India - East Asia

Chronology from Oct 2000 to Dec 2002

: India becomes one of 14 countries to sign an agreement with the U.S. under which they agree not to send each other’s nationals to an international criminal court.

: India and the U.S. hold the seventh in a series of Executive Steering Group (ESG) meetings in Honolulu, Hawaii to plan further defense cooperation.

: Militants storm Raghunath Temple in Jammu killing 12 persons and wounding 50.

: In a speech to the Confederation of Indian Industry, Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill criticizes the Indian economy as “most restrictive” by several “various indices” and said lack of “good governance, corruption, and bribery are widespread, frightening away honest businessmen and investors.”

: India and China conduct the 14th joint working group meeting on their border dispute.

: The U.S. pledges $120 million over five years to combat HIV/AIDS in India.
Nov. 7, 2002: Alan Larsen, U.S. under secretary for economic, business and agricultural affairs, initiates the U.S.-India economic dialogue on finance, trade, commerce, and energy as well as cooperation in curbing money laundering and combating terror funding.
Nov. 12-13, 2002: The U.S. and India agree to establish a joint “high technology cooperation group” following Under Secretary for Commerce Kenneth I. Juster’s talks in New Delhi.

: PM Vajpayee visits Laos, which is set to become ASEAN’s “country coordinator” for India beginning in June 2003. India announces plans to establish and information technology center in Laos. Agreements are signed on drug trafficking, defense, visa exemptions for official passport holders, and a $10 million credit line for Laotian infrastructure development.

: The inaugural ASEAN-India summit is held in Cambodia.

: U.S. Special Envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad travels to New Delhi for discussions about the situation in Afghanistan.

: Under Secretary for Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky and Foreign Secretary Kanwal Sibal hold the first U.S.-India “global issues forum.”

: Director of State Department’s Policy Planning Staff Richard Haass consults with Indian officials in New Delhi.

: U.S. Ambassador Robert Blackwill delivers a strong critique of India’s economy in a speech to the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

: U.S. and Indian Air Forces hold joint exercise Cope India 02 near Agra.

: India’s CCS decides to pull back troops from positions along the international border with Pakistan.

: State Department spokesman Richard Boucher calls Jammu and Kashmir elections “successful” and “credible,” but characterizes them as “the first step in a broader process” and calls for “an early resumption of diplomatic dialogue [between India and Pakistan] on all outstanding issues…” The statement also “welcome[s] the Indian government’s commitment to begin a dialogue with the people of Jammu and
Kashmir and…hope[s] this dialogue will address improvements in governance
and human rights.”

: India’s Finance Minister Jaswant Singh says that each country has the right to take preemptive action to protect itself.

: U.S. and India conduct the fourth in the “Malabar” series of naval exercises – the previous three were held before U.S. sanctions were imposed on India after its 1998 nuclear tests.

: U.S. and Indian air forces begin two-week exercise code-named Geronimo Thrust in Alaska – their first joint exercise in 40 years.

: U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Non-Proliferation John Wolf and India’s Joint Secretary for Disarmament S.K. Sharma hold talks on nonproliferation in New Delhi. The U.S. “expressed its readiness to broaden relations in civilian space cooperation” and “[t]he two sides also exchanged views on civilian nuclear cooperation. To this end, the two sides identified proposals which could be
operationalized in the near term” according to a joint statement.

: President Bush releases The National Security Strategy of the United States of America in which he calls for a transformation of bilateral relations with India but notes differences over India’s nuclear and missile programs, and the pace of India’s economic reforms.

: Elections take place in Jammu and Kashmir. Over 800 are killed during the period, and overall election turnout is estimated at 44 percent.

: PM Vajpayee and Japan’s PM Koizumi Junichiro meet on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly annual meeting in New York.

: PM Vajpayee visits U.S. for Sept. 11 memorial, the United Nations General Assembly meeting, and consultations with President Bush.

: Secretary of State Powell and Indian Minister of External Affairs Singh meet in Washington to prepare for PM Vajpayee’s upcoming trip to the U.S. Secretary Powell reiterates warning against Pakistan interference in scheduled Jammu and Kashmir elections.

: Indian Navy chief Adm. Madhvendra Singh visits Washington for talks with U.S. officials. He describes U.S.-Indian defense ties as “developing day by day.”

: Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage arrives in India for talks with Indian officials.

: India’s FM Sinha and Japan’s FM Kawaguchi meet on the sidelines of ASEAN Regional Forum and ASEAN Post-Ministerial Conference meetings in Brunei.

: Secretary of State Powell visits India and then Pakistan. In India he says “[w]e look forward to concrete steps by India to foster Kashmiri confidence in the election process. Permitting election observers and freeing political prisoners would be helpful.”

: The Washington Post reports that the State Department opposes the sale by Israel of the Arrow weapon system, which allows Israel to defend against short-range and medium-range ballistic missiles, to India.

: Assistant Secretary of State Rocca says the U.S. does not favor a plebiscite in disputed Kashmir – a position long-held by India. An Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson responds that “The statement from Washington vindicates our stand.”

: U.S. and India hold fifth meeting of the Joint Working Group on Terrorism.

: India’s new foreign secretary Kanwal Sibal, in a speech to the Confederation of Indian Industry, harshly criticizes Washington for exaggerating the threat of nuclear war, issuing travel warnings to India, and rewarding Pakistan despite its sponsorship of terrorism.

:   Defense Minister George Fernandes visits Japan for meetings with FM  Kawaguchi Yoriko.

: India’s Ambassador to Japan rejects Japan Defense Agency chief’s request to India to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

: India’s Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) decides to study the possibility of U.S. technical assistance on electronic sensors along Kashmir’s Line of Control (LoC) to monitor cross-border infiltration. The CCS rejects the start of a dialogue with Pakistan on Kashmir until infiltration ceases, and reiterates that foreign troops will not be allowed to patrol the LoC.

: Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in India says that “We feel that there are steps being taken which are constructive and I must say that the leadership here in India has demonstrated their concern and their interest in seeing that things are resolved in an appropriate way.” He also says there is no proof of al-Qaeda presence in Kashmir – rejecting Indian suggestions to the contrary.

: Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, in New Delhi after a visit to Islamabad, says that “President Musharraf clearly told me he is intent on doing everything he can to avoid a war consistent with the honor and dignity of Pakistan…The
commitment to the United States
[emphasis added] of President Musharraf was to end permanently cross-border, cross-LoC [line of control] infiltration.”

: Indian PM Vajpayee, in Almaty, Kazakhstan for the 16-nation Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia, and responding to Washington’s call for de-escalatory steps, says that “[India] have repeatedly said that we are willing to discuss all issues with Pakistan, including Jammu and Kashmir, but for that, cross-border terrorism has to end.”

: National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice says, “We take the assurances and the commitments that President Musharraf made, not just to the President but in an open speech, that they would end activity across the Line of Control from the territory of Pakistan [and] they would deal with the infrastructure of terrorism. We take those quite seriously, expect them to be fulfilled. We expect the Indian Government to recognize that war will help no one here…And we recognize the statesman-like stance that India has taken in recent months, starting with the attack on Indian Parliament.”

: India’s Defense Secretary Yogendra Narain and U.S. Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith hold annual Defense Policy Group (DPG) talks aimed at increasing U.S.-India military cooperation. Agreement is reached to conduct a joint study of India’s missile defense needs.

: India, “for the sake of parity of representation,” orders Pakistan High Commissioner in New Delhi to return to Islamabad.

: Home Minister Advani, speaking in Parliament, expresses “deep disappointment” over what he says is Washington’s “encouragement” to Pakistan by making it a key ally in the international war against terrorism.

: An attack in Kashmir on a bus and Indian army camp kills nearly 40 persons hours after U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Christina Rocca arrives in India.

: U.S. Special Operations Forces and Indian paratroopers hold the largest-ever joint army and air exercises called Balance Iroquois near Agra.

: Assistant Secretary of State Rocca affirms that “non-proliferation remains an important item on our bilateral agenda…”

:  At a ceremony to release respective commemorative stamps of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations, Japan’s ambassador to India says, “Both India and Japan are more than well qualified for a seat in the enlarged [United Nations] Security Council.”

: India purchases its first major U.S. weapons system in decades when agreement is reached to buy eight AN/TPQ-37 counter-battery artillery radar sets and related equipment valued at $146 million.

