Japan - China
Chronology from Jan 2008 to Mar 2008
: Vice Minister of Defense Masuda Kohei visits Beijing.
: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao pays a working visit to Laos and takes part in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Summit in Vientiane. Wen meets Lao President Choummaly Saygnasone to discuss closer cooperation in the economic sector.
: Wu Hongbo, Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister, visits Brunei to attend the 14th China-ASEAN Senior Officials’ Consultation. The meeting seeks to implement the consensus reached at the 2007 summit held between both sides and strengthen their strategic partnership. Additionally, the meeting provides a platform to further exchange views on jointly implementing follow-up actions to the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea.
: Japan’s National Institute for Defense Studies releases East Asia Strategic Review 2008.
: Finance Ministers Nukaga and Xie meet in Tokyo to discuss regional and global issues and bilateral cooperation.
: Qin Guangrong, governor of Yunnan province, presides over the opening ceremony of the new trans-national highway linking Kunming city in southwest Yunnan to Bangkok, cutting total travel time by half to approximately 20 hours. Xinhua News reports that nearly $400 billion worth of cargo will be transported each year via this new linkage between China, the Greater Mekong area, and Southeast Asia.
: PM Fukuda expresses concern over developments in Tibet and his hope that Beijing and the demonstrators will conduct themselves in a calm and appropriate manner.
: Vice FM Yabunaka, addressing unrest in Tibet and Hu visit, says riots have little do to with the Hu visit.
: Ministry of Defense Director of Defense Policy Bureau Takamizawa Nobushige discusses Taiwan contingency with LDP’s Security Research Council.
: The Chinese Academy of Military Science holds senior level gathering of military officials and scholars from Southeast Asia to discuss current trends in military modernization, regional security issues, and confidence-building measures.
: Cabinet Liaison Conference on food safety meets in Tokyo as reports circulate of China’s failure to provide requested information and documentation regarding the gyoza issue.
: Malaysia’s Public Bank announces the launch of the PB China-ASEAN Equity Fund (PBCAEF), which will invest in Chinese stocks listed in China, Hong Kong, the U.S., and other approved markets to capitalize on rapid economic growth in China and Southeast Asian countries.
: China’s National People’s Congress opens in Beijing. Premier Wen’s work report touched on issues related to food safety.
: China releases $45 billion 2008 defense budget.
: The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosts the 9th China-ASEAN Joint Cooperation Committee in Chongqing. Senior officials from the ASEAN secretariat and member states as well as representatives from 11 governmental ministries in China attend.
: Fukuda Cabinet adopts basic plan on ocean policy.
: Visit of China’s Director of the General Administration of Quality, Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine is postponed.
: The China-ASEAN Business Council announces that China and ASEAN have become each other’s fourth largest trading partner. Total two-way trade stood at $202.5 billion in 2007, a 26 percent increase from the previous year.
: The Cambodian Investment Board (CIB) announces that China, Thailand, and South Korea are the top three foreign investing countries in Cambodia in 2007. The CIB approved a total of $51 million of registered capital and over $461 million of fixed assets for Chinese investors last year.
: Liu Jianchao, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, clarifies China’s position toward Myanmar at a public press conference. Liu explains that China pursues a “good-neighborly and friendly” policy, and that it will continue to call for “peace and reconciliation” in Myanmar.
: Japan’s Chief of the Self-Defense Forces Saito Takashi visits China.
: Investigators meet in Beijing to discuss contaminated gyoza issue.
: Vice FM Yabunaka Mitoji visits China meets with Vice Minister Wang Yi to discuss resolution of East China Sea issues.
: The Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region unveils the “Guangxi Beibu Bay Economic Zone Development Plan,” which will create a new regional logistics base, as well as a trade processing and manufacturing center between southern China and neighboring ASEAN countries, including Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand.
: LDP Special Committee on Ocean Policy meets to discuss government’s draft plan on ocean policy.
: Japanese and Chinese police officials meet in Tokyo to exchange information on the contaminated gyoza issue.
: State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan visits Japan to advance visit of President Hu and meets PM Fukuda and FM Komura on Feb. 21.
: Ibrahim Gambari, UN envoy for Myanmar, is in Beijing to meet senior Chinese officials, where he expresses concern that the Myanmar government is delaying approval for his visit to Myanmar in late April. At the conclusion of his consultations in Beijing, however, Gambari mentions that he has received “encouragement” from Beijing that Myanmar “may move up” the date of his visit.
: Luo Haocai, vice chairperson of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), visits Jakarta. Luo meets Agung Laksono, speaker of the Indonesian Parliament, to discuss the Beijing Olympics and cooperation in investment and trade.
: Toyota Motor Corp. President Watanabe Katsuaki announces plans to build new plants in China and India.
: Financial Services Minister Watanabe Yoshimi welcomes Chinese sovereign wealth fund investment in Japan.
