China - Southeast Asia

Chronology from Sep 2014 to Dec 2014

: Chinese Communist Party Politburo Standing Committee Member Yu Zhengsheng visits Hanoi for talks with Vietnam’s top party and government leaders.

: China and Malaysia hold a military exercise, Peace and Friendship 2014, which includes a joint table-top exercise, combined joint search and rescue, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief activities.

: The fifth Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Economic Cooperation Summit is held in Bangkok. Premier Li Keqiang announces that China will offer $1 billion to support greater infrastructure development and linkages in the region, a $500 million grant program to address poverty alleviation, and $10 billion in special loans to improve regional business, trade, and economic growth.

: Vietnam submits an official statement to the UN Permanent Court of Arbitration as part of its dispute with China in the South China Sea. The statement asks the international court to give “due regard” to Hanoi’s legal rights as the court reviews a separate, impending case filed by the Philippines and rejects China’s “nine-dash line” demarcation of the South China Sea.

: Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs releases a position paper in response to the Philippine’s decision in January to file a case with the UN Permanent Court of Arbitration disputing Chinese claims in the South China Sea. The Chinese government maintains its objection to the ongoing arbitral proceedings.

: Chinese and Indonesian law enforcement agencies announce the joint arrest of a major transnational criminal ring responsible for the illicit smuggling of drugs and narcotics across Indonesia, Hong Kong, and several Chinese cities.

: China, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand carry out the 28th round of joint patrols on the Mekong River. The four-day patrol seeks to improve coordination among law enforcement agencies to combat human smuggling, hijacking, and illicit drugs and narcotics in the Golden Triangle region.

: President Xi attends the G-20 Summit in Brisbane and discusses energy security, strengthening the international financial system, and combating such nontraditional, transnational threats as the Ebola epidemic, among other global security and economic issues.

: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrives in Nay Pyi Taw to attend the annual Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Leaders Meeting and the East Asia Summit. Li supports a proposed new treaty of “friendship and cooperation” with ASEAN and offers to host an informal regional meeting of defense ministers in 2015.

: Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders Meeting is held in Beijing. The key highlight of the meeting is a proposal broached by President Xi Jinping to create a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP).

: China and Singapore hold a joint military training exercise. The eight-day exercise, Cooperation 2014, includes an infantry live-fire combat operation.

: Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi arrives in Hanoi and meets President Truong Tan Sang to discuss ways to manage differences in the maritime disputes and to increase and strengthen overall bilateral exchanges.

: China announces the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) with an initial fund of $50 billion. A total of 21 countries sign a memorandum of understanding endorsing the launch of AIIB, including India and nine ASEAN countries.  Indonesia subsequently became a member on Nov. 27.

: Fan Changlong, vice chair of China’s CMC, meets visiting Defense Minister Phung Quang Thanh. They agree to better manage and “properly address” the ongoing maritime disputes in order to help advance bilateral military-to-military ties.

: Vietnam’s Defense Minister Gen. Phung Quang Thanh leads a delegation of 12 senior military officers to Beijing at the invitation of Chinese Defense Minister Gen. Chang Wanquan “to strengthen friendly relations and comprehensive cooperation between the two armed forces and discuss measures to promote bilateral defense relations….”

: Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi arrives in Kuala Lumpur and meets Prime Minister Najib Razak.  They agree to deepen cooperation in law enforcement, regional security and counterterrorism, and to continue consultation on the South China Sea.

: Fan Changlong, vice chair of China’s Central Military Commission (CMC), meets visiting Indonesian Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro to discuss bilateral military ties. They agree to increase the number of senior-level exchanges and to closer coordination on multilateral security issues in the region.

: The 11th Annual China-ASEAN Expo convenes in Nanning with Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli meeting regional leaders in attendance at the annual trade, business, and investment forum.

: Vietnam accuses Chinese sailors of attacking a group of Vietnamese fishermen near the Paracel Islands.

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