:  PM Vajpayee visits Cambodia. India offers to send a judge to serve on a tribunal for the possible trial of Khmer Rouge leaders if the United Nations decided not to take part in the tribunal. India also reaffirmed its commitment to the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation program – an infrastructure development project between Laos, Cambodia, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, and India established in 2000. India and Cambodia also sign agreements on direct flights between the two countries, renovation of Ta Prohm temple in Angkor Wat, and visa exemptions for diplomatic and official passport holders.

: The first ever private undersea cable between India and Singapore is commissioned.

:  PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee visits Singapore. India and Singapore sign two Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) for cooperation in the telecommunications and culture sectors and agree to establish a Joint Study Group (JSG) to explore an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) that would cover trade as well as intellectual property, customs cooperation, and the financial sector.

:  India, Burma, and Thailand hold their first trilateral talks on trade, tourism, and a proposal for building of a highway linking the three countries.

:   External Affairs Minister Singh visits South Korea.

:  Indonesian President Megawarti Sukarnoputri visits India. Memoranda of Understanding on cooperation in peaceful uses of outer space, visa exemption for diplomatic and official passport holders, and a vocational center for the construction sector are signed. India and Indonesia also sign an agreement for New Delhi to build a railway line and a port terminal in South Sumtra in exchange for coal, timber, and crude oil.  Several private sector business agreements are also signed on projects ranging from vegetable oil to computers.

: External Affairs Minister Singh visits China. Agreement is reached to activate a joint working group on economic and trade relations and establish a first-ever counterterrorism dialogue.

: India and China launch the first direct commercial airline route between the two countries.

: The Singapore and Indian navies begin their annual anti-submarine warfare exercise – the ninth in a series of exercises between the two navies since 1993.

:  PM Thaksin Shinawatra of Thailand visits India.

: The 4th ASEAN-India Joint Consultative Committee meeting is held.

: The India-U.S. Joint Working Group on Counterterrorism meets for the fourth time.

: India tests the Agni II missile a day after the departure from India of Li Peng.

: Secretary of State Powell travels to India for discussions with Indian leadership.

: Indian Defense Minister Fernandes meets Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld in Washington and signs a bilateral general security of military information agreement (GSOMIA), paving the way for greater defense and technology cooperation.

: China’s Premier Zhu Rongji visits India. Zhu’s visit follows a 10-year gap since the last Chinese premier’s visit. India and China agree to establish a bilateral dialogue mechanism against terrorism, to accelerate the process of clarification and confirmation of the Line of Actual Control, and dedicate the seventh meeting of the ministerial level Joint Economic Group to strengthening trade and economic cooperation. Six MOUs and agreements are signed relating to science and technology, cooperation in outer space, tourism, phytosanitary measures, and supply of hydrological data by China to India regarding the Brahmaputra river during the flood season.

: Indian Home Minister L. K. Advani meets President Bush in Washington. He says he has “a measure of assurance” that the American government will stand by its promises to oppose terrorism against India.

: PM Vajpayee becomes the second Indian leader to visit Japan in a decade. His first stop is Osaka, where he asserts that India offers a “congenial atmosphere” for foreign investment. India and Japan agree to hold a dialogue on counterterrorism in the framework of their Comprehensive Security Dialogue.

January 2002-December 2002

January 2001-December 2001

: India-Japan 21st Century Eminent Persons’ Group meets for the second time to draw up a proposed list of cooperative activities for the two governments to consider. Among the proposed activities are regular talks on the safety of regional sea lanes and joint infrastructure development.

: At the Seventh ASEAN Summit held in Brunei Darussalaam, ASEAN decides to upgrade its relations with India to the summit level.

: Japan announces that it will “discontinue the measures on India and Pakistan taken in May 1998” in response to their countries nuclear tests. India is now eligible for grant aid and yen loans for new projects as well as Japanese support for loans by multinational development banks.

: Singapore Telecommunications and India’s Bharati Enterprises announce plans to build India’s first fiber-optic undersea cable linking Singapore to the Indian coastal cities of Mumbai and Chennai.

: External Affairs Minister Singh telephones Chinese foreign minister to discuss cooperation following Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States.

:   PM Vajpayee visits Singapore.

: India announces plans to establish a strategic command in its Andman and Nicobar Islands.

: Army Chief Gen. Padmanabhan becomes the first Indian army chief to visit Japan.

