: HMS Queen Elizabeth docks at the Yokosuka naval base, the first first port call in Japan by a British aircraft carrier.
: China’s special envoy for Asian affairs wraps up week-long, unannounced visit to Myanmar.
: US finishes withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, concluding the two-decade war.
: India holds first formal meeting with Taliban political representatives in Qatar.
: China says it opposes politicization of origins-tracing efforts or shifting blame of the COVID-19 pandemic.
: UN nuclear watchdog says it has detected “deeply troubling” indications of Yongbyon nuclear reactor operating since July, including the release of cooling water. The White House reacts to the news by stressing the “urgent need” for dialogue and diplomacy, while 38 North publishes additional evidence of the Yongbyon 5 MWe reactor’s activation, namely “a discharge of cooling water into a new outflow channel.”
: Taiwan’s government launches English-language content platform called TaiwanPlus for the world to discover Taiwan.
: North Korea appears to resume nuclear activities that are linked to the production of nuclear weapons.
: Lawmakers from Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party pledge to support Taiwan’s addition to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership during first-of-their-kind security talks with parliamentarians from Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party.
: Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd and Coast Guard National Security Cutter USCG Munro pass through the Taiwan Strait, marking the eighth transit of the waters this year by a US warship.
: China protests the passage of a US Navy warship and Coast Guard cutter through the Strait of Taiwan.
: The first-ever Taiwan-Japan security talks take place, largely focusing on Taiwanese chip makers’ potential investment in Japan.
: Navies from the US, Japan, Australia, and India begin annual Malabar maritime exercises.
: China decries the US politicization of efforts to trace the origin of the virus ahead of the release of a US intelligence report.
: While meeting with President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc in Vietnam, VP Harris urges countries in the region to apply more pressure on China.
: China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Y-20 transport plane arrives in Vietnam to deliver 200,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
: While in Singapore Harris sharply criticizes China’s actions in the South China Sea and insists the Indo-Pacific Strategy is “not against any one country.”
: VP Harris’ reaffirms “the United States’ commitment to working with our allies and partners around the Indo-Pacific to uphold the rules-based international order and freedom of navigation, including in the South China Sea” during a joint press conference with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
: VP Harris arrives in Singapore, at the start of a short trip to Southeast Asia.
: US Vice President Kamala Harris’s begins trip to Singapore and Vietnam to show that the United States is in the region “to stay.”
: China’s State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi says that Afghanistan should not be used as a geopolitical battleground by the international community.
: Four student union leaders at the University of Hong Kong are arrested on suspicion of “advocating terrorism.”
: Japan’s defense ministry announces that it will seek a fiscal 2022 budget of more than ¥5.4 trillion ($49.3 billion) that could surpass the longstanding cap of 1%.
: Taiwan would not collapse like Afghanistan in the event of an attack, Premier Su Tseng-chang says on Tuesday.
: South Korea and the US start annual joint military training amid North Korea’s strong protest and threats of a serious security crisis.
: 400,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine that the US agreed to provide arrive in South Korea on Sunday, according to the US Embassy in Seoul.
: US evacuates embassy in Kabul as Taliban seizes control of the Afghani capital.
: South Korean navy commissioned its first domestically built submarine capable of launching ballistic missiles to hunt North Korean boats.
: Senior diplomats from the US, Japan, India and Australia hold another round of talks, as the Quad continues to grow closer in the face of an increasingly assertive Beijing.
: Chinese court in Dandong sentences a Canadian citizen to 11 years on a charge of espionage.
: China and Myanmar announce that they will continue to deepen bilateral economic relations. China announces that it will transfer over $6 million to Myanmar to support nearly two dozen development projects in the country.
: China’s Director-General of the Department of Asian Affairs of the Foreign Ministry Liu Jinsong meets Nepalese Ambassador to China Mahendra Bahadur Pandey.
: China said the United States is not qualified to make irresponsible remarks on the issue of the South China Sea during a UN Security Council meeting on maritime security.
: China and Russia conduct strategic exercise “West·Coordination-2021” in northwestern China.
: Nagasaki commemorates the 76th anniversary of its destruction by a US atomic bomb, with the mayor advocating to build on a new global nuclear ban treaty.
: Secretary Blinken says the US is willing to consider different “options” and “possibilities” with North Korea and calls for Pyongyang’s return to dialogue, even as a State Department official confirms that no contact between US and North Korean representatives took place as the ASEAN Regional Forum.
: South Korea decides to conduct military exercise with the US as planned despite North Korea’s warning not to proceed.
: President Biden offers temporary ‘safe haven’ to Hong Kong residents in the US.
: ASEAN appoints Erywan Yusof, one of Brunei’s top diplomats, as special envoy to Myanmar.
: Defense Security Cooperation Agency announces that the State Department has approved the sale of a new arms package to Taiwan. The package features 40 155mm M109A6 Medium Self-Propelled Howitzer Systems, among other equipment.
: India deploys a naval task force to the South China Sea this month to expand security ties with friendly countries, signaling its intent to play a bigger role in the region.
: Foreign ministers of Japan and ASEAN agree on the importance of freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.
: Secretary Blinken initiates “strategic dialogue” between the US and Indonesia at talks in Washington with Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi.
: State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attends the ASEAN-China Ministerial Meeting via video link.
: US, Japan, Australia, and UK begin US-led Large Scale Global Exercise 21.
: Germany dispatches a warship for a six-month deployment that will include a transit of the South China Sea for the first time in two decades.
: Secretary Blinken participates virtually in five virtual ASEAN-related ministerial meetings: U.S.-ASEAN, East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), Mekong-U.S. Partnership, and Friends of the Mekong ministerial meetings.
: Kim Yo Jong, the sister of Kim Jong Un, warns that US-South Korea joint military exercise will damage the resolve of the two Koreas to rebuild relations.
: Myanmar’s military ruler Min Aung Hlaing promises new multi-party elections and says his government is ready to work with any special envoy from the ASEAN.
: New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern issues a somber state apology to the Pacific Islander community for racially targeted immigration raids in the 1970s.
: Philippines President Duterte announces decision to restore the Visiting Forces Agreement with the US. The agreement would continue to allow the rotation of thousands of US troops in and out of the Philippines for military exercises. The decision is announced during US Secretary of Defense Austin’s visit to Manila.
: Shanghai Cooperation Organization defense ministers hold their annual meeting in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
: US destroyer USS Benfold, transits the Taiwan Strait.
: China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee takes first steps toward imposing an anti-sanctions law on Hong Kong.
: Taiwan authorities announce they are investigating a former deputy defense minister and several other serving and retired military officers over contacts with China.
: Secretary of Defense Austin says that the US seeks no confrontation with China but “will not flinch” during his visit in Singapore.
: Samoa’s 1st female prime minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa takes office after her predecessor Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi had been reluctant to relinquish his power.
: President Biden warns that the US could end up in a “real shooting war” with a “major power” as the result of a significant cyber-attack on the country.
: Secretary of Defense Austin says during a speech in Singapore that China’s claims over the Taiwan Strait have no basis in international law, and that the US will enhance its capabilities to deter China, consistent with its commitments under the Taiwan Relations Act and the US one-China policy.
: China hands the US a list of grievances and a list of red line issues but agreed to maintain communication with Washington.
: Opening ceremonies for the Summer Olympics are held in Tokyo.
: China retaliates against the July 16 US imposition of financial sanctions on officials in the Liaison Office of the Hong Kong government, imposing sanctions on seven US individuals and an entity, including former Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.
: Chinese government offers indirect thank you to Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen for her message of concern over devastating floods in the Chinese province of Henan.
: Deputy Secretary of State Sherman meets Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Mori Takeo and Republic of Korea First Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong Kun today in Tokyo.
: Russian tanks are deployed near the Afghan-Tajik border ahead of military exercises next month and Moscow announced more drills in neighboring Uzbekistan.
: China’s President Xi tells Mongolian president that the neighbors should “support each other’s core interests and major concerns” ahead of a US official’s visit.
: Department of Justice charges four Chinese nationals who allegedly work for the Hainan State Security Department, a provincial arm of the Ministry of State Security, with hacking the computer systems of dozens of companies, universities, and government entities in the US and abroad between 2011 and 2018.
: South Korea summons the Japanese ambassador over “undiplomatic” remarks about President Moon Jae-in and the possibility of a summit during the Tokyo Olympics.
: Treasury Department adds seven people from China’s Hong Kong Liaison office to its “specially designated nationals list.”
: APEC leaders issue a statement that extensive COVID-19 immunization is a global public good and accelerating access to vaccines is essential to overcoming the pandemic.
: Chinese President Xi’s remarks at the APEC Informal Economic Leaders’ Retreat highlight China’s vaccine diplomacy and contributions to the Global South, as well as China’s commitment to strengthening regional and global trade and economic recovery through such trade initiatives as RCEP.
: Departments of State, Treasury, Commerce, and Homeland Security issue a business advisory to warn US businesses of risks to their activities in Hong Kong and encourage due diligence to mitigate such risks.
: India and China agree to seek mutually acceptable solution to Western Himalayas border problem.
: Manila accuses Chinese fishing boats and trawlers of dumping raw sewage on coral reefs in the South China Sea.
: Japan’s 2021 defense white paper is released, devoting three times as much coverage to China than to the United States in outlining the defense programs of various nations.
: Secretary Blinken meets with ASEAN counterparts and reiterated Washington’s position that it will not accept China’s claims in the South China Sea.
: New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern chairs an informal meeting of leaders from countries in the Asia-Pacific trade group APEC to discuss COVID-19 pandemic.
: Taiwan’s Foxconn and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co say they have reached deals to purchase 10 million doses of Germany’s BioNTech’s SE’s COVID-19 vaccine.
: China’s military says it “drove away” a US warship that illegally entered Chinese waters near the Paracel Islands.
: Vietnam receives 2 million COVID-19 vaccines donated by the US government as it battles its worst outbreak of the pandemic.
: Bangladesh has secured deals for 17.5 million more COVID-19 vaccines from the Covax international alliance and China.
: The US government adds 14 Chinese companies and other entities to its economic black list over alleged human rights abuse and high-tech surveillance in Xinjiang.
: North Korea rejects planned shipments of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine that were being organized under the Covax distribution scheme due to concerns over side effects.
: Amid growing suspicions that the COVID-19 pandemic began with a lab leak in China, a group of renowned international scientists say that coronavirus most likely came from animals rather than a laboratory leak.
: Taiwan asks the US not to cause “unnecessary speculation or misunderstanding” after the White House deleted a social media post on COVID-19 vaccine donations that included the ROC flag.
: //www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/us-envoy-for-north-korea-speaks-with-chinese-counterpart">rejection of efforts to establish a dialogue with the Biden administration.
: Russian FM Lavrov says ASEAN’s Five Point Consensus should be the basis to end the political crisis in Myanmar.
: Deputy Prime Minister Aso Taro states that if China were to invade Taiwan, the move could be interpreted as a threat to Japan’s survival, enabling the SDF to be deployed for collective self-defense under security laws enacted in 2015.
: US shortlists North Korea as a nation complicit in human trafficking and forced labor again.
: At Tiananmen Square, on the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party’s founding, Xi Jinping warns that Beijing will not tolerate foreign obstruction on the country’s path to becoming a superpower.
: Financial Times reports that the US and Japan have been conducting war games and joint military exercises in the event of a conflict with China over Taiwan.
: Taiwan and the United States hold bilateral trade talks on issues related to supply chains, market access for US pork producers, and vaccine production.
: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reprimands top ruling party officials for failures in anti-epidemic work.
: US State Department appoints Atul Keshap as Chargé d’Affaires (CDA) ad interim to replace Daniel Smith in New Delhi.
: Seoul approves plans to pursue a $2.6-billion “Korean Iron Dome” air defense artillery system to counter North Korea’s long range guns and missiles.
: President Xi Jinping and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin hold video conference for 20th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation Between the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation.
: India deploys 50,000 soldiers to the Chinese border amid a stalemate in the disengagement process in eastern Ladakh.
: Pentagon announces that the State Department approved the sale of F-15 fighter jets and two types of missiles to the Philippines.
: Japan ratifies Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
: A senior US diplomat says that Washington no longer sees Taiwan as a problem in its relations with Beijing but as an opportunity to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific.
: Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs publishes a Federal Register Notice updating its “List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor” to include polysilicon produced in China.
: Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force joins the US and Sri Lanka for the first time in the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercises.
: China convenes virtual conference on the Belt and Road Initiative with representatives from more than 30 countries and regional and international organizations.
: Russia commits to strengthening military ties with Myanmar’s junta through bilateral visits and arms deals.
: Hong Kong’s pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily announces it will print its last edition June 24.
: China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi chairs the Asia and Pacific High-level Conference on Belt and Road Cooperation via video link in Beijing.
: Singapore and Vietnam sign agreements to accelerate development of the digital economy.
: Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, USS Curtis Wilbur, sails through the Taiwan Strait.
: Myanmar junta leader Min Aung Hlaing arrives in Moscow to attend a security conference.
: Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen says he is in quarantine for 14 days and cancels scheduled talks with British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.
: Australia takes China’s anti-dumping duties on its wine imports to the World Trade Organization.
: Chinese Coast Guard 2301 fleet conducts a patrol in the territorial waters off the disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku islands, the sixth time since the beginning of 2021 such patrols have been publicly announced.
: Hong Kong police arrest pro-democracy Apple Daily newspaper’s five editors and executives under Hong Kong’s national security law.
: At the ADMM Plus meeting, China’s defense minister refers to the South China Sea as a “core interest,” saying “On issues related to Taiwan, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and the South China Sea, China is determined to safeguard the country’s core interests.”
: Draft of Japan’s Defense 2021 white paper states, for the first time, the strategic importance of Taiwan for Japan’s national security and stabilization of the international community.
: US and European leaders say they will “closely consult and cooperate on the full range of issues” as they deal with China, addressing “ongoing human rights violations in Xinjiang and Tibet; the erosion of autonomy and democratic processes in Hong Kong; economic coercion; disinformation campaigns; and regional security issues.”
: Myanmar’s opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi goes on trial for corruption charges.
: China flies 28 warplanes into Taiwan-controlled airspace, the biggest sortie of its kind since the Taiwanese government began publishing information about incursions last year.
: Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Locsin announces that Manila will further delay its decision to suspend the Visiting Forces Agreement with the US, citing tension in disputed waters in the South China Sea between the Philippines and China.
: Heads of state and government at the NATO summit release a statement noting that “China’s growing influence and international policies can present challenges that we need to address together as an Alliance” and promised to “engage China in constructive dialogue … with a view to defending the security interests of the Alliance.”
: G7 leaders pledge to donate more than 1 billion doses of COVID vaccines to help developing nations overcome the pandemic. G7 nations also issue a joint statement calling for the complete denuclearization of North Korea, welcoming the commitment of Washington to engage with Pyongyang through diplomacy, as well as a criticisms of China’s human rights abuses in Xinjiang, calls for Hong Kong to maintain a high degree of autonomy, and emphasis on the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. China denounces the statement.
: At G7 summit, leaders commit to creating an infrastructure financing mechanism to serve as an alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
: China’s legislature, the National People’s Congress, passes Anti-Foreign Sanctions Law to provide a legal foundation to counter US and EU sanctions over trade, technology, Hong Kong, and Xinjiang.
: Samoa’s leader Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi promises to build a port at Vaiusu, west of the capital Apia, with $100 million in Chinese aid.
: President Biden revokes executive orders targeting Chinese-owned TikTok and WeChat apps initiated by President Trump and signs a new order directing the Commerce Department to evaluate all software applications with potential ties to foreign adversaries including China and take action to protect data on US citizens gathered by the apps.
: Secretary of Defense Austin issues a directive to reorient the US military to better compete with Beijing. Few details are known, but its said to contribute to whole-of-government efforts to address challenges from China.
: US and Australian authorities arrest suspected organized crime figures in 18 countries as a result of the two countries’ joint operation.
