peace and prosperity with its Southeast Asian neighbors.

: Senior officials from Singapore, China, and Norway sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to help promote cooperation in shipping, maritime safety, research, and development in Southeast Asia.

: At a Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation meeting in Beijing co-chaired by China’s Vice Premier Wu Yi and Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng, both sides decide to launch negotiations for a bilateral free trade agreement.  They also agree on promoting cooperation on non-traditional security issues such as maritime security, combating terrorism, transnational crime, and illegal immigration.

: Vietnamese Communist Party leader Nong Duc Manh meets President Hu Jintao in Beijing to discuss trade, border issues, and developing joint partnership for oil and gas development in the Gulf of Tonkin.

: Former President Fidel Ramos leads a 70-member Filipino business delegation to China to promote trade, sport, and cultural exchanges between the Philippines and China. The Philippine trade group visits Macao and Zhuhai, Guangdong Province.

: Sisavat Keobounphan, chairman of Lao Front for National Reconstruction, pays an official visit to China and meets Jia Qinglin, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.  Both sides affirm increasing political trust and economic relations.

: A year after agreements on reduced tariffs and China-ASEAN free trade deals were struck, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce announces that regional trade has soared 21.6 percent over the past year. China’s Commerce Minister Bo Xilai comments that China and ASEAN will face a key period in the next few years as they seek to complete tariff cuts toward establishing the world’s largest free trade area by 2010.

: The Third China-ASEAN Attorney Generals’ Meeting concludes in Jakarta, Indonesia. Officials agree to strengthen regional cooperation in combating transnational crimes such as terrorism, corruption, money laundering as well as human and drug trafficking.

: Myanmar announces that it will liberalize its border trade procedure with China to facilitate bilateral trade.  It will allow easier access for the direct transport of goods through the trading point at the city of Muse.

: Chinese FM Li attends the 13th ASEAN Regional Forum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Myanmar’s political and economic reforms, Korean Peninsula denuclearization, and other regional security issues are discussed.

: A China-Southeast Asia land transport network is proposed connecting southern China to major cities in Southeast Asia by 2007.  Nanning and Hanoi will be the first two cities to have a direct transport agreement to help expand regional trade and further economic relations.

: More than 30 senior-level defense officials from Southeast Asian countries attend a workshop in Beijing to discuss Chinese and ASEAN influences on Asia-Pacific security, maritime security cooperation, the military’s role in international humanitarian aid, counterterrorism activities, and regional peacekeeping operations.

: Somsawat Lengsavad, member of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LDRP), leads a senior Laotian delegation for an 11-day visit to Beijing, meeting Wu Guanzheng, member of the Chinese Communist Party Standing Committee.  Both sides seek to enhance party-to-party cooperation and discuss economic reforms.

: Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Hor Nam Hong meets State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan for a three-day official visit in Beijing. Hor expresses appreciation for China’s economic assistance and social development to Cambodia.

: Chinese FM Li Zhaoxing attends a reception in Beijing commemorating the 15th anniversary of cooperation and dialogue between China and ASEAN.

: Singaporean Chief of Defense Ng Yat Chung arrives in Beijing for a five-day official visit. Senior military officials from both sides agree to expand military ties between the two armed forces.

: Choummaly Sayasone, president of Laos concludes his visit to China.  Both sides issue a joint communiqué that seeks to further bilateral cooperation and push forward the all-round friendly and cooperative relations to “a new level.”

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