: The Eighth Meeting of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) is held in Hanoi, Vietnam. India, represented by former Minister of Defense K.C. Pant, proposes that trade ministers from India and Southeast Asia should hold an annual meeting to boost economic cooperation.

: India and Japan hold security and defense discussions as part of their efforts to establish a regular dialogue. Subjects of discussion included participation in each other’s military exercises, studies in the areas of defense and security, and disaster relief, and search and rescue operations.

: The BBC reports that at least 50 Burmaese soldiers are killed in heavy fighting with separatist Indian rebels inside Burma.

:   Indian and Japanese coast guard ships conduct joint anti-piracy exercises.

:   India and Burma begin a joint military offensive on the bases of three rebel groups in India’s northeast.

:   PM Vajpayee is the first Indian leader to visit Malaysia in six years.

: One of India’s largest listed software firms, Satyam Computer Services, which has an estimated market capitalization of $4 billion (S$7.26 billion), officially opens its Asia-Pacific headquarters in Singapore.

: Japan announces that it will extend official development assistance for two ongoing Indian infrastructure projects. However, measures prohibiting loans for new projects in response to India’s 1998 nuclear tests will remain in place.

: India, as host of the International Fleet Review, a four-day maritime exercise, calls for a joint action by Asian naval powers to combat growing piracy, drug trafficking, and gun-running in the region’s troubled sea lanes.

:  India’s External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh visits Burma, the first senior Indian official to do so since PM Rajiv Gandhi visited in 1987 and since the crackdown on democracy in Burma in 1990.

: India and China hold a second round of talks on regional security as part of an effort to maintain an institutionalized and regular dialogue.

: India grants refugee status to the 17th Karmapa Lama, a youth who is one of the holiest figures in Tibetan Buddhism, more than a year after he fled from his homeland. China warns India not to let the Karmapa Lama engage in political activities.

: PM Vajpayee’s scheduled visits to Malaysia and Japan are postponed due to the Gujarat earthquake on Jan. 26, 2001.

:   PM Vajpayee visits Indonesia where he signs five notable agreements on defense cooperation, the establishment of a Joint Commission, science and technology, cultural exchange, and agricultural cooperation.

: Former Premier and Chairman of the National People’s Congress Li Peng is the highest ranking Chinese official to visit India since President Jiang Zemin in 1996 and New Delhi’s nuclear tests in May 1998. The two sides agreed to form India-China Parliamentary Friendship Groups in their Parliaments.

: Indian Prime Minister (PM) Atal Behari Vajpayee becomes the first Indian leader to visit Vietnam since 1994.

: India’s Navy announces plans to set up a Far Eastern Naval Command based in the Andaman and Nicobar islands.

: Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue says that “China’s development does not constitute any threat to any country including India.  We are confident that India’s development, similarly, does not constitute a threat to China.”  

: India cautiously welcomes a pledge by China to enforce strict export controls against missile proliferation.

: Burma’s Gen. Maung Aye, vice chairman of the State Peace and Development Council, receives a “red carpet” welcome during a visit to India.

: India and the PRC hold the eighth round of Expert Group (EG) talks on their border dispute and agree to accelerate the talks on the clarification of their disputed border, the LAC.  Both sides exchange maps of the middle sector of the disputed border.

: Inaugural meeting of the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC) grouping takes place in Laos and issues the “Vientiane Declaration” regarding tourism, transportation, cultural, and information exchanges among India, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.

: Indian President K.R. Narayanan is the first Indian president in 30 years to visit Singapore. Singapore’s Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong says that Singapore would propose, “without being aggressive,” that India become one of ASEAN’s four summit partners along with Japan, China, and South Korea.

: India’s External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh visits Vietnam and Laos. Vietnam offers support to India’s candidacy for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council and bid for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation membership.

: After completing his one-day visit of border posts, Indian Defense Minister George Fernandes says that “[o]ur border with China is well protected and well guarded and there is no need for any concern. We need to improve infrastructure and roads along the border with China.”

: Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhu Bangzao rejects Indian allegations about Chinese incursions across the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

: Chief minister of the Indian state Arunachal Pradesh, Mukut Mithi, suggests that Chinese forces inadvertently may be crossing the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between the two countries.

: Indian Union Minister for Labour Dr. Satyanarayan Jatya states that India and China will work toward a joint strategy to oppose any link between labor standards and trade issues in the World Trade Organization.

Date Range