: US Senate Committee on Armed Services holds a hearing entitled “The United States’ Strategic Competition with China.”
: US and Japan begin their annual Orient Shield military exercise.
: Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attends and co-chairs meetings with foreign ministers of ASEAN countries.
: As three US senators visit Taiwan, President Tsai Ing-wen expresses gratitude for the US plan to donate 750,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses to Taiwan.
: Ministers from APEC commit to work to facilitate movement of essential goods and COVID-19 vaccines.
: Hong Kong police bans vigil commemorating the crackdown of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.
: Japanese Coast Guard confirms presence of four China Coast Guard vessels in the contiguous zone off the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands; they mark a record 112 consecutive days of such intrusions.
: Suga, speaking at Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting, urges the 18 nations to unite against authoritarianism and in favor of freedom navigation in the high seas and respect for international law.
: Biden issues order banning US investment in Chinese firms that aid surveillance and repression both inside and outside China. It expands on EO13959 of Nov. 12, 2020.
: Indonesian government ends the salvage efforts to retrieve a sunken submarine that claimed 53 lives.
: Secretary Blinken has called on NATO members to deepen their cooperation with South Korea amid US efforts to reinforce cooperation between US allies.
: Cambodian Defense Minister Tea Banh announces that China will help expand and modernize Ream port, Cambodia’s largest naval base.
: Taiwan cuts water supply for chip-making hub Taichung because of drought.
: Malaysia’s foreign ministry accuses China of violating its airspace and emphasizes that national security is uncompromising.
: North Korea slams US lifting of missile restrictions on South Korea as a “stark reminder” of Washington’s hostile approach to Pyongyang, saying the recently unveiled US policy on North Korea is “just trickery.”
: Philippines lifts ban in Filipino workers traveling to Saudi Arabia for jobs.
: South Asian countries, such as Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, turn to China for vaccines for COVID-19 after India’s suspension of vaccine exports.
: Japanese and EU leaders release joint statement that “underscored the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait” and calls for “enhanced cooperation for a free and open Pacific.”
: 38 North says that North Korea appears to be continuing activities at its Yongbyon nuclear complex but no clear evidence has been detected to determine if spent fuel rods have been transferred from the storage facility to produce plutonium.
: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam propose to Liechtenstein to drop the Myanmar arms embargo.
: US and Japanese interagency representatives hold first US-Japan Global Digital Connectivity Partnership meeting.
: Shanghai Cooperation Organisation holds an online meeting of experts to prepare for the first meeting of Security Council Secretaries in Tashkent.
: US Ambassador to Indonesia Sung Kim begins work as a special representative for North Korea, speaking with his Japanese counterpart, Takehiro Funakoshi.
: Meeting between Secretary Blinken and Southeast Asian foreign ministers is rescheduled for next week due to a technical glitch on the US end.
: 16th China-Russia strategic security consultation is held in Moscow.
: Indonesian Investment Minister Bahlil Lahadalia announces that state-owned Indonesia Battery Corporation and South Korea’s LG will build a new $1.2 billion battery plant in Bekasi, Indonesia.
: President Biden meets South Korean President Moon Jae-in, the second foreign leader Biden hosts in Washington. During a joint press conference, Biden announces appointment of Sung Kim as special envoy for North Korea. Moon announces a joint decision with the US to end guidelines that restricted Seoul’s development of missiles, and an agreement to work together to build stable supply chains for semiconductors, electric vehicle batteries, and medical supplies.
: China and the Philippines hold talks on the South China Sea under a bilateral consultation mechanism set up in 2016 to address tensions in the maritime dispute. Senior officials from both sides confirm that the talks are “friendly and candid.”
: Japanese apparel companies World and Mizuno announce they will stop using Xinjiang cotton in response to allegations of human rights abuses by the Chinese government.
: Chinese military’s Southern Theatre Command says USS Curtis Wilbur illegally entered waters near the Paracel islands without permission, which violates its sovereignty and undermines regional peace and stability.
: Secretary Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov meet in Reykjavik on the sidelines of the Arctic Council meeting.
: Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin join the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of four nuclear reactors made with Russion technology via video conference.
: Prime Minister Suga and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte agree to cooperate in maintaining regional peace and stability during phone talks.
: President Joe Biden says that the United States will provide up to 80 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to other countries by the end of next month, reiterating his pledge to turn the US into an “arsenal” of vaccines for the entire world.
: US Senate passes the Endless Frontier Act 86-11. It would provide $120 billion to expand research into cutting-edge technologies to make the US more competitive with China.
: Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide and Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh have phone talks discussing China’s maritime actions and cooperation.
: For the first time, the Japanese government publicly identifies China as responsible for a cyberattack.
: Hong Kong police freeze the assets of media mogul Jimmy Lai, citing the National Security Law.
: State Department transmits its 2020 Annual Report on International Religious Freedom to Congress and announces sanctions against Chinese citizen Yu Hui, former Office Director of the “Central Leading Group on Preventing and Dealing with Heretical Religions” for his involvement in human rights violations such as the detention of Falun Gong practitioners.
: US, Japan, France, and Australia conduct joint training exercise Jeanne D’Arc 21 in Japan.
: Biden reportedly picks Rahm Emanuel, the former Chicago mayor and chief of staff to President Obama, as ambassador to Japan.
: China and Indonesia conduct a joint naval exercise off the coast of Jakarta.
: Japanese Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-young meet in London on the sidelines of the G7 foreign ministers’ summit.
: China suspends its Strategic Economic Dialogue with Australia.
: G7 foreign ministers, including those from Japan and the US, issue a joint statement warning China not to escalate cross-strait tensions with Taiwan.
: US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin suggests a new concept of integrated deterrence that calls for Japan to assume a role in the numerous chokepoints of the Nansei Islands group.
: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken calls for coordinated efforts to denuclearize North Korea at the G7 summit.
: Japanese government lodges diplomatic protest against the presence of a Chinese marine research vessel conducting unauthorized research within Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the first confirmed incursion around the Okinawa area since July 2019.
: State Department calls for Taiwan to be allowed to participate in the upcoming World Health Assembly.
: United Nations Development Program issues a report warning that turmoil and violence in Myanmar has doubled the number of people in poverty, and could force half the population into poverty by early 2022, if the situation continues unchecked. Since the coup, 11% of the population has been pushed into poverty.
: Reports of the Biden administration’s completed policy review on North Korea circulate, indicating a new path on addressing North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Few details are revealed, however.
: At the Indo-Pacific Command Change of Command, Secretary of Defense Austin, chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mark Milley and both the incoming and outgoing commanders cite the Indo-Pacific as “the priority region” for US national security interests.
: Taiwan commissions the first of a fleet of coast guard ships that can be converted into warships to bolster the defense of Taipei-controlled islands in the South China Sea.
: In a speech to a joint session of Congress, Biden states that the US is in competition with China “to win the 21st century.”
: Britain’s Royal Navy announces it will send a strike group, led by HMS Queen Elizabeth, to the Indo-Pacific next week, as it seeks to expand its presence in the region.
: A Morning Consult poll shows the US’ favorability ratings to be up in 13 out of 14 countries since Biden’s inauguration, with China the lone exception.
: Japan’s 2021 edition of its annual Diplomatic Bluebook highlights ‘strong concerns’ regarding China’s military expansion.
: Myanmar’s junta releases a statement that it will consider ASEAN’s “suggestions” in Jakarta after “stabilizing the country.”
: Following Australian Defence Minister Peter Dutton’s remark that conflict with China over Taiwan could not be “discounted,” Beijing releases a statement imploring Australia to recognize the “one-China principle.”
: At a defense and security consultation, Chinese and Vietnamese officials agree to work together to improve trust amid regional tensions regarding their territorial claims in the South China Sea.
: Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin says that Min Aung Hlaing, commander of Myanmar’s armed forces, told ASEAN leaders that he agreed that violence in his country must stop.
: Suga declares a third state of emergency in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and Hyogo due to a surge in COVID-19 cases.
: Chinese embassy in London condemns the British parliament for passing a motion declaring that Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in China’s Xinjiang region “are suffering crimes against humanity and genocide.”
: A North Korean defector group plans to send thousands of leaflets to North Korea, despite a recently enacted ban on leafleting.
: Xi Jinping delivers remarks at the US-led Leaders Summit on Climate.
: Beijing says that it will “respond firmly and forcefully” if Canberra refuses to reverse its decision to cancel two deals agreed between China and the Australian state of Victoria.
: Biden nominates Ely Ratner for Assistant Secretary of Defense, Indo-Pacific Security Affairs.
: US Senate Foreign Relations Committee passes the Strategic Competition Act.
: President Moon urges the United States to restart dialogue with North Korea at an early date during an interview with The New York Times.
: Chinese Foreign Ministry confirms that President Xi will attend the US-hosted Earth Day climate change summit.
: Seoul Central District Court rejects a compensation claim against the Japanese government by 20 individuals including survivors of wartime sex slavery, citing sovereign immunity.
: Philippine President Rodrigo Duturte says that he is prepared to send military ships in the South China Sea to stake a claim over oil and mineral resources in the disputed section of the strategic waterway.
: China’s People’s Liberation Army reportedly deploys an advanced long-range rocket launcher to the Himalayas, in a move to reinforce China’s border defense and act as a deterrent to India.
: In a joint statement following Special Envoy Kerry’s visit to Shanghai, Washington and Beijing express their commitment to working together to uphold the Paris Agreement on climate change.
: In a joint statement after a meeting, President Biden and Prime Minister Suga call for “peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and reaffirm their commitment to countering China’s “intimidation” in the East and South China seas.
: US Climate Envoy John Kerry and China Special Envoy for Climate Change Xie Zhenhua issue a joint statement addressing the Climate Crisis.
: US Treasury Department determines that Vietnam has tripped the threshold for currency manipulation but does not formally declare Hanoi a currency manipulator.
: Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister, Wu Jianghao, summons Japanese ambassador Hideo Tarumi over Tokyo’s controversial decision to release more than 1 million tons of treated water from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the ocean.
: General Bipin Rawat, the Chief of Defence Staff of the Indian Army says that China tried to wage an “undeclared war” against India through cyberattacks.
: Former US Senator Chris Dodd and Deputy Secretaries of State Richard Armitage and James Steinberg travel to Taiwan at Joe Biden’s request, in a “personal signal” of the president’s commitment to the Chinese-claimed island.
: An annual report by the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence lists China at the top of its national security threats, warning of Beijing’s efforts to realize “an epochal geopolitical shift.”
: According to Taiwan’s Defence Ministry, China’s People’s Liberation Army flew 25 warplanes into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), its largest incursion yet as tension in the Taiwan Strait continues to escalate.
: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang holds virtual dialogue with board chairmen and CEOs from the US-China Business Council and over 20 US multinational companies.
: Philippines armed forces begin two week joint exercises with hundreds of US soldiers amid growing tensions with Beijing in the South China Sea.
: Blinken blames China’s failure to provide access to global health experts for making the COVID-19 pandemic worse than it had to be.
: Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian expresses Beijing’s “deep concerns” with Japan over its planned disposal of treated radioactive water from the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant into the ocean. South Korea’s Foreign Ministry likewise expresses “grave concerns” over Japan’s decision.
: Local media reports in Myanmar state that at least 82 people were killed in one day in a crackdown by Myanmar security forces on pro-democracy protesters.
: Myanmar’s ruling military junta announce that 19 people have been sentenced to death for killing an associate of an army captain and that anti-coup protests are dwindling.
: Indo-Pacific Command moves the US carrier strike group USS Theodore Roosevelt and the amphibious ready group USS Makin Island into the South China Sea, partly in response to the presence of Chinese vessels off Whitsun Reef, a perceived threat against the maritime security of the Philippines.
: Iran releases a South Korean-flagged tanker that it seized amid a dispute over billions in frozen oil funds.
: US issues new contact guidance for US government interactions with Taiwan counterparts, though the details remain classified.
: US sends the USS Makin Island amphibious-ready group (ARG) to the disputed water of the South China Sea, bolstering Washington’s presence amid heightened tensions between Manila and Beijing regarding the presence of Chinese fishing vessels in Whitsun Reef.
: State Department spokesman Ned Price acknowledges that the Biden administration is considering a boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
: China’s Foreign Ministry requests Manila to “stop hyping up” the fleet of Chinese vessels moored in Whitsun Reef in the disputed South China Sea.
: A report on North Korean Sports Ministry website DPRK Korea states that the North Korean Olympic Committee “decided not to participate in the 32nd Olympic Games in order to protect players from the world public health crisis caused by COVID-19,” dealing a blow to both South Korean and Japanese hopes for a diplomatic breakthrough with the North at the Games.
: South Korea’s Defense Ministry rejects Japan’s renewed territorial claims over the country’s easternmost islets of Dokdo, saying Seoul does not even have to repeat explanations on the matter.
: Japan sends its naval destroyer JS Suzutsuki to “gather information and monitor the movements” of China’s carrier group, which was spotted passing the waterway between Okinawa and Miyako Island.
: Australia’s newly appointed Defense Minister Peter Dutton expresses his intention to work closely with the US and other allies in maintaining peace in the region.
: In a joint statement after a day of talks, representatives from the United States, South Korea, and Japan agree to work together to maintain pressure on North Korea to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
: Ten of Myanmar’s major rebel groups express their support for the country’s anti-coup activists.
: Myanmar anti-coup protests hold candle-lit protests and urge “guerilla strike” tactics, as internet blackout widens.
: Philippine military says that it has documented illegal man-made structures on Union Banks in the South China Sea’s Spratly Islands, near areas where hundreds of Chinese vessels massed last month.
: US Department of State releases 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights, within which China’s humanitarian practices in Xinjiang are classified as “[g]enocide and crimes against humanity.”
: US Acting Assistant Secretary of State Lisa Peterson says the US will hold North Korea accountable for its “egregious” human rights violations.
: Japanese Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu announces that Tokyo will halt any new aid in Myanmar in response to the coup orchestrated by the military junta.
: sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un criticizes South Korean President Moon Jae-in for his speech, mocking him as a “parrot” that repeats the United States’ “gangster-like logic.”
: Xi urges Sri Lanka to continue work with Beijing to develop the controversial Hambantota port, which sits along the main waterways of Asia and Europe.
: In her first week in office, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai says that a trade meeting between China and the United States will take place “when the time is right.”
: United States suspends its trade pact with Myanmar in response to the military junta’s killing of over 100 democracy protesters over the weekend.
: Blinken says China’s retaliatory sanctions in the growing dispute of Beijing’s treatment of Uyghurs are “baseless” and would only draw further attention to the “genocide” in Xinjiang.
: China announces sanctions on US and Canadian individuals and entities in retaliation for imposing sanctions on Chinese persons and entities in Xinjiang.
: Iran and China sign a 25-year strategic cooperation agreement addressing a wide variety of economic issues, including oil and mining, the promotion of industrial activity in Iran, as well as transportation and agricultural collaborations.
: Biden nominates Daniel J. Kritenbrink as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.
: World Bank announces that the economy of Myanmar has contracted by 10% since the Feb. 1 coup. Food prices have doubled, and the cost of fuel has risen by 15%.
: United States and Taiwan further strengthen maritime security ties, signing a coastguard agreement suggested to counter growing “gray zone” threats from mainland China.
: United States condemns North Korea’s ballistic missile launches as “destabilizing” actions violating UN Security Council resolutions.
: Two suicide bombers believed to be members of an Islamist militant group detonate an explosive device outside a Catholic church, killing themselves and wounding 19 others.
: North Korea fires at least one unidentified projectile into the East Sea, according to the Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff.
: South Korea convenes an emergency National Security Council (NSC) meeting on North Korea’s latest projectile launch.
: Addressing NATO headquarters in Brussels, Blinken says “nine in 10 Americans believe that maintaining our alliances is the most effective way to achieve our foreign policy goals.”