: Qin Guangrong, vice governor of China’s southwestern province of Yunnan, announces that the provincial government is on schedule to complete four main international railways by 2009, linking Yunnan to Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. The project will improve regional trade and transport efficiency.
: Finance Ministers Nukaga Fukushiro and Xie Xuren meet and agree not to allow gyoza controversy to impair development of bilateral relations.
: FM Komura calls attention to China’s military build-up and lack of transparency in an address at the Munich Conference on Security Policy.
: Japanese inspection team travels to China to visit Tianyang gyoza factory.
: Tokyo police arrest three Chinese and one Japanese in connection with amphetamine smuggling.
: China sends expert team to Japan to discuss contaminated gyoza issue.
: Yang Jiechi visits Brunei and meets Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah. The sultan notes that Brunei attaches great importance to its stable relations with China, regarding it as one of the most important bilateral ties. They agree to strengthen cooperation on energy security, agriculture, tourism, and infrastructure development.
: Yang Jiechi, Chinese foreign minister, visits Cambodia for an official three-day visit to mark the 50th anniversary of Sino-Cambodian diplomatic relations. Yang meets King Norodom Sihamoni and Hun Sen, Cambodian prime minister. The two sides agree to establish 2008 as the “Sino-Cambodian Friendship Year,” to elevate bilateral cooperation on the Mekong River regional economic development, to increase consultation in such multilateral fora as the UN, ASEAN, and the East Asia Summit (EAS), and to broaden people-to-people exchanges.
: Wen Jiabao, Chinese premier, sends an official note of congratulations to Samak Sundaravej, newly elected Thai prime minister, and seeks to deepen the strategic partnership between China and Thailand.
: Deputy Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei meets FM Komura in Tokyo to discuss food safety and contaminated gyoza issue.
: Japan, China, Korea Policy Forum holds its first meeting in Tokyo. Former Prime Minister Nakasone Yasuhio and Chinese and Korean ambassadors attend.
: The second round of the China-Vietnam Steering Committee on Cooperation is convened in Beijing by Tang Jiaxuan and Pham Gia Khiem, Vietnamese deputy prime minister, in Beijing. The two sides agree to better handle the South China Sea disputes, maintain frequent senior-level exchanges, cooperate on cross-border crime, and promote cultural ties, among other things.
: Chinese internet service Baidu.com begins offering service in Japanese.
: Vice Minister of Defense Masuda Kohei visits Malaysia.
: U Myint Maung, special envoy of the Myanmar prime minister, visits Beijing and briefs State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan on the latest political situation in Myanmar, including plans for national reconciliation. Tang conveys Beijing’s concern with political stability and economic development in Myanmar and calls for greater consultation between all concerned parties within Myanmar.
: FM Komura in a speech to the Diet defines policy toward China as pursuing “a mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic interests.”
: Chinese youths injured by chemical weapons abandoned in China by the Imperial Army sue Japanese government seeking ¥66 million in compensation.
: Foreign Minister Komura Masahiko hosts Japan-Mekong Ministerial Meeting; Japan pledges $6 billion aid package.
: Japanese Consul General in Shanghai, after visiting Nanjing Memorial Museum, expresses concern that exhibits could give rise to anti-Japanese feelings.
: He Luli, vice chairperson of the Standing Committee of the NPC, concludes her five-day official visit to Myanmar, where she meets senior officials at the State Peace and Development Council to discuss bilateral political, economic, and cultural ties.
: Cao Gangchuan, vice chairperson of the Central Military Commission and defense minister, visits Brunei, Indonesia, and Saudi Arabia. In Brunei, Cao pays a courtesy call to Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah and discusses current relations between the two armed forces. In Indonesia, Cao meets his Indonesian counterpart, Juwono Sudarsono. The two ministers agree to set up a working committee to explore prospects for expanding bilateral military ties, including cooperation in manufacturing defense equipment and training of military personnel.
: Wang Jiarui, chairperson of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, meets Jose De Venecia, speaker of the Philippine House of Representatives in Beijing. The two exchange views on promoting closer relations between the two countries’ main political parties. De Venecia also meets Wu Bangguo, chairperson of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress.
: Japanese military attaché in Beijing questioned by Chinese police following visit to massage parlor.
: Vietnamese officials dispatch riot police forces to contain rallies held close to Chinese diplomatic missions in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Similar anti-Chinese protests were held last December over the disputed Spratly and Paracel Islands.
: Tokyo Governor Ishihara Shintaro invited to Beijing Olympics.
: Ma Xiaotian, deputy chief of general staff of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), meets Chiang Chie Foo, Singapore’s Permanent Secretary of Defense, for the first China-Singapore defense dialogue in Beijing to discuss developments between the two militaries. They sign an agreement on search and rescue and humanitarian cooperation and agree to hold regular military and security-related seminars.
: Chinese author Yang Yi nominated for Akutagawa literary prize given to new fiction authors writing in Japanese.
: Japan-China Joint Commission on the Study of History meets in Beijing.
: Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo visits Isei Shrine.