: President Biden’s nominee to lead USINDOPACOM, Admiral John Aquilino, says that Beijing’s ability to invade Taiwan is “much closer than most think.”
: Philippine Defense Minister Delfin Lorenzana calls upon the 220 Chinese vessels surrounding Whitsun Reef to withdraw, claiming they are violating the Philippines’ rights under international maritime law.
: North Korea fires off multiple short-range missiles after denouncing Washington for the joint military exercises with South Korea.
: Myanmar’s ruling military council spokesperson, Zaw Min Tun, says that the junta is cooperating with five neighboring countries and vows to stamp out “anarchy.”
: US Climate Envoy John Kerry attends the Ministerial on Climate Action, and meets with China’s Special Envoy for Climate Affairs Xie Zhenhua.
: 55-year-old businessman Mun Chol Myong, who faces money laundering charges, becomes the first North Korean citizen ever extradited to the United States.
: State Department issues a joint statement with Canada and the United Kingdom opposing China’s human rights abuses in Xinjiang.
: South Korea’s Defense Minister Suh Wook signals closer military cooperation with Tokyo in a TV interview.
: Suga lifts the state of emergency in the four remaining prefectures (Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, and Chiba).
: Philippine troops kill a leader of the Abu Sayyaf kidnap-for-ransom group, Majan Sahidjuan, and rescue four Indonesian hostages.
: Australian Foreign Minister Payne states that Australia will not trade away important principles and values simply to restart diplomatic talks with China.
: North Korea says that it will sever diplomatic relations with Malaysia for extraditing its businessman living in Malaysia to the United States.
: North Korean First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui says North Korea will continue to ignore any contact from the United States unless the US withdraws its hostile policies toward North Korea.
: President Moon says South Korea will improve strained ties with Japan to bolster trilateral security cooperation involving the United States during talks with Blinken and Austin.
: During a trip to Seoul, Secretary Blinken calls on China to use its influence in Pyongyang to help pressure it into abandoning its nuclear program.
: Chinese Politburo member Yang Jiechi and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi hold meetings with Secretary Blinken and US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan in Anchorage, Alaska. In a fiery round of opening statements, Blinken says China is contributing to a “far more violent world” and Chinese officials call the US hypocritical for complaining about human rights abuses given its history of racism.
: Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijan criticizes Washington and Tokyo for attempting “anti-China encirclement” after officials raised concerns about its “destabilizing behavior” in the region.
: Asked by a reporter while traveling in Tokyo if the US is considering boycotting the 2022 Beijing Olympics, Secretary Blinken says President Biden is “listening to the concerns” of many countries and will decide what to do at the appropriate time.
: Blinken and Austin attend a US-ROK Foreign and Defense Ministerial (2+2) in Seoul. The meeting is hosted by the ROK’s Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong and Minister of Defense Suh Wook.
: Japanese Foreign Minister Motegi and Defense Minister Kishi Nobuo meet Secretaries Blinken and Austin, hold a Japan-US Security Consultative Committee (“2+2”) meeting in Tokyo.
: US Treasury Department sanctions 24 Chinese and Hong Kong officials over Beijing’s changes to Hong Kong’s electoral system that took place on March 11.
: Kim Jong Un’s sister Kim Yo Jong condemns South Korea for military exercises with the United States.
: NSC Indo-Pacific coordinator Kurt Campbell says that the Biden administration will not offer any improvements in the relationship with China until its economic coercion of Australia ceases.
: Myanmar’s military extends “full martial law” to all parts of Yangon following violent protests over the weekend that left 50 people dead.
: Chinese Ambassador to US Cui Tiankai argues that fears regarding an erosion of democracy in Hong Kong are “unnecessary.”
: Ahead of Indo-Pacific tour, Secretary of Defense Austin calls China “our pacing threat” and vows to strengthen alliances which, he says, give the US “a lot more capability.”
: A Biden administration official says North Korea has not responded to the behind-the-scenes Biden administration’s diplomatic outreach since mid-February.
: At a virtual summit of the Quad, the United States, Japan, Australia and India announce they will provide 1 billion doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, to be produced in India, to countries of the Indo-Pacific by the end of 2022. The Quad Leaders’ Joint Statement is also released, reaffirming a shared vision for “a region that is free, open, inclusive, healthy, anchored by democratic values, and unconstrained by coercion.”
: Quad leaders’ Washington Post op-ed is published, highlighting the history of the four nations’ cooperation and new challenges for the region that require coordination. China is not mentioned.
: Washington says it will not ease its sanctions on Iran, including Iranian funds in South Korea, until Iran returns to compliance with the JCPOA.
: US Navy sends warship USS John Finn on voyage through the Taiwan Strait, drawing the ire of Beijing. This is the third such voyage under the Biden administration.
: China’s national legislature approves resolution drastically altering Hong Kong’s electoral system, expanding the Electoral Committee with 3oo Beijing loyalists who will comprise the fifth sector of the 1,500 member body.
: State Department condemns the Beijing legislature’s tightening the central government’s control over Hong Kong’s electoral system, deeming the move to be a “direct attack” on the city’s autonomy. A day later, Secretary Blinken also joins other G7 foreign ministers and the High Representative of the European Union in a joint-statement condemning the changes made to Hong Kong’s electoral laws by China’s National People’s Congress.
: Secretary Blinken refers to South Korea and Japan as “two of our most important allies” during testimony before Congress ahead of his Indo-Pacific tour.
: Prime Minister Suga and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi hold a phone call ahead of the upcoming Quad meeting with the US and Australia, pledging to realize a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific.”
: Official news outlet of the Communist Party of China’s Xinjiang region says unidentified companies have filed a domestic civil lawsuit seeking compensation from Adrian Zenz, a US-based human rights researcher, whose reports have alleged the region’s cotton industry utilizes forced labor.
: OECD says a global economic recovery is “in sight” thanks partly to fiscal stimulus in the US and increasing vaccine deployment, despite “uneven” vaccine distribution.
: Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne announces Australia’s suspension of its defense cooperation program with Myanmar amid an intensified crackdown on protesters and media by the country’s military.
: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi delineates Hong Kong and Taiwan “red lines” in its relations with the United States, but says there is room for cooperation in the areas of pandemic control, economic recovery, and climate change.
: US Senate unanimously approves bill to tighten controls on Chinese-funded Confucius Institutes accused by lawmakers of being propaganda tools.
: Secretary Austin includes North Korea on the list of threats to the United States and its allies.
: US unveils new measures to punish Myanmar’s army for its coup, blocking the ministries of defense and home affairs and top military conglomerates from certain types of trade.
: China and South Korea establish two additional military hotlines as an effort to avoid any military miscalculation.
: ASEAN foreign ministers urge the Myanmar military to desist from violence during an informal online meeting.
: Following China’s import ban on Taiwanese pineapples, the de facto US and Canadian embassies in Taiwan praise Taiwan’s pineapples on social media.
: Philippine Defense Undersecretary Raymund Elefante and Indian Ambassador Shambu Kumaran sign an implementing agreement involving the procurement of defense material and equipment by the Philippines from India including BrahMos cruise missiles.
: Biden administration releases the “Interim National Security Strategic Guidance,” which warns of an “increasingly assertive” China, “the only competitor potentially capable of combining its economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to mount a sustained challenge to a stable and open international system.”
: President Moon Jae-in says South Korea is ready to talk with Japan anytime, stating that it would also be helpful to the trilateral partnership with the United States.
: Suga lifts the state of emergency in six prefectures (Aichi, Gifu, Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, and Fukuoka).
: South Korea’s National Assembly passes a parliamentary resolution denouncing the military coup in Myanmar.
: US Defense Department spokesman says North Korea’s continued development of weapons poses a threat to the United States and its allies.
: Japanese Ambassador to South Korea Koichi Aiboshi meets South Korean First Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-kun and they agree to maintain close communication.
: G7 foreign ministers issue a statement condemning the violence committed in Myanmar against protestors and calling upon the security forces to exercise “utmost restraint and respect human rights and international law.”
: Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and nine ministers survive a no-confidence motion in parliament following a four-day censure debate. Protests calling for his resignation resume.
: Biden addresses the 2021 Virtual Munich Security Conference, says the US would be working closely with allies and partners “to meet the range of shared challenges we face.”
: South Korean Nuclear Envoy Noh Kyu-duk, acting US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian Affairs Sung Kim, and Japanese Director-General for Asian and Oceanian Affairs Takehiro Funakoshi meet virtually to discuss North Korean-related issues.
: South Korean Minister of Unification Lee In-young says that North Korea faces a food shortage of over 1.2 million to 1.3 million tons this year due to damage from heavy downpours that happened last year.
: In a CNN town hall meeting, Biden says that he told Xi that there would be “repercussions” for China’s human rights abuses.
: Satellite images provided by the Indian Army show China dismantling dozens of structures and moving vehicles from camps along parts of the disputed Himalayan border.
: Jose Santiago Sta. Romana, the Philippines Ambassador to China, states that China has sought to ease tensions with Manila over its controversial new coastguard law.
: Japan announces that it will build three transport ships for the Ground Self-Defense Forces designed to supply ammunition, fuel, and provisions to troops stationed on its outlying islands, as part of its efforts to deal with China’s military buildup in the region.
: TikTok’s Chinese owner, Bytedance, walks away from a deal to sell the video-sharing application’s US operations to a group led by Oracle following Donald Trump’s departure from the White House.
: CGTN loses permission to air in Germany, just days after its broadcasting license was revoked in Britain.
: US military begins its delayed two-week-long annual Yudh Abhuas exercise with India, which has been reported to be the Biden administration’s first move to use its Quad partners to exert pressure on Beijing.
: South Korea’s new Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stress close cooperation for the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula during their first phone talks.
: China bans the BBC’s World News in retaliation to the UK banning the Chinese state-backed broadcaster CGTN’s license the previous week.
: Kyodo reports that the Japanese government is hesitant to impose sanctions on Myanmar following the military coup there, fearing that doing so would drive the military closer to China.
: President Biden signs Executive Order 14014, which authorizes an initial round of sanctions on top military leaders in Myanmar who were involved in the Feb. 1 coup, among other possible actions.
: Official negotiations open on renewal of the US-Philippines Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), triggering a 180-day countdown in which the agreement must be renewed or terminated.
: A confidential UN report states that North Korea maintained and developed its nuclear and ballistic missile programs throughout 2021 in violation of international sanctions. According to the report, these were partially funded with some $300 million stolen through cyber hacks.
: Chinese Defense Ministry spokesperson Wu Qian states that PLA and Indian troops have “simultaneously” begun disengagement in the disputed border of Pangong Lake in a “planned, orderly manner.”
: Presidents Biden and Xi engage in their first phone call since Biden’s inauguration. Issues pertaining to trade, human rights, the Indo-Pacific region, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Xinjiang feature throughout the dialogue.
: French nuclear attack submarine Émeraude and its naval support ship Seine carry out freedom of navigation in the disputed South China Sea as part of Paris’ efforts to challenge Beijing’s sweeping claims in the region.
: Chinese President Xi Jinping says that China and Vietnam must manage their own maritime disputes and resist outside instigation during a phone call with his Vietnamese counterpart, Nguyen Phu Trong.
: Tens of thousands of people in Myanmar march in protest against the military coup for the second straight day, as a partial restoration of Internet connection flooded Myanmar social media with images and videos of the demonstrations.
: In a CBS interview broadcast, President Biden describes the US-China rivalry as “extreme competition” rather than conflict, and acknowledges that he is yet to speak to his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping.
: China protests US Navy destroyer USS John S. McCain’s freedom of navigation exercise in the vicinity of the Paracel Islands, the first such operation under the Biden administration.
: Vice-Admiral Aan Kurnia, head of Indonesia’s Maritime Security Agency, warns that China’s new coastguard law heightens risk of “spillover conflict” into Indonesia’s territorial waters around the Natuna Islands, where two countries have had skirmishes before.
: Biden declares “America is back” during first visit to State Department as president: “American leadership must meet this new moment of advancing authoritarianism, including the growing ambitions of China to rival the United States and the determination of Russia to damage and disrupt our democracy.”
: US announces an extension of the New Strategic Arms Treaty, the last remaining treaty with Russia capping their nuclear arsenals, until 2026, vowing to pursue similar arms agreements with Beijing.
: Aircraft carrier group USS Nimitz departs its extended period in the Middle East for the Indo-Pacific region.
: Suga extends the state of emergency to March 7 for 10 prefectures.
: President Biden calls on Myanmar’s military to relinquish power immediately.
: Taiwan’s Defense Ministry states that Seven People’s Liberation Army warplanes and a US reconnaissance aircraft entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone, as tensions across the strait continue to escalate.
: Myanmar’s military launches a coup, detaining leader Aung San Suu Kyi and a number of other high profile elected officials.
: A World Health Organization team investigating the origins of the coronavirus pandemic visits a Wuhan seafood market linked to the earliest COVID-19 cases.
: US states that Chinese military flights in the past week in the South China Sea fit a pattern of destabilization and aggressive behavior by Beijing, but pose no threat to a US Navy carrier strike group in the region.
: A Pentagon spokesperson calls Chinese remarks equating Taiwanese independence as “war” as “unfortunate,” and reaffirms Washington’s commitment to improving the self-ruled island’s defense capacity.
: President Biden assures Japanese Prime Minister Suga that the US-Japan mutual treaty applies to the disputed Senkaku Islands.
: Chinese Defense Ministry spokesperson Wu Qian warns the Biden administration and Taiwan, stating that the pursuit of independence for the self-ruled island “means war.”
: US Special Climate Envoy John Kerry says at a press conference that the US must deal with China on climate change as a “critical standalone issue,” adding that the Biden administration will not trade concessions on human rights and trade for climate cooperation.
: Head of the Philippine fishers’ association describes China’s new law permitting China’s coastguard to fire on foreign vessels in disputed waters as a “virtual declaration of war.”
: China and New Zealand complete a review and expansion of their free trade agreement, eliminating almost all trade tariffs.
: South Korea’s Bank of Korea announces that South Korea’s real gross domestic product fell by 1% in 2020, marking the lowest growth rate in 22 years.
: US Senate confirms Antony Blinken as secretary of state.
: Secretary Austin calls on key Asian allies to work with the US in the Indo-Pacific, signaling his intention to boost defense ties in the region amid US regional competition with China.
: Washington urges Beijing to end its military pressure against Taiwan, hours after Taipei reported a large incursion into its airspace by the mainland Chinese air force.
: In the first US-Japanese ministerial-level talk since President Biden took office, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin affirms to Defense Minister Kishi Nobuo that the Senkaku Islands fall within the scope of the Japan-US Mutual Security Treaty.
: China’s top legislative body passes a law permitting its coastguards to fire on foreign vessels and demolish structures built in disputed waters.
: State Department urges Beijing to cease military, diplomatic, and economic pressure against Taiwan in a press release.
: Lloyd Austin is confirmed by the Senate to be secretary of Defense.
: Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying calls for the “better angels in US-China relations” to emerge following the inauguration of President Biden.
: 13th National Party Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam opens to select the top leadership of the party as well as choosing members of the Politburo, and to set policy goals for the next five years.
: Japan characterizes China’s “drawing of territorial sea baselines” as incongruent with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
: President Biden is inaugurated in Washington.
: Beijing pledges to use its political and economic strengths to contain pro-independence forces in Taiwan, identifying it as a key talk for the Communist Party’s centenary year.
: Secretary Pompeo declares that China’s treatment of Uygurs in Xinjian constitutes genocide.
: South Korean President Moon Jae-in urges President-elect Joe Biden to hold talks with North Korea to build on the progress that President Trump made with leader Kim Jong Un.
: United States imposes sanctions on six pro-Beijing Hong Hong officials over mass arrests of pro-democracy activists.
: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi concludes his Southeast Asian tour in the Philippines, promising its “closest neighbour” half a million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, $1.34 billion in loan pledges for infrastructure projects, and$77 million in grants.
: North Korea holds a military parade in Pyongyang, displaying its new Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM).
: Pompeo announces that the US is sanctioning six PRC and Hong Kong officials after pro-democracy arrests in Hong Kong.
: Trump administration announces sanctions on officials of Chinese state-owned enterprises and military and adds Chinese oil giant CNOOC to an economic blacklist, accusing them of using coercion against states with rival claims in the South China Sea.
: US Department of Defense releases names of additional companies added to the list of “Communist Chinese military companies” operating in the US.
: China’s new armed reconnaissance drone, the WJ-700, completes its maiden flight at an undisclosed location.
: US bans all imports of cotton and tomato products from China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, citing growing concerns over widespread use of forced labor.
: Biden selects Kurt Campbell to serve as National Security Council Coordinator for the Indo-Pacific.
: India returns a People’s Liberation Army soldier who strayed across the disputed Himalayas region.
: US State Department says that Mike Pompeo has no plans to travel to Taiwan amid Chinese commentary that a visit to Taiwan from the US secretary of state would provoke an “overwhelming” response from Beijing.
: Social media images of the People’s Liberation Army reveal the first public display of its upgraded PCL-191 long-range multiple launch rocket system (MLRS), capable of firing 370mm rockets 217 miles, or 750mm ballistic missiles 311 miles.
: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un examines ties with Seoul, determining to expand foreign relations on the third day of his second Party Congress since ascending to power in 2012.
: Secretary Pompeo approves the creation of a new cyber-security and emerging technologies bureau to fight against cyber-security threats, citing threats from North Korea.
: South Korean court orders Japan to compensate 12 women who were forced to work as so-called “comfort women” in wartime brothels, drawing ire from Tokyo.
: Outgoing US President Donald Trump signs an executive order arguing that “aggressive action” must be taken against eight notable Chinese applications, including Alipay and WeChat Pay.
: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issues a statement condemning China’s arrest of more than 50 pro-democracy politicians and activists in Hong Kong.
: New York Stock Exchange reverses plans to delist three Chinese state-run telecoms groups to comply with a Trump administration executive order that bars US investors from holding stakes in companies with alleged ties to the Chinese military.
: Eighth Congress of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party opens in Pyongyang, unannounced; this is not reported until Jan. 6.
: US Ambassador to India Kenneth I Juster describes the Indo-Pacific as “significant” for US-India relations in a press conference in New Delhi.
: China Securities Regulatory Commission describes the US government’s order to delist three Chinese telcos from the New York Stock Exchange as politically motivated and in breach of market rules.
: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi extends an olive branch to the incoming Biden administration, stating that a “new window of hope” is opening.
: Commenting on Japanese interest in becoming the sixth eye of the Five Eyes alliance, a research associate at Fudan University’s Center for Japanese Studies opines that Japan is “strong in will but weak in capability,” but will continue to move closer to the alliance.
: Bipartisan Congressional provision condemning China’s aggression towards India becomes law, as the US Congress overrides Donald Trump’s veto on the $740 billion defense policy bill.
: Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post describes China’s strategy to wear down Japanese resistance to its claim over the Senkaku Islands through repeated air and sea incursions.
: In a New Year’s Day speech, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen expresses the need for cross-strait stability and offers talks with Beijing to end confrontation.
: Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien-Loong and Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin issue a joint announcement that the agreement between the two countries to construct a high-speed rail between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore is officially terminated.
: Pompeo denounces Chinese court’s jailing of Hong Kong activists trying to flee to Taiwan. In a statement, Pompeo said, “A regime that prevents its own people from leaving can lay no claim to greatness or global leadership. It is simply a fragile dictatorship, afraid of its own people.”
: In response to signing of the Taiwan Assurance Act of 2020 and Tibetan Policy and Support Act of 2020, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said China was “resolutely opposed” to both acts.
: Chinese delegation led by Vice Minister of the International Department of the CCP Guo Yezhou meets Nepali President Bidya Devi Bhandari, Prime Minister Kharga Prasad Oli, and other NCP leaders.
: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually meets with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. They call for a peaceful, “open and rules-based” Indo Pacific, agree to increase military-to-military exchanges, and to intensify defense industry collaboration.
: South Korea scrambles fighter jets in response to intrusion in its air defense zone by Russian and Chinese military aircraft.
: Tibet Policy and Support Act of 2020 is passed by Congress as an amendment to the $1.4 trillion government spending bill.
: US Department of Commerce publishes list of Chinese and Russian firms with alleged military ties that restrict them from buying a wide range of US goods and technology. Elsewhere, Pompeo announces additional restrictions for issuing visas to Chinese officials believed to be complicit in human rights abuses.
: China’s People’s Liberation Army accuses Washington of “jeopardizing stability” in the region by sending the guided missile destroyer USS Mustin through Taiwan Strait.
: Washington adds Chinese companies Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation and DJI, the drone maker, to the US export blacklist.
: Wang urges Biden to have the “right perception” of China and cooperate with Beijing to “restart dialogue, return bilateral relations to the right track, and rebuild mutual trust.”
: Document outlining objectives for the US Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard for 2021 warns the US will be “more assertive” against Beijing and US naval forces are expected to be more visible in the Pacific.
: USS Mustin transits Taiwan Strait, conducting Freedom-of-Navigation operation.
: China’s Chang’e-5 lunar probe carrying rocks and soil from the moon returns safely to earth.
: Quad Senior Officials Consultations take place via video conference.
: US imposes sanctions on members of the Chinese Communist Party engaged in “malign activities,” including actions related to mass surveillance, military modernization, human rights abuses, and coercion in the South China Sea.
: Canberra refers China to the WTO over Beijing’s imposition of punitive tariffs on Australian barley imports, in the newest escalation in a bitter diplomatic and trade dispute.
: Canberra reaches out to Beijing to clarify whether it has formally banned Australian coal, warning that such an action would contravene WTO rules and be harmful to both countries.
: Wei and Japanese counterpart Kishi Nobuo discuss tensions in the disputed East China Sea over a phone call.
: South Korea’s National Assembly passes a revision to the Development of Inter-Korean Relations Act to ban sending leaflets into North Korea.
: Xi announces that political security will be a top priority in the next five years, and the Communist Party must proactively maintain the safety of the Chinese political system.
: President-elect Biden states that his nominee for trade chief, Katherine Tai, will target abusive trade practices by China, a sign that the Trump administration’s trade war with Beijing will continue.
: Bloomberg News employee Haze Fan is detained in Beijing on suspicion of “participating in activities endangering national security.”
: Taiwan commissions first vessel in a new fleet of coast guard ships, an advanced catamaran armed with missile capacity, as the island faces a growing threat from Beijing.
: In telephone call, Xi tells French counterpart Emmanuel Macron that he hopes Europe approaches China with a positive attitude; they agree to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and pursue joint space exploration.
: Beijing revokes visa-free visits to Hong Kong and Macau for holders of US diplomatic passports in retaliation for US restrictions on the movement of 14 members of China’s National People’s Congress.
: Indian FM S Jaishankar announces that Australia and India are in discussions for a bilateral free trade agreement.
: Indian FM S. Jaishankar describes China-India relationship as at its worst in decades, and says relations can’t improve unless the ongoing border dispute is settled peacefully.
: Treasury Department announces new sanctions on six entities and four vessels related to North Korea.
: Suga launches Japan’s third fiscal stimulus of the year, ¥30.6 trillion ($294 billion) package, aimed to boost Japan’s coronavirus recovery.
: Hua Chunying, spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry, warns the US that Beijing will retaliate with “the necessary countermeasures” if Washington imposes sanctions on Hong Kong officials responsible for the disqualification of opposition legislators.
: Wang calls for Beijing and Washington to resume dialogue to reset ties after months of increasing hostility during an address to the board of the US-China Business Council (USCBC).
: Treasury Department imposes financial sanctions and a travel ban on 14 members of China’s National People’s Congress over their role in Beijing’s disqualification of pro-democracy legislators in Hong Kong.
: Indian officials accuse China of assisting rebel groups in Myanmar that have stepped up their attacks on the India-Myanmar border.
: Beijing reorganizes ministerial and provincial rankings, promoting a new generation of Chinese officials from various backgrounds to fill an array of positions, including top roles at the commerce and agriculture ministries.
: Japan, France, and the United States hold joint military drills on one of Japan’s uninhabited outlying islands in the East China Sea for the first time in May next year.
: North Korea announces that its Supreme People’s Assembly will hold its next session in January, after Biden takes office.
: State Department scraps five China-funded exchange programs, with Pompeo dismissing them as “propaganda tools” disguised as cultural exchanges.
: State Department terminates five cultural exchange programs with China after calling them “soft power propaganda tools.”
: US customs authorities begin to detain shipments of products connected to Xinjiang Production & Construction Corps’ cotton over their use of forced labor.
: State Department announces new visa restrictions on Chinese government officials belonging to, or affiliated with, the United Front Work Department, a CCP organ operating with a broad mandate to strengthen adherence to the party within and outside China.
: Chinese social media app WeChat censors a post by Morrison containing a conciliatory message to Australia’s Chinese community.
: Department of Homeland Security announces a ban on cotton products made in whole or in part by the Xinjiang Production and Constructions Corps, alleging that its products are made using slave labor.
: China’s Chang’e 5 spacecraft moon lander and ascender vehicle land on the moon to drill for lunar samples.
: Deputy Assistant Secretary for North Korea Alex Wong accuses China of a “flagrant violation” of its obligation to enforce international sanctions on North Korea, offering rewards of up to $5 million for information regarding sanctions evasions.
: Australian Defense Minister Linda Reynolds announces that Australia will jointly develop hypersonic cruise missiles with the US to counter Chinese and Russian efforts to develop similar weapons.
: Canberra accuses Beijing of sharing a “deeply offensive” fake image on Twitter of an Australian soldier murdering an Afghan child amid escalating diplomatic tensions.
: Chinese Defense Minister Wei pledges military support for Nepal during talks in Kathmandu amid Chinese defense disputes with India in the contested Himalayas region.
: China announces sanctions against National Democratic Institute (NDI) and National Endowment for Democracy (NED) personnel in a tit-for-tat measure against US sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials.
: China powers up its first domestically developed nuclear reactor, the Hualong One, which is expected to go into commercial use by the end of the year.
: Taiwan commences construction of first indigenous submarine its fleet, when complete, will consist of eight vessels.
: In TV interview, Hong Kong’s chief executive says she has no bank account after the US imposed sanctions on her, along with 14 other senior security officials, in response to Hong Kong’s national security law.
: Beijing announces anti-dumping duties on Australian wine imports in the latest wave of sanctions that have already targeted barley, beef, seafood, and coal.
: Taiwan Finance Minister Su Jain-rong promotes informal alliance with the US to finance infrastructure and energy projects in Asia and Latin America with capital from the private sector.
: Wang meets senior government officials in South Korea, stressing the importance of bilateral relations amid growing concern that Seoul is being squeezed between China and the United States.
: Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam vows to deepen ties with Beijing at an annual policy address, pledging to rescue the city from “chaos.”
: Xi congratulates Biden on his election as president of the United States 12 days after China’s initial congratulations.
: India’s Electronics and Information Technology ministry announces a ban on an additional 43 Chinese apps, including AliExpress, bringing the total of blacklisted apps to over 200.
: China launches Chang’e 5 space mission, an unmanned expedition aiming to probe, drill, and retrieve minerals from an unexplored volcanic mound on the moon.
: Taiwan commences construction of first domestically developed submarine, armed with a US combat system.
: In letter read at the opening ceremony of the 7th World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, Xi says China ready to work with other countries to build a shared cyberspace community and “create an even better future for mankind.”
: Wang tells French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian that Beijing supports Europe’s push for “strategic autonomy” amid calls for the EU to work with the new Biden administration to counter China.
: Controversial 43 billion renminbi (about $6.6 billion) port project to be built off the coast of Melaka, Malaysia, slated to be the largest in the region, is scrapped by the state government.
: Xi tells an online APEC summit that China will consider joining the CPTPP.
: US and Taiwan sign a memorandum of understanding during inaugural US-Taiwan Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue, laying a foundation for stronger economic ties.
: USS Barry transits Taiwan Strait in a Freedom of Navigation Operation.
: Suga states Tokyo’s intention to expand the CPTPP to include China and Britain.
: China criticizes a statement by the “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance urging Beijing to reverse the disqualification of pro-democracy lawmakers from Hong Kong’s Legislative Council.
: Morrison responds to Beijing’s list of 14 grievances, accusing Canberra of “poisoning bilateral relations,” by stating he would not compromise Australia’s national security and sovereignty.
: US sends two long-range bombers into China’s air defense identification zone.
: Governments of the US Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK release a joint statement expressing “serious concern regarding China’s imposition of new rules to disqualify elected legislators in Hong Kong.”
: At least 10,000 Thai democracy activists surround police headquarters in Bangkok during one of the largest demonstrations since protests began almost five months ago.
: Australia and Japan agree “in principle” to a Reciprocal Access Agreement, which provides the legal framework for Australian forces in Japan, and vice versa.
: China’s foreign ministry expresses unease at the joint defense pact signed by Japan and Australia, noting that their military cooperation should not threaten third-part interests.
: China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian states that China bears “no responsibility” for the collapse of bilateral trade with Canberra as a result of a rising number of restrictions on Australian exports to China.
: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison arrives in Tokyo to meet counterpart Suga.
: Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the world’s biggest free trade pact, is signed by 15 Asia-Pacific nations.
: Research paper in the Chinese Journal of Aeronautics reveals US software is being used in Chinese military research, despite US ban and efforts to restrict Beijing’s access to these tools.
: Defense chiefs of Japan and the US confirm that the Senkaku Islands fall under the scope of a security treaty between Tokyo and Washington.
: Taiwan representative to the US Bi-Khim Hsiao speaks with Biden foreign policy advisor Tony Blinken by phone to congratulate Biden on his election victory.
: China’s MFA spokesman congratulates Biden on his election as president after staying silent for 10 days following the election on Nov. 3.
: Christopher Langman, Australian deputy foreign affairs and trade secretary, expresses confidence that “technical” issues disrupting trade between Beijing and Canberra will be resolved as soon as possible.
: China’s Foreign Ministry in Hong Kong describes the ousting of four pro-democracy lawmakers from Hong Kong’s legislature as the “right medicine” and tells foreign governments that the issue is none of their business.
: Trump administration extends deadline for ByteDance to restructure ownership of its video app TikTok in the US, giving the Chinese company time to resolve national security concerns raised by Washington.
: Trump signs an executive order prohibiting Americans from investing in Chinese firms the administration says are owned or controlled by the Chinese military.
: Biden declares that Article 5 of US-Japan security treaty applies to Japan’s administration of the disputed Senkaku Islands.
: North Korea labels the IAEA a “marionette dancing to the tune of the tune of hostile forces.”
: Pompeo announces that Undersecretary of State Keith Krach will lead economic talks with Taiwan this month.
: Center for Strategic and International Studies publishes pictures allegedly showing the destruction of a US-built facility at Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base.
: Hong Kong pro-democracy legislators resign en masse amid reports of Beijing planning to disqualify four opposition lawmakers accused of potential unlawful filibustering in the legislature.
: US imposes sanctions on four additional PRC and Hong Kong officials over the Hong Kong national security law.
: Japan welcomes the visit of ROK intelligence chief Park Jie-won as an opportunity to thaw frosty relations between Tokyo and Seoul.
: China’s PLA releases a video on Weibo showing armed personnel carriers driving through the streets of Hong Kong before conducting a live-fire exercise.
: BHP Group signs a memorandum of understanding focused on decarbonizing steelmaking with Baowu, China’s biggest steelmaker.
: Indian Chief of Defense Staff Bipin Rawat warns that tense border standoff with Chinese forces in the western Himalayas could spark a larger conflict.
: German defense chief Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer labels China a “systemic challenge” and calls for greater military cooperation with “like-minded” countries in the Indo-Pacific.
: China drafts a coast guard law authorizing maritime law enforcers to demolish foreign constructions on Chinese-claimed reefs and use weapons against foreign ships.
: Duong Di Sanh, deputy chairman of the Museum of Chinese Australian History, becomes the first person charged under a new foreign interference law by Australian Federal Police.
: US removes the designation of the Uyghur-founded group the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) as a terrorist organization.
: China suspends the $37 billion listing of Ant Group, which was set to become the world’s largest IPO, two days before trading was due to start.
: State Department approves a $600 million sale of four Weapons-Ready MQ-9B Remotely Piloted Aircraft to Taiwan.
: Indonesian President Joko Widodo endorses controversial omnibus law, which has sparked protests from those who say it erodes labor rights and weakens environmental protections.
: Indian, Japanese, Australia, and the US begin joint naval exercises in the Indian Ocean as part of the Malabar exercise.
: US approves sale of four sophisticated drones to Taiwan, in the final component of a weapons package to Taipei worth almost $4.8 billion.
: Former Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming says China should “carefully consider” whether Beijing should join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CRTPP).
: Pompeo condemns Hong Kong authorities for “clear abuse of law enforcement” in arresting eight opposition ministers.
: Telecoms giant Huawei works on plans for a dedicated chip plant in Shanghai, which would enable it to secure essential supplies for its telecom infrastructure business despite US sanctions.
: Pompeo concludes a visit to Asia in Vietnam, a tour marked by repeated calls for assistance to the US in confronting security threats posed by China.
: Australia criticizes China’s anti-dumping duties on its barley exports in a statement at the WTO.
: Chinese and US defense officials comprising the Crisis Communications Working Group meet to discuss crisis prevention amid rumors that the Trump administration plans to attack Chinese-claimed islands in the South China Sea.
: US authorities charge eight people with conducting an illegal operation intended to target, intimidate, and kidnap individuals perceived by Beijing to be dissident threats.
: Pompeo issues a statement condemning the arrest and detention of three student activists in Hong Kong under the National Security Law.
: Pompeo adds a two-day visit to Hanoi to his Asian tour designed to promote US foreign policy. Earlier destinations included India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, and Indonesia.
: Pompeo calls China’s communist government a “predator” during a meeting with Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in Colombo.
: US Department of Defense hosts a crisis communications working group with the PLA to discuss concepts of crisis communications, crisis prevention, and crisis management.
: South Korean President Moon Jae-in pledges to make his country carbon-neutral by 2050 during a budget speech.
: In a trip to New Delhi with Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Pompeo vows to work closely with India to counter an increasingly aggressive China.
: Spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry announces Beijing’s intention to impose sanctions on US firms Boeing Defense, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon Technologies, as well as “anyone who played a bad role” in Washington’s $1.8 billion Taiwan arms deal.
: Three prodemocracy activists are arrested by the Hong Kong Police Force after briefly entering the US consulate in the city in an apparent bid to seek asylum.
: State Department approves sale of 100 Harpoon Coastal Defense Systems (HCDS) to Taiwan in a package worth $2.37 billion.
: Media reports claim the United States and India are preparing to sign an agreement to share satellite intelligence, as the two sides seek to increase security cooperation.
: US lodges an appeal against the WTO ruling that some of its tariffs on China are unlawful.
: Beijing cautiously welcomes Vladimir Putin’s suggestion that a military alliance between China and Russia is possible.
: Suga pledges Japan will become carbon neutral by 2050 in his first policy speech to a new session of the Diet.
: Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden says he could meet Kim Jong Un if North Korea reduces the country’s nuclear capabilities.
: Justice Department official John Demers accuses China of helping North Korea launder money from massive cyber thefts carried out to raise capital in the face of international sanctions.
: In a speech marking the anniversary of the Korean War, Xi warns that China is not afraid of war and will not allow its sovereignty, security, and development interests to be undermined.
: Protesters in Bangkok reject PM Prayut Chan-o-cha’s olive branch and submit a letter calling on him to resign within three days.
: China issues a draft version of its national defense law, detailing enhanced security in cyberspace and improved communication between the government and military.
: Beijing’s describes US labelling of six Chinese media outlets as “substantially or effectively controlled” by Beijing as “political oppression” and threatened to retaliate.
: Thai royalists and anti-government protesters confront each other over demands for reform to the monarch and departure of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
: Indian authorities hand back a Chinese soldier who was apprehended in the Demchock area of Ladakh after crossing a contested border in the Himalayan region.
: Australia agrees to take part in large-scale Malabar naval exercise with other members of the Quad in the Bay of Bengal.
: Indonesian DM Prabowo and US Defense Secretary Mark Esper agree to boost defense and security cooperation.
: Chinese Ambassador to Japan Kong Xuanyou urges Tokyo to use its unique position as US ally and major Chinese neighbor to help stabilize Washington–Beijing relations.
: Suga and Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc meet in Hanoi and agree to cooperate on regional issues, including the disputed South China.
: Wang tells ASEAN that the “Quad” aims to “stir up confrontation among different groups … to maintain the dominance and hegemonic system of the US.”
: Philippines announces that oil and gas exploration will resume in the South China Sea, signaling an end to a six-year moratorium on resource exploration in the disputed waters.
: Chinese government warns Washington that it may detain Americans in China in response to the prosecution of Chinese military-affiliated scholars.
: Cotton Australia and the Australian Cotton Shippers Association confirm reports of a verbal directive for Chinese mills to stop using Australian cotton. This adds cotton to a growing list of targeted Australian exports, including coal, barley, wine, and beef.
: China’s ambassador to Canada blasts Ottawa for granting refugee status to Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters, calling it “interference” encouraging “violent criminals.”
: UN condemns North Korea’s unlawful killing of ROK official in waters.
: Thailand’s government declares a state of emergency in Bangkok following anti-government protests by around 10,00 people in Bangkok.
: China calls on Taiwanese spies to switch sides after claiming to have uncovered hundreds of cases of spying by Taipei on the Chinese mainland.
: US State Department Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs releases its list of Hong Kong, Macau, and PRC officials it says have contributed to undermining of autonomy in Hong Kong.
: As part of China’s regional charm offensive, Wang visits Thailand, casting Beijing as Bangkok’s “big friend.”
: China’s PLA holds a large-scale island invasion drill during Taiwan’s “Double Ten” holiday.
: China signs a free-trade deal with Cambodia and pledges $140 million for national “top priority projects.”
: Japan’s Coast Guard claims that two Chinese vessels entered what Japan considers its territorial waters near disputed islands in the East China Sea.
: India’s Foreign Secretary Harsh V Shringla and the country’s army chief make a joint visit to Naypyidaw, fueling talk that Myanmar is stepping up efforts to balance Chinese influence.
: China joins 156 countries in WHO-led Covax initiative for fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
: US government appeals court ruling that suspended government ban of video-sharing app TikTok.
: Police in Indonesia arrest hundreds of protesters across the country as thousands rally against the omnibus labor law.
: Japanese fishing industry representatives urge the government not to allow the release of tons of contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea.
: US lifts the 20-year ban on Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto, a move analysts claim is aimed at balancing China’s power in Southeast Asia.
: Japanese Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu and his Australian counterpart Marise Payne meet to discuss the Australian-Japanese strategic partnership and cooperation.
: Pew poll shows a rise in unfavorable views of China in 14 countries, including Australia, South Korea, and Japan.
: Taiwan’s deputy defense minister, Chang Guan-chung, appeals to the United States to help boost the island’s defenses at the annual US-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference.
: Chinese People’s Liberation Army propagandists are ordered to steer clear of US election coverage and avoid remarks that might cause more disturbance to US-China relations.
: Indonesia passes the so-called omnibus law, overhauling several dozen tax and labor market laws as Jakarta looks to boost foreign investment and mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19.
: Interpol issues a “red notice” for Vorayuth Yoovidhya, Thai heir to Red Bull co-founder Chaleo Yoovidhya’s fortune estimated at $20.2 billion, for his role in an alleged hit-and-run.
: President of Singapore Halimah Yacob and Xi exchange congratulatory messages to mark the 30th anniversary of bilateral relations.
: Cambodia reportedly destroys a US-built facility at one of its largest naval facilities amid concerns of a secret Phnom Penh-Beijing deal to host PLA soldiers at Ream Naval Base.
: Trump announces that he and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for COVID-19.
: Lawmakers in the US House of Representatives approve legislation requiring publicly listed companies in the US to disclose commercial links to China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Uygur Region.
: H.R.6270 – Uyghur Forced Labor Disclosure Act of 2020 passes in the US House of Representatives.
: Bangladesh officials accuse the Myanmar government of conducting a “disinformation campaign” to hamper Rohingya repatriation in a speech before the UN General Assembly.
: Vietnamese President Nguyen Phu Trong suggests to his Chinese counterpart Xi that the two countries “work together” to address concerns, particularly maritime issues.
: China describes India’s designation of the fast-militarizing Ladakh region as a union territory “illegal” and objects to Indian infrastructure construction in the area.
: Thailand’s new army chief Gen. Narongpan Jittkaewtae, pledges support to the Thai monarchy.
: US government imposes sanctions on China’s largest chipmaker, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation, dealing additional damage to the country’s semiconductor industry.
: US Federal Judge Carl Nichols blocks the Trump administration’s order to Apple and Google to remove TikTok from their US app stores.
: Malaysian Ambassador to China Raja Nushirwan Zainal Abidin says that Malaysia will not follow the US in imposing sanctions on 24 Chinese companies that the US accuses of advancing Chinese militarization in the South China Sea.
: Australian Strategic Policy Institute releases a research report documenting over 380 suspected detention facilities in Xinjiang, China.
: US State Department publishes a fact sheet on China’s environmental abuses.
: Suga has his first call with Chinese President Xi, agreeing to pursue high-level contacts in the pursuit of regional and international stability.
: Pompeo warns state and local US politicians of the dangers posed by Chinese diplomats seeking to manipulate them as part of Beijing’s propaganda and espionage campaign.
: South Korean President Moon Jae-In calls for declaring an end to the Korean War at 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
: Baimadajie Angwang, a New York City police officer, is charged as an intelligence asset for the Chinese government.
: Ren Zhiqiang, Chinese property tycoon and outspoken critic of Xi Jinping, is sentenced to 18 years for alleged corruption.
: California Judge Laurel Beeler temporarily blocks the Department of Commerce ban of Chinese social media app WeChat.
: Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen accuses Beijing of inflaming tensions in East Asia following Chinese warplanes’ crossing of the sensitive median line between the cross-strait rivals.
: New Delhi police arrest veteran Indian journalist Rajeev Sharma on suspicion of spying for China.
: Japan’s former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo visits Yasukuni Shrine a few days after his resignation.
: US Undersecretary for Economic Affairs Keith Krach concludes visit to Taiwan after attending a memorial service for late former President Lee Teng-hui.
: China’s Commerce Ministry announces details about its “unreliable entities list” in response to US WeChat and TikTok bans.
: US-based venture capital firm Lightspeed Venture Partners announces establishment of regional headquarters in Singapore, signifying expansion into Southeast Asia.
: Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh briefs Rajya Sabha regarding the standoff between the Indian Army and PLA at the Eastern Ladakh border.
: US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David Stilwell describes China’s recent actions as that of a “lawless bully” in prepared testimony for a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.
: Ma Xiaoguang, spokesperson for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, calls Chinese military drills of Taiwan’s southwest coast a “necessary action” to protect Chinese sovereignty.
: World Trade Organization (WTO) panel says the US broke global regulations in imposing tariffs on Chinese goods in 2018.
: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets Mongolian Foreign Minister Nyamtseren Enkhtaivan and pledges to advance cooperation.
: US blacklists Chinese real-estate development company Union Development Group over its Cambodia development project amid “credible reports” the project could be used to host Chinese military assets.
: International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi tells board members that North Korea appears to have continued operating nuclear facilities.
: Suga Yoshihide wins the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) presidential election, effectively becoming prime minister of Japan.
: China bans imports of horses and other equines from Malaysia following an outbreak of African Horse Sickness.
: US lawmakers question Disney CEO Bob Chapek on connections with security and propaganda authorities of China’s Xinjiang region during production of the film Mulan.
: Online meeting of the 27th ASEAN Regional Forum takes place.
: Wei meets Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and pledges to donate $20 million in noncombat equipment to the Philippines.
: China’s foreign ministry accuses Australian consular officials of “wanton obstruction” and disruption of law enforcement activities of Chinese authorities by sheltering journalists Bill Birthles and Mike Smith in the embassy in Beijing and in the Shanghai consulate.
: US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun meets foreign ministers from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam to discuss ways to deepen cooperation.
: China State Construction Engineering Company publishes its first sustainable development report for Sri Lanka.
: China announces new restrictions on US diplomats working in mainland China and Hong Kong in response to similar measures imposed on Chinese diplomats.
: Pompeo attends a virtual US-ASEAN ministerial meeting and urges counterparts to stand up to Chinese maritime bullying.
: Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He participates in the China-EU high-level dialogue in the digital area and stresses digital cooperation with the EU.
: Brunei Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah meets Wei in Bandar Seri Begawan.
: Video meetings of foreign ministers on East Asia Cooperation take place.
: Philippine Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez meets Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian via video conference to discuss cooperation between Manila and Beijing, including timely completion of projects under the “Build, Build, Build” program.
: Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi cautions the United States and China not to entangle Jakarta in their regional struggle for influence.
: Chinese Defense Minister Wei meets Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto in Jakarta and they agree to resolve South China Sea issues through dialogue.
: Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe meets Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin in Kuala Lumpur and discuss bilateral cooperation.
: KMT national convention reiterates party’s cross-Strait narrative: “1992 Consensus based on the ROC Constitution,” and says it opposes Taiwan independence and China’s “one country, two systems.”
: Department of State publishes the website entitled “The Chinese Communist Party’s Human Rights Abuses in Xinjiang,” detailing aspects of alleged violations of human rights in Xinjiang.
: Chinese and Lao firms sign a shareholders pact to establish the Electricite du Laos Transmission Company Limited in Vientiane.
: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announces that the State Department will require senior PRC diplomats in the US to receive approval to visit university campuses and meet local government officials.
: US Department of Defense releases its annual report on China’s military power, assessing that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA)’s military modernization has eroded Taiwan’s potential advantages should a cross-Taiwan Strait conflict occur.
: Japan, Australia, and India agree to diversify supply chains away from China, a major trading partner for all three.
: Thailand announces it will negotiate with China to delay its $724 million purchase of two submarines.
: Deputy Secretary of State Steve Beigun, speaking at an online forum along the sidelines of the annual US-India Strategic Partnership Forum, says the US plans to “formalize” its growing strategic ties with its Quad partners.
: Esper visits Palau and meets President Tommy Remengesau.
: Taiwan President Tsai announces that she would ease restrictions on imports of beef and pork from the US.
: Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo announces he will resign because of chronic health problems.
: Esper delivers speech at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies on countering China’s “malign strategy.”
: US Commerce Department blacklists 24 Chinese companies and targeted individuals over their “role in helping the Chinese military construct and militarize the internationally condemned artificial islands in the South China Sea.”
: US and Chinese trade negotiators have phone talks and affirm progress in implementation of their trade deal.
: State Department issues a statement marking third anniversary of the Tatmadaw’s attack on a large group of Muslim Rohingya in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, noting that 860,000 Rohingya who fled remain in camps in Bangladesh.
: Japanese FM Motegi meets Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi in Naypyidaw and they agree to reopen borders for long-term residents.
: China-based video sharing app TikTok sues US government for banning its service in the US, and demands annulment of the president’s executive orders.
: Philippines lodges a diplomatic protest over China’s illegal confiscation of fish aggregating devices from Filipino fisherman at the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea.
: State Department notifies Hong Kong that Washington has suspended or terminated three bilateral agreements following China’s imposition of a national security law.
: 27th iteration of the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercises is held, with 10 of 25 invited nations participating. The Philippines and Singapore are the only Southeast Asian participants, which are at-sea-only because of the pandemic. The US Navy and partner nations wrap up RIMPAC 2020 with the sinking of a decommissioned amphibious cargo vessel.
: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks with Pompeo about Russia’s proposed video summit at the United Nations to discuss Iran.
: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern postpones general elections to October 17 as Auckland remains in lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak.
: Photo of Chinese ambassador to Kiribati walking across the backs of local children goes viral, setting off controversy. Many i-Kiribati defend the practice as a local custom rather than a symbol of Chinese dominance, though other diplomats, including from Australia, say they have never participated in such a custom.
: India announces a $500 million package to fund a project in the Maldives. Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar says the plan will link Male to the islands of Villingili, Gulhifahu, and Thilagushi in the largest civilian infrastructure project in the Maldives.
: Japanese FM Motegi meets Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan in Singapore and they agree to ease travel restrictions implemented in response to COVID 19.
: Pompeo calls on European countries to rally against the Chinese Communist Party. Pompeo gives speech at the Czech Senate and says, “What’s happening now isn’t Cold War 2.0,” adding “The challenge of resisting the CCP threat is in some ways much more difficult.”
: Japanese Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu says that arrests of Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Agnes Chow and media tycoon Jimmy Lai raise questions about freedom of speech and the press in Hong Kong.
: China imposes sanctions on 11 US citizens, including six Republican lawmakers and other individuals at nonprofit and rights groups who Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian says “behaved egregiously on Hong Kong-related issues.”
: Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai is arrested under new national security law.
: US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar meets Taiwan President Tsai in Taipei.
: Russian President Vladimir Putin announces that Russia is the first country to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine.
: US imposes sanctions on Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, the current and former police chiefs, and eight top officials for curtailing political freedoms in the territory.
: Vietnam lodges protests against China’s recent military drills near the Parcel and Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.
: Secretary of Defense Mark Esper calls Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe and expresses concerns about Beijing’s destabilizing activity near Taiwan and the South China Sea.
: Pompeo announces the expansion of the Clean Network program aimed at removing Chinese technology companies from US telecommunications networks and app stores.
: Australian PM Morrison attends Aspen Security Forum and says that building an Indo-Pacific alliance is a critical priority for his government.
: Thailand army suspends plans for joint training abroad with the US military after nine Thai soldiers test positive for coronavirus after returning from Lightning Forge 2020 training in Hawaii.
: President Trump announces he will ban Chinese App TikTok in the US.
: China rejects charges that hackers linked to its government targeted biotech firm Moderna Inc.
: Treasury Department blacklists Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC), along with former XPCC party secretary Sun Jinlong, and XPCC deputy party secretary and commander Peng Jiarui over accusations they are connected to human rights abuses against Uyghurs in Xinjiang.
: Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation holds subcommittee hearing on “The China Challenge: Realignment of US Economic Policies to Build Resiliency and Competitiveness.”
: Former Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui dies. He is mourned as a hero of Taiwan’s democracy.
: European Union imposes sanctions on China over its treatment of Hong Kong.
: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte asks Chinese Chairman Xi Jinping for help getting access to a coronavirus vaccine and credit to purchase the vaccine.
: China orders US to shut down its Chengdu consulate in response to the closure of its Houston consulate.
: Pompeo tells US-India Business Council’s India Ideas Summit that the “Quad is revived.”
: Australia declares that China’s claims in the South China Sea have no legal basis under international law.
: Pompeo delivers a speech at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum entitled “Communist China and the Free Worlds’ Future.”
: US orders China to shut down its Houston consulate.
: US conducts simultaneous Quad-related naval exercises in the Indian Ocean and Philippine Sea.
: US Justice Department announces charges against two suspected Chinese hackers. The 11-count indictment accuses Li Xiaoyu and Dong Jiazhi of a hacking campaign that targeted companies and NGOs and stole intellectual property and trade secrets.
: China launches Shiyan-6 marine research vessel to boost exploration activities, including in the South China Sea.
: Russia tests anti-satellite weapon, launching a projectile from an orbiting satellite.
: Department of State imposes visa restrictions on certain employees of Chinese technology companies that provide material support to regimes engaging in human rights abuses globally.
: China books biggest single-day US corn purchase as it tries to meet trade deal commitments.
: US State Department issues a lengthy statement on the US position on maritime claims in the South China Sea, sharply calling out Beijing for its claims and “bullying” there.
: Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin wins a motion to remove the speaker of Parliament and replace the Speaker with his own candidate.
: Pompeo announces formal rejection of “most” of China’s maritime claims in the South China Sea.
: China’s Foreign Ministry announces retaliatory sanctions against US officials, including Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), over Xinjiang sanctions.
: State Department warns Americans of heightened detention risks in China, including detention and a ban from exiting the country.
: Singapore holds 13th general elections, which are won by the People’s Action Party, albeit by a narrower margin than usual.
: People’s Action Party retain power in Singapore election.
: WHO sends advance team to China to organize investigation into origins of COVID 19.
: Australia suspends extradition arrangement with Hong Kong following China’s passage of new national security law.
: Trump administration imposes visa and asset sanctions on several Chinese officials for their role in human rights violations of Uighurs in Xinjiang.
: State Department authorizes the repair and recertification of Patriot missiles (PAC-3) to Taiwan for an estimated cost of $620 million.
: FBI Director Christopher Wray delivers speech at the Hudson Institute entitled “The Threat Posed by the Chinese Government and the Chinese Communist Party to the Economic and National Security of the United States.
: Australia upgrades travel warning for China. Canberra claims its citizens entering China may be at risk of arbitrary detention.
: Seoul Central District Court rules that Kim Jong Un must pay more than $35,000 in damages to two former prisoners of war detained in North Korea.
: Koike Yuriko wins second term as governor of Tokyo.
: Japan passes revised state secrets law that allows exchanges with partners such as India, Australia, and the UK as well as existing exchange with the US, making it easier to share data on Chinese movements. It also allows Japan to exercise its right to collective self-defense and supply fuel and ammunition to other militaries in situations that pose a threat to Japan.
: Beijing appoints Zhen Yanxiong as director of new national security office in Hong Kong.
: Vietnam and the Philippines criticize Chinese military drills in disputed area of the South China Sea, near the Paracel Islands.
: Hanoi sends a diplomatic note to Beijing protesting Chinese naval drills off the Paracel Islands, which China has held since 1974 but which Vietnam also claims.
: India bans dozens of Chinese apps, including TikTok and WeChat, citing cybersecurity concerns.
: Chinese government asks US media outlets to submit information about their Chinese operations. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian named the Associated Press, National Public Radio, CBS and United Press International news agency as companies asked to submit information within seven days.
: Department of State imposes visa restrictions on Chinese Communist Party officials for undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy and restricting human rights.
: Australian intelligence services raid home of an elected Labor Party member Shaoquett Moselmane following allegations of foreign interference from China.
: National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien delivers a speech on China in Phoenix, Arizona entitled “The Chinese Communist Party’s Ideology and Global Ambitions.
: China occupies Rui village in Nepal.
: Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announces election for July 10th.
: Chinese Air Force jets briefly enter Taiwan’s air defense identification zone and are warned to leave via radio and patrolling Taiwanese fighters.
: Department of State designates Chinese media entities, including China Central Television, China News Service, People’s Daily, and Global Times, as foreign missions.
: Kiribati re-elects its pro-China president, who defeats a challenger who pledged to recognize Taiwan.
: Pompeo delivers a speech at the Virtual Copenhagen Democracy Summit entitled “Europe and the China Challenge.”
: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison calls attention to ongoing series of hacking cases by a sophisticated foreign state actor. Australian government agencies believe China is behind the attacks.
: Secretary of State Pompeo meets senior Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi in Honolulu.
: //www.reuters.com/article/us-hongkong-protests-china-taiwan/harboring-hong-kong-rioters-will-harm-taiwan-china-says-idUSKBN23R04D">announces it will set up office to help those thinking of leaving Hong Kong.
: North Korea detonates the inter Korean Liaison office. Sources inside the regime say it is part of an effort by Leader Kim Jong Un’s sister to boost her revolutionary credentials
: Beijing experiences a second mutated strain of COVID-19.
: Rappler founder Maria Ressa is convicted of cyber libel in the Philippines. The verdict is seen as a blow to press freedom.
: 20 Indian soldiers are killed in border clash with Chinese troops in the Galwan valley.
: China closes areas of Beijing in response to fears of COVID 19 resurgence.
: China annexes 60 square km of land claimed by India in Ladakh.
: China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism issues travel warning urging Chinese citizens not to travel to Australia due to a rise in racial discrimination and violence against Chinese and Asian people there.
: Korea and US reach a new cost-sharing agreement for funding local employees at US bases in the country
: India and Australia sign maritime peace operation agreement.
: Boris Johnson pledges to give nearly 3 million Hong Kong citizens the right to live and work in the UK if China enacts new security legislation for the territory.
: Philippines advises the US that it has frozen the process to cancel the bilateral Visiting Forces Agreement for a period of six months. Unless action is taken otherwise, the Philippines intends to abrogate the agreement at the end of the year.
: Following China’s imposition of new national security laws on Hong Kong, the US announces it will eliminate policy exemptions on the enclave because it is “no longer sufficiently autonomous.”
: Trump announces at a press conference that his administration “will take action to revoke Hong Kong’s preferential treatment as a separate customs and travel territory from the rest of China.”
: China sends 5,000 troops to its Indian border in show of strength amidst growing tensions. Both sides claim the other transgressed their boundaries.
: Senators Jim Inhofe and Jack Reed, in a joint War on the Rocks commentary, propose the establishment of a Pacific Deterrence Initiative.
: China’s National People’s Conference officially passes security bill which critics fear will undermine civil liberties in Hong Kong.
: Nepal shelves plans to redraw its national map to include areas claimed by India.
: Trump offers to mediate China-India border dispute as tensions rise.
: Policy makers and politicians from 23 countries condemn China for proposing new set of security laws for Hong Kong.
: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi calls for more cooperation with the US to manage the global impact of the coronavirus and limit the global economic fallout.
: US littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords and Singaporean frigate RSS Steadfast conduct bilateral exercises on the South China Sea to enhance interoperability between the two navies.
: China proposes new national security legislation for Hong Kong that many fear will essentially end the “one country two systems” arrangement.
: President Tsai Ing-wen is inaugurated for second term as president of the Republic of China.
: President Trump threatens to permanently cut off WHO funding and revoke US membership if the group does not curb its purported pro-China bias.
: The Chinese embassy in Kiribati re-opens.
: The 30th round of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership negotiations are held as a virtual conference.
: A Chinese state-owned company raised concerns by looking to buy the largest mobile phone carrier in the Pacific islands Digicel, opening a new front in the fight for influence in the Pacific between China and democratic states.
: A Chinese survey ship and two coast guard vessels in the SCS leave the disputed waters after an oil exploration vessel contracted by Malaysian state energy company Petronas left the disputed waters earlier the same day.
: Indian and Chinese security forces scuffle along the disputed border at the Naku La pass.
: Myanmar military declares a three-month nationwide ceasefire, excluding areas where terrorist groups take positions.
: Two of four China Coast Guard vessels in waters around the contested Senkaku Islands approached and chased a Japanese fishing boat, resulting in an immediate protest to the Chinese embassy in Tokyo.
: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo publicly calls for Taiwan’s participation in the upcoming World Health Assembly as an observer.
: Scuffle between Chinese and Indian troops at border on Pangong Tso. Incident is downplayed and resolved.
: Deputy National Security Advisor Matt Pottinger delivers a speech at the University of Virginia entitled “Reflections on China’s May Fourth Movement: an American Perspective.”
: North Korean troops fire on a South Korean guardpost along the DMZ near Cheorwon.
: Kim Jong Un reappears.
: Pentagon announces deployment of four B-1 bombers to Guam on a “strategic deterrence mission.”
: South Korea and China agree to start some business travel under a “fast-track” immigration arrangement.
: US Department of Commerce announces new rules to tighten exports of certain sensitive technologies to China.
: US Department of Defense authorizes release of three videos of unidentified aerial phenomena to “clear up any misconceptions,” about videos already circulating.
: Australian government launches coronavirus tracing app, using Bluetooth to log when people are close to each other, enabling health officials to trace people potentially exposed to the illness.
: G20 health ministers online meeting; draft statement “scuppered” by US over positive references to WHO.
: China’s space agency names its first Mars exploration mission Tianwen-1, which is expected to be launched this year.
: Virtual US-ASEAN ministerial meeting is conducted, but the joint statement is reportedly delayed by disagreement over reference to China’s handling of the pandemic.
: Trump announces 60-day suspension of immigration into the US, to ensure US workers are first to get jobs.
: Australian frigate HMAS Parramatta joins three US warships in the South China Sea near an area Chinese vessels are suspected of exploring for oil.
: Daily NK, a Seoul-based online journal run by activists and defectors with sources inside North Korea, alleges that Kim Jong Un is recovering from a medical procedure, setting off international speculation about the North Korean leader’s well-being.
: Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne calls for independent inquiry into the coronavirus outbreak and how it developed and spread.
: UN report finds that North Korea evaded international sanction and has raised millions of dollars through hacking and smuggling.
: USAF ends 16-year Continuous Bomber Presence on Guam.
: G7 leaders call for a review and reform of the World Health Organization.
: North Korean defector Thae Yong-ho, running with the conservative opposition party, wins a South Korean National Assembly seat despite a ruling party landslide.
: US State Department report speculates that China secretly set off low-level underground nuclear test explosions.
: North Korea celebrates the Day of the Sun, national founder Kim Il Sung’s birth anniversary. Kim Jong Un does not attend.
: North Korea test-fires short-range cruise missiles.
: ASEAN and ASEAN Plus Three Summit on the COVID-19 coronavirus are conducted via video conference.
: Trump announces the US will halt funding to the WHO while investigating its mismanagement of the coronavirus response.
: Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs expresses solidarity with Vietnam after protests over the sinking of a Vietnamese fishing boat by China in the disputed South China Sea.
: Abe approves an economic stimulus package worth about $1 trillion and plans direct payments to households and businesses in coronavirus emergency.
: China is appointed to a panel on the UN Human Rights Council, serving as representative of Asia-Pacific states.
: Vietnam protests China’s of sinking a Vietnamese fishing boat near the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea.
: North Korea launches two short-range ballistic missiles.
: Trump signs the TAIPEI (Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative) Act into law.
: G7 virtual ministerial meeting fails to issue a joint communique, reportedly over Pompeo’s insistence on including reference to the “Wuhan virus.”
: Secretary of Defense Mark Esper signs order freezing the movement of US military personnel for 60 days over concerns from the coronavirus pandemic.
: G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting is held via video conference call, attended by the US, Italy, France, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan, and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
: Abe and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach agree to reschedule the Olympics for the summer of 2021 at the latest.
: Modi orders nationwide lockdown in India, including a shutdown of all nonessential government offices and private businesses, and for all Indians to remain at home.
: South Korea’s armed forces track two North Korean short-range ballistic missiles launched into the Sea of Japan.
: Indonesian and Malaysian foreign ministers discuss virtual cooperation and collaboration amid COVID-19 pandemic.
: North Korea test-fires two short-range ballistic missiles.
: Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announces that it will revoke press credentials of Americans working for The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the Washington Post.
: China reports zero new local infections of COVID-19.
: China and Cambodia participate in third annual Golden Dragon exercise in Cambodia’s Kampot province, focusing on counter-terrorism and humanitarianism.
: Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Lijian Zhao implies on Twitter that US military brought coronavirus to Wuhan.
: WHO officially labels COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.
: Trump announces measures to tackle COVID-19, including by suspending most travel from Europe.
: North Korea launches three short-range projectiles.
: US defense contractor Lockheed Martin temporarily suspends production of fifth-generation Lightning II F-35Astealth fighter aircraft at a facility in Nagoya over coronavirus concerns.
: Chinese research scientists allege that their research shows the new coronavirus evolved into two strains.
: US imposes restrictions on the number of Chinese state-owned media employees allowed to work in the US.
: North Korea fires what appears to be two short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea. China’s foreign ministry calls for dialogue.
: US Department of Justice announces charges against two Chinese nationals for money laundering conspiracy and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business. The defendants, Tian Yinyin and Li Jiadong, allegedly laundering “more than $100 million in cryptocurrency that had been stolen by ‘North Korean actors.’”
: South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff reports that North Korea launched two short-range ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan.
: Malaysia names Muhyiddin Yassin prime minister.
: US elevates warnings against travel to regions in Italy and South Korea.
: US and South Korea decide to postpone joint military exercises over coronavirus concerns.
: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden meets Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Sydney, where she criticizes Australia’s policy of forcible deportations of New Zealand citizens.
: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern meets Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama in Suva, Fiji.
: Indonesian House of Representative commission on defense, intelligence, and foreign affairs approves previous defense arrangements between Indonesia and the United States, including “a plan for the navy to receive up to 14 ScanEagleunmanned aerial vehicles and upgrades for three Bell 412 helicopters from the U.S. government.”
: US Defense Secretary Mark Esper says that South Korea should contribute more financially to its own defense.
: Thailand, the US, Singapore, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and South Korea participate in Exercise Cobra Gold 2020. Cobra Gold focuses on “humanitarian civic action, a cyber exercise, an amphibious assault exercise, a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercise, culminating in the combined arms live fire exercise.”
: Malaysia’s king installs Mahathir Mohamad as interim prime minister following his shock resignation.
: President Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi meet in Ahmedabad, India.
: Researchers from Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanic Garden, led by Dr. Yu Webin publish research suggesting that the coronavirus was introduced from outside the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, but then spread rapidly within it.
: Malaysia declares that it will choose a 5G partner based on the country’s own security standards amid strong pushes from the US to exclude Huawei.
: South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha meets with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to discuss cooperative measures to combat COVID-19, as well as the potential delay of Xi’s planned Seoul.
: UN experts accuse North Korea of increasing imports and exports of banned and restricted good such as coal and petroleum products despite explicit sanctions.
: US and Europe reach a general agreement on confronting China.
: South Korean and Canadian Foreign Ministers agree on efforts to expand bilateral economic cooperation and bolster exchanges of high-level officials at Munich Security Conference.
: Director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office Zhang Xiaoming is replaced by Xia Baolong, chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
: Japan reports its first death related to coronavirus.
: Philippines declares intent to terminate major security pact that has allowed US forces to train in the country.
: WHO proposes “COVID-19” as official name for the illness caused by the new coronavirus.
: Chinese PLA Air Force flies into Bashi Channel during exercise, prompting a Taiwanese response.
: South Korea and the US hold working group meeting in Seoul spotlighting issues of policy coordination on inter-Korean exchanges between North and South Korea.
: Thailand bars passengers from Holand America’s MS Westerdam cruise ship from disembarking, amid fears of the coronavirus.
: US State Department official involved in nuclear talks with North Korea arrives in South Korea for a meeting of a bilateral policy coordination working group on the regime.
: South Korean Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul reaffirms the need for inter-Korean cooperation in railways, roads, and tourism, as South Korea seeks to expand cross-border exchanges as part of efforts to continue its engagement with North Korea.
: The coronavirus death toll in China climbs above 1,000.
: Hong Kong imposes a mandatory two-week quarantine on all arrivals from mainland China, including daily phone calls and spot checks.
: UN Security Council panel approves sanctions exemptions to three aid agencies allowing humanitarian assistance to North Korea.
: Coronavirus allegedly kills Li Wenliang, who had been reproached by Wuhan police for “spreading rumors” about the coronavirus.
: Philippine foreign secretary warns that abrogating the Visiting Forces Agreement with the US would threaten crucial security, trade, and economic interests.
: Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen visits Beijing, making a public vote of confidence in China’s ability to control the coronavirus epidemic.
: A Chinese field hospital, built in under two weeks, opens to coronavirus patients in Wuhan.
: Japan’s Ministry of Defense confirms plans to procure new standoff missiles.
: Investigators from the International Criminal Court begin collecting evidence involving alleged crimes against humanity by Myanmar against Rohingya Muslims.
: Brunei carries out military exercise in a rare display of how the state thinks about and acts with respect to its own defense.
: US and Japan conclude 2020 Iteration of Exercise Forest Light Western Army.
: Commissioning of three vessels marks quick completion and operationalization of the program for Singapore’s Navy.
: Japan quarantines Yokohama-bound cruise ship, the Diamond Princess, after a man who sailed on it tested positive for coronavirus.
: China reports a total of 11,821 cases (cases reported includes Hong Kong, Macau, and Taipei) and 259 deaths. Worldwide, 132 cases of coronavirus were reported outside China in 23 other countries.
: Hong Kong government announces that a passenger on the Diamond Princess who disembarked on January 25 has tested positive for COVID-19.
: Trump administration announces travel restrictions, barring entry by foreign nationals who recently visited China.
: Singapore Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan makes a working visit to Malaysia, meeting with a variety of ministers on bilateral issues.
: China’s new ambassador pledges efforts for “great” development of South Korea-China ties.
: North Korea and South Korea close Joint Liaison Office in Kaesong over concerns about the coronavirus outbreak.
: WHO declares the coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency and a significant threat beyond China.
: US State Department issues advisory to Americans to not travel to China because of the public health threat posed by coronavirus.
: US military begins issuing furlough warnings to almost 9,000 civilian South Korean employees as cost-sharing negotiations remain at an impasse.
: Democratic US senators urge administration officials to reconsider demands in defense talks with South Korea, highlighting the risks of failing to reach an agreement.
: South Korea sends $1 million in aid and a government delegation to help Australia recover from bushfires.
: USS Montgomery conducts first 2020 FONOP in South China Sea.
: WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus meets Xi Jinping to share latest information on the novel coronavirus outbreak.
: US Department of State confirms efforts to extricate diplomats from virus-hit city of Wuhan.
: Malaysian watchdog files a lawsuit against Singapore home minister after it is accused of violating Singapore’s fake news law.
: US confirms second case of coronavirus involving a Chicago women returning from Wuhan.
: UN’s International Court of Justice orders Myanmar to prevent Rohingya Genocide.
: Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte renews threat to terminate accord that allows US forces to train in country unless Washington restores the visa of a political ally linked to human rights violations.
: Wuhan officials announce a complete travel ban on residents, suspending urban buses, subways, ferries, and long-distance passenger transport in the city.
: ASEAN Secretariat invites India to attend a February 2020 RCEP meeting in Bali.
: WHO issues a statement suggesting human-to-human transmission of 2019-nCoV is taking place in Wuhan.
: Foreign tour agencies report that North Korea has closed its borders with China.
: United States confirms its first case of COVID-19.
: China’s new envoy to ASEAN arrives in Jakarta as tensions rise over Chinese conduct in South China Sea.
: ASEAN foreign ministers agree to hold summit with Trump.
: Vietnam chairs ASEAN-IPR meeting in Jakarta.
: US confirms the first patient diagnosed with the new coronavirus in Washington state.
: Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Navy begins a two-day introductory visit to Singapore to meet the Singaporean Minister for Defense.
: WHO issues its first situation report on the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). As of Jan. 20, there were 282 confirmed cases from four countries including China, Thailand, Japan, and South Korea.
: Singapore Ministry of Health announces that temperature screenings at Changi Airport will be extended to all travelers arriving from China.
: Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo pledges to bolster Japan’s role under its security pact with the U.S. in “outer space and cyber space.”
: Xi Jinping visits Myanmar for his first overseas visit of 2020. Xi and Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi sign 33 agreements related to infrastructure development, trade, manufacturing, and special economic zones.
: Vietnam’s largest telecommunications company, Viettel, announces it would move forward with development of domestic 5G technology.
: Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng meets Vietnamese Minister of Public Security To Lam, and signs a cooperation plan for 2020.
: The US begins additional screening procedures for passengers from Wuhan at three airports- San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles.
: Japan confirms its first case of the new coronavirus.
: “Phase 1” United States-China trade deal is officially signed in a White House ceremony featuring President Trump and Vice Premier Liu He.
: Thailand Army chief Gen. Apirat Kongsompong visits Indonesia Army chief Gen. Andika Perkasa in Aech, Indonesia. They extend their security cooperation and sign an intelligence pact.
: The United States and Japan conduct a one-day naval exercise in the East China Sea.
: Japan’s Defense Minister Kono Taro visits the Pacific Missile Range Facility on the Hawaiian island of Kauai.
: WHO works with officials in Thailand and China following reports of a confirmed novel coronavirus case outside of China, in Thailand.
: China shares the genetic sequence of the novel coronavirus with the WHO.
: A 61-year-old man dies from pneumonia in Wuhan and is cited as “the first victim of the outbreak that began in December.”
: US Department of State approves the possible sale of 12 F-35Bs to Singapore. The sale is subject to congressional approval.
: Hong Kong requests that China provide genetic information on the “mystery virus” behind the Wuhan outbreak, after Chinese authorities identified the disease to be of a new coronavirus strain.
: Chinese researchers identify a new virus as the pathogen behind the outbreak of a pneumonia-like illness in Wuhan as a new coronavirus.
: US Embassy in China warns Americans in China to avoid animals and contact with sick people.
: Japanese Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu and Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh meet in Hanoi. Motegi and Minh discuss the importance of maintaining freedom of navigation and the rule of law in the South China Sea, and agree to coordinate Japan’s push for a free and open Indo-Pacific with ASEAN’s efforts to promote stable growth.
: Chinese health authorities report 59 cases of an unknown viral pneumonia that is not SARS, MERS, or bird flu.
: WHO publishes its first Disease Outbreak News on the new unknown virus in Wuhan.
: Myanmar and Bangladesh hold a senior-level border conference, putting the spotlight on efforts to manage strained security ties.
: Malaysia officially confirms that it will reopen its embassy in North Korea.
: Wuhan police bureau issues letter to Dr. Li Wenliang to stop illegal behavior, alleging he spread “illegal and false” information and “severely disrupted social order,” by telling a group of doctors on the messaging platform WeChat that seven cases of SARS had been confirmed linked to a seafood market in Wuhan.
: Chinese health authorities report that they are trying to identify what is causing an outbreak in Wuhan, as the number of cases rose to 44 and rumors on social media suggested the outbreak could be linked to SARS.
: Singapore’s Ministry of Health takes precautionary measures, warning medical practitioners to look out for suspected cases of pneumonia related to travel from Wuhan. Temperature screenings are implemented at Changi Airport for all travelers arriving from Wuhan.
: Helicopter crash in Yilan, Taiwan kills Taiwanese Gen. Shen Yi-ming.
: WHO maintains ongoing contact with authorities in China over an “unidentified outbreak of viral pneumonia” in Wuhan.
: WHO China Country Office is notified of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause in Wuhan.
: China’s National Medical Products Administration approves pneumonia vaccine developed by Chinese drugmaker Walvax Biotechnology.
: Hong Kong increases vigilance and temperature screenings at border checkpoints after the “mysterious outbreak of viral pneumonia” in Whuan.
: North Korean state media quotes Kim Jong-un as saying North Korea is no longer bound by its nuclear and long-range missile testing moratorium.
: Chinese health authorities investigate 27 cases of “viral pneumonia” in Wuhan, linked to the seafood market in the city. Seven were in critical condition and “the cause of the disease is not clear.”
: China, Russia, and Iran conduct a four-day naval exercise in the northern part of the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman.
: An elderly couple visit a Hubei Provincial with symptoms of fever, cough, and fatigue. Their CT images are seen by Dr. Zhang Jixian, who noticed features different from flu or pneumonia. Zhang reports the discovery of the viral disease to be probably infectious.
: Leaders of China, South Korea, and Japan meet in Chengdu, where they express their mutual commitment to peace on the Korean peninsula, denuclearization, and a China-Japan-ROK free trade agreement. The meeting is Abe and Moon’s first in 15 months.
: Trump and the US Trade Representative announce a phase one trade deal with China.
: South Korea and Australia meet in Sydney for “two plus two talks” to discuss joint efforts for regional security and other issues of mutual concern.
: The symptoms of confirmed cases of novel coronavirus are first confirmed, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) report.
: The eighth joint India-China military training exercise, Hand-in-Hand 2019 takes place in the Indian state of Meghalaya.
: Chinese and South Korean Foreign Ministers Wang Yi and Kang Kyung-wha meet in Seoul.
: Kim Jong Un appears atop a white horse at Mt. Kumgang, hinting at a return to a more confrontational stance toward the US.
: US House of Representatives approves the Uygur Intervention and Global Humanitarian Unified Response Act of 2019.
: Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir meets President Moon in Seoul and they agree to a strategic partnership.
: Russia, China, and South Africa start trilateral maritime exercise off Cape Town.
: Vietnam releases its 2019 defense white paper, launched in a ceremony led by Deputy Defense Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh.
: Prime Minister Abe meets Foreign Minister Wang in Tokyo.
: Busan hosts ASEAN-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit, bringing together the leaders of South Korea and10 Southeast Asian countries.
: Hong Kong votes in district-level elections. The pro-democracy bloc gains control over 17 out of 18 District Councils, and nearly 90% of the overall seats.
: Bougainville voting lasts two weeks, and results in almost 98% voting in favor of independence from Papua New Guinea.
: South Korea announces its decision to continue the General Security of Military Intelligence Agreement (GSOMIA) with Japan, just six hours before the agreement was to expire.
: Tuvalu Foreign Minister Simon Kofe expresses support for Taiwan and reaffirms strong diplomatic ties. Kofe says that Tuvalu rejected offers from Chinese companies to build artificial islands.
: India’s Strategic Forces Command test fires two Prithvi-II tactical surface-to-surface short-range ballistic missiles as part of its annual training to test the combat readiness of the missile forces.
: The US Senate passes the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act.
: Taiwan’s Ministry of Education welcomes university students fleeing turmoil in Hong Kong to attend lectures at colleges in Taiwan to continue their studies.
: The first case of someone in China suffering from the novel coronavirus could have been a 55-year old Hubei man, the South China Morning Post reports in March
: China sails its domestically built aircraft carrier through the Taiwan Strait as part of sea trials. In response, Taiwan scrambled ships and jets to monitor the carrier group.
: Thai Prime Minister Prayut and US Defense Secretary Esper sign the US-Thailand Joint Vision Statement 2020, setting general areas of focus for defense collaboration.
: ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting Retreat is held in Bangkok.
: US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper meets South Korean Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo in Seoul, pressing South Korea to pay more for the cost of stationing US troops.
: Indian and US militaries engage in Tiger Triumph, joint tri-service humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercises in Andhra Pradesh, India.
: The 12th China-ASEAN Conference on People to People Friendship Organizations is held in Bandung, Indonesia.
: India withdraws from the RCEP trade agreement.
: China announces 26 new measures to open its markets to Taiwanese firms and treat Taiwanese the same as Chinese.
: The 35th ASEAN Summit, the 22nd ASEAN+3 Summit, and the 14th East Asia Summit are held in Bangkok along with various 10+1 meetings between ASEAN and its dialogue partners.
: Russian military aircraft enters the Korean Air Defense Identification Zone. In response, South Korea scrambles fighter jets. Russia denies any airspace violations.
: South Korea and Indonesia reach a preliminary trade agreement.
: Xi visits Nepal and meets President Bidhya Devi Bhandari and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli. They agree on a trans-Himalayan railroad link extending from Tibet to Nepal.
: Xi meets Modi in Mamallapuram, India. They agree to establish a new mechanism to discuss trade and resolve India’s trade deficit with China.
: Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare meets Premier Li Keqiang at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. They sign bilateral agreements to increase cooperation in foreign affairs, economic technology, and education.
: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan meets Xi in Beijing.
: Japan and the US sign a bilateral trade agreement. “The agreement will lead Japan to eliminate or reduce tariffs on an additional $7.2 billion of US food and agricultural products, according to the US Department of Agriculture.
: A North Korean fishing trawler collides with a Japanese patrol vessel in the Sea of Japan (East Sea), within Japan’s exclusive economic zone.
: Officials from North Korea and the United States meet in Stockholm, but reach no agreement on future talks.
: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte meets Putin in Sochi. They agree to “strengthen their countries’ partnership in the fight against terrorism and enter into more economic cooperation.”
: Vietnam demands that China withdraw an oil exploration ship from an area in the South China Sea that is claimed by both countries.
: Malaysian telecoms giant Maxis agrees to buy 5G equipment from China’s Huawei Technologies.
: Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi meets Abe in Tokyo.
: China unveils intercontinental strategic nuclear missile, Dongfeng-41 at the National Day military parade in Beijing.
: China restores diplomatic ties with Kiribati.
: Japan’s annual defense white paper places China above North Korea as the major threat to Japanese security for the first time.
: Singapore and the US participate in the bilateral naval exercise Pacific Griffin in the waters off the coast of Guam.
: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan meets Trump on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
: Modi meets Trump at a “Howdy, Modi!” rally in Houston.
: Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ships visit the Philippines.
: Morrison visits US President Donald Trump at the White House. Morrison is the second world leader to be given a state dinner by Trump.
: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern meets Prime Minister Abe in Tokyo.
: Kiribati breaks diplomatic relations with Taiwan. Taiwan responds in kind.
: South Korea revokes Japan’s preferential trade partner status.
: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang meets Putin at the Kremlin.
: ASEAN and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) sign Practical Arrangements “to promote cooperation in nuclear science and technology, applications, nuclear safety, security and safeguards.”
: Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama meets Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Canberra. They sign “a comprehensive new partnership agreement covering security cooperation, trade, people-to-people links, greater multilateral cooperation, and increased connections between Australian and Fijian institutions.”
: Solomon Islands announces that it will switch diplomatic recognition to China. Taiwan responds by breaking diplomatic ties with the Solomon Islands.
: China, Russia, India, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan conduct Center 2019 military exercise in Western Russia and Kyrgyzstan.
: Singapore, India, and Thailand conduct a joint naval exercise, beginning in Port Blair, India.
: Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev meets Chairman Xi Jinping in Beijing. They agree “to develop a permanent comprehensive strategic partnership.”
: Royal Australian Air Force and Japan Air Self-Defense Force hold joint drills in Japan, codenamed Bushido Guardian 2019.
: Wang meets Napalese Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali in Kathmandu.
: US INDOPACOM Commander Adm. Philip Davidson visits Brunei and meets Second Minister of Defense Awang Halbi bin Mohd Yussof, and Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.
: Pakistan hosts trilateral meeting of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Raabani, and Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to discuss “trade, counterterrorism and an end to Afghanistan’s 18-year war.”
: Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo meets Putin in Vladivostok on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum. They agree to “promote talks for the dispute over four Japanese-claimed, Russian-held islands off Hokkaido and the conclusion of a peace treaty.”
: Modi meets Mahathir in Vladivostok on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum.
: Mahathir meets Putin on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok.
: Moon meets Laotian President Bounnhang Vorachit in Vientiane. They discuss elevating ties by Korea “investing more in various business sectors” in Laos.
: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets Russian President Vladimir Putin in Vladivostok on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum. They agree to establish “joint development and production of military equipment, spare parts and components as well as improving the system of after sales services.” Modi also offered a $1 billion line of credit to Russia to develop its Far East.
: South Korean President Moon meets Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi in Nay Pyi Taw.
: Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad visits Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen in Phnom Penh. They sign agreements “to boost bilateral trade, investment and tourism.”
: South Korean President Moon Jae-in meets Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha in Bangkok. They agree to “expand bilateral partnerships to high-tech sectors in response to the fourth industrial revolution.”
: Inaugural ASEAN-US Maritime Exercise begins in Thailand and finishes in Singapore, including eight warships, four aircraft, and more than 1,000 personnel from the US and all 10 ASEAN countries.
: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visits North Korea and meets Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho. The meeting is described as “an important follow-up step to implement consensus at the highest level between our two parties and countries and to advance bilateral relations.”
: Culture and tourism ministers of South Korea, Japan and China meet in Incheon and agree to increase cultural, sports and people-to-people exchanges despite tensions over trade and their shared history.
: In a meeting with China’s Chairman Xi in Beijing, Philippine President Duterte raises the 2016 ruling on China’s 9-dash line in the South China Sea. Xi reiterates “China’s refusal to recognize the arbitral ruling.”
: USS Wayne E. Meyer sails near Fiery Cross and Mischief Reef “to challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways governed by international law.”
: Indonesian President Joko Widodo announces that Indonesia will relocate its capital from Jakarta to East Kalimantan on the island of Borneo.
: North Korea launches its seventh projectile test since July 25. Korean Central News Agency reports the successful test of a “super-large multiple rocket launcher.”
: South Korea notifies Japan that it will withdraw from the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA).
: US State Department approves $8 billion arms sale comprising 66 F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan.
: North Korea test-fires two short-range ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan, “the sixth launch of projectiles by the country since July 25.”
: Leaders of the 18 member countries convene in Tuvalu for the 50th meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum and issue the Kainaki II Declaration for Urgent Climate Change Action Now immediately following the session.
: South Korea downgrades Japan from “most trusted status” to a newly established category, citing Tokyo’s violations of “the basic principles of the international export control regime.”
: North Korea launches “the fifth round of launches by Pyongyang in just over two week,” sending two short-range ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan.
: UN sanctions committee on North Korea releases a report showing DPRK-directed cyberattacks have raised to date $2 billion in funds to support its WMD programs.
: South Korea’s military reports that two “short-range ballistic missiles” were launched by North Korea into the Sea of Japan.
: US and South Korea hold joint-military exercises Dong Maeng 19-2, a “scaled-back combined command post exercise” that is executed primarily through computer simulations.
: India’s Home Minister announces the decision to abolish Article 370 of the constitution, removing Kashmir’s special status.
: US Treasury Department formally accuses China of “manipulating its currency.”
: Secretary of State Pompeo visits Pohnpei, the first official visit by a sitting secretary of State to the Federated States of Micronesia.
: Secretary of State Pompeo and Defense Secretary Esper meet Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne and Defense Minister Linda Reynolds in Sydney for the 29th Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations “to deepen economic, security, and strategic cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region and globally.”
: The 26th ASEAN Regional Forum is held in Bangkok.
: The 20th ASEAN Plus Three Foreign Ministers Meeting is held in Bangkok.
: South Korea’s military detects two short-range missiles fired from North Korea’s East Coast into the East Sea.
: US formally withdraws from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
: Japan’s Foreign Ministry calls Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to Iturup island in the South Kurils “extremely regrettable.”
: US Defense Secretary Esper makes his first official trip to Asia with stops in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Mongolia, and South Korea.
: Philippines Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin files a diplomatic protest against China after over 100 Chinese fishing vessels were recorded around Philippines’ claimed Pag-asa (Thitu) Island.
: Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen commits $40 million to weapons purchases from China “to strengthen the army.”
: China’s State Council Information Office releases the 10th defense white paper, China’s National Defense in the New Era.
: USS Antietam conducts “a routine Taiwan Strait transit” to demonstrate “the US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
: US Department of Justice indicts Dandong Industrial Development Co., its owner Ma Xiaohong, and three managers on charges of conspiracy to evade US sanctions in engaging with North Korean companies developing nuclear weapons.
: Russia and China fly a joint patrol over the East China Sea. South Korea fires warning shots at two Russian Tu-95 strategic bombers, two Chinese H-6 bombers, a Russia A-50 early warning plane, and a Chinese KJ-2000 after they enter the Korean Air Defense Identification Zone. Japan lodges official complaints against Russia and China for violating its airspace.
: China’s State Council Information Office publishes a white paper to justify its treatment of Uighurs in Xinjiang, positing that they became Muslim by force of “religious wars and the ruling class.”
: US Department of State calls on China to “cease its bullying behavior” in coercing ASEAN members from pursuing oil and gas activities in the South China Sea.
: Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry accuses Chinese oil survey vessel, Haiyang Dizhi 8, of having undertaken activities that “violated Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf,” in the South China Sea.
: Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen tours the US and Caribbean on her “Journey of Freedom, Democracy and Sustainability.” Tsai stops in New York City for two nights on her way to visit Caribbean allies Haiti, St. Christopher and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and St. Lucia. She stops in Denver on her way back to Taiwan.
: Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Stilwell makes his first official trip to Asia. He stops first in Japan before continuing to the Philippines where he leads the US delegation in the Bilateral Strategic Dialogue. He stops in South Korea on July 17 and concludes his tour in Thailand.
: US Department of State approves $2.2 billion arms sale to Taiwan including 108 Abrams tanks and 250 Stinger missiles. China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs calls on the US to “immediately cancel” the sale and cease undermining “China’s sovereignty and security interests.”
: China’s Defense Ministry denies launching anti-ship missiles during recent exercise in the South China Sea, claiming drills “involved the firing of live ammunition.” Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson responds to China’s exercises by referencing the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and that any activities should serve “regional peace, security, stability and cooperation.”
: JS Izumo returns to Japan following a two-month extended naval deployment in the Indo-Pacific that included joint cooperation exercises with the US and other allies.
: President Trump visits South Korea. He and President Moon “reaffirm” the US-ROK alliance, describing it as “the linchpin of peace and security in the Indo-Pacific.” Trump shakes hands with North Korean Chairman Kim Jong Un at the Demilitarized Zone and agrees to continue negotiations with North Korea.
: The 14th meeting of the G20 convenes in Osaka, where leaders discuss trade tensions, WTO reforms, information security, climate change and migration.
: Prime Minister Abe and Chairman Xi Jinping meet ahead of the G20 summit and agree to collaborate on “free, fair trade,” elevate their countries’ relationship “to the next level,” and confirm Xi’s state visit to Japan next spring. President Moon Jae-in also meets Xi to discuss denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, Xi’s recent visit to Pyongyang, and bilateral cooperation. President Trump and Xi agree to a tentative truce ahead of negotiations during the G20 Summit.
: US, Japan, and Australia announce jointly financed $1 billion LNG project in Papua New Guinea.
: US State Department condemns China’s “intense persecution” of religious faiths, particularly in Xinjiang, in its 2018 Annual Report on International Religious Freedom.
: Japan’s Ministry of Defense and South Korea’s Air Force each cite two Russian military aircraft violating their air defense identification zones (ADIZ).
: Chairman Xi travels to Pyongyang to meet Chairman Kim Jong Un. Xi promises to play a “positive and constructive role” in denuclearization and urges the continuation of US-DPRK talks, while Kim states that North Korea will “remain patient” despite “parties that have failed to respond positively” to negotiations.
: Southeast Asian leaders meet in Bangkok for the 34th ASEAN summit. They adopt a joint declaration to combat plastic pollution in oceans and release statements regarding regional economic and security collaboration, the de-escalation of tensions in the South China Sea, and investigations into human rights violations in Myanmar.
: South Korea’s Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs Lee Do-hoon meets US Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun in Washington DC to discuss ways to facilitate the resumption of US-North Korea dialogue.
: US Department of Treasury blacklists Russian Financial Society for allegedly aiding North Korea in sanctions evasion.
: President Rodrigo Duterte calls the sinking of a Philippine fishing boat by a Chinese vessel “just a collision,” warning against military action toward China.
: Protesters demand Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s resignation. Lam apologizes for “deficiencies in the Government’s work” regarding the extradition bill that spurred the largest protests in Hong Kong since 1997.
: US Senate confirms David Stilwell to be the assistant secretary of state for East Asia and the Pacific. The position had been vacant since 2017.
: US submits report to the UN Security Council’s North Korea Sanctions Committee blaming North Korea for breaching a UN-imposed cap on fuel imports through illicit ship-to-ship transfers.
: US Coast Guard (USCG) announces the deployment of cutters Bertholf and Stratton with the Navy’s Seventh Fleet in Yokosuka on the rationale that they will aid “law enforcement and capacity-building in the fisheries enforcement realm” in the Western Pacific.
: Chinese vessel sinks a Filipino fishing boat near Reed Bank and leaves the 22 Filipino crewmen stranded until they are rescued by a Vietnamese fishing boat.
: Thailand’s Parliament elects PM Prayut Chan-o-cha to remain in office.
: Chinese Chairman Xi Jinping visits Russia to attend the 23rd St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. The two sides agree to upgrade bilateral ties to a “comprehensive strategic partnership,” sign more than $20 billion of deals in technology and energy to boost economic ties, and present themselves as champions of free trade and globalization.
: Acting Secretary of Defense Shanahan and South Korean Minister of National Defense Jeong Kyeong Doo formally terminate the Freedom Guardian joint military exercises that were first suspended last year to reduce military tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
: China’s Defense Minister Wei Fenghe defends the use of force against protesters in Tiananmen Square in 1989 and its “vocational training centres” in Xinjiang as integral to ensuring that Chinese citizens “enjoy secure and stable lives” in his speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue.
: China releases a white paper on economic and trade talks with the US, refuting the efficacy of the US tariffs and blaming the dissolution of the negotiation process on it.
: US Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan presents the Indo-Pacific Strategy Report at Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore and identifies the region as the “priority theater” for the US.
: Narendra Modi is sworn in for a second term as India’s prime minister following a general election in which his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 303 of 542 parliamentary seats.
: Amnesty International releases report that chronicles seven unlawful attacks by the Tatmadaw against civilians in Rakhine state since the Jan. 4 attacks by the Arakan Army (AA) on police.
: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte visits Tokyo to deliver a keynote address at the 25th International Conference on The Future of Asia. Duterte also meets Prime Minster Abe to discuss “trade, investment and growing Chinese activity in disputed regional seas.”
: Taiwan confirms that its National Security Council Secretary General David Lee met US national security adviser John Bolton during Lee’s May 13-21 visit to the US. It’s the first exchange between top security officials of both governments since 1979.
: Navies from the US, Japan, South Korea, and Australia launch the inaugural Pacific Vanguard exercise off Guam “to conduct cooperative maritime training.” Over 3,000 sailors take part in drills including “combined maneuvers, live fire exercises, defense counter-air operations, anti-submarine warfare, and replenishment at sea.”
: USS Preble and USNS Walter S. Diehl transit the Taiwan Strait to demonstrate “the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.” China issues “stern representations” against the US in reaction.
: USS Preble conducts a freedom of navigation operation (FONOP) near Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea “to challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways as governed by international law.”
: USS William P. Lawrence joins JS Izumo and JS Marusame for a “cooperative naval deployment” in the Malacca Strait to improve communication and interoperability between the US Navy and Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF).
: USS William P. Lawrence participates in naval exercise La Perouse with five other vessels from France, Japan, and Australia in the Bay of Bengal. The exercise includes “sailing in formation, live-fire drills, communications, search and rescue, damage control and personnel transfers.”
: US Coast Guard cutter Bertholf practices search-and-rescue exercises with Philippines Coast Guard vessels BRP Batangas and BRP Kalanggaman near Scarborough Shoal.
: China announces that it will raise tariffs on $60 billion of US goods currently taxed between 5 and 10% up to 25% beginning on June 1. This includes commodities like “animal products, frozen fruits and vegetables,” as well as “baking condiments, chemicals and vodka.”
: North Korea test-launches two short-range ballistic missiles that land in the East Sea. They are the first ballistic weapons the country has tested since November 2017.
: US seizes the Wise Honest, North Korea’s second largest cargo ship, which is accused of violating international sanctions by transporting coal and heavy machinery to North Korea.
: The 11th round of US, Japan, South Korea Defense Trilateral Talks (DTT) is held in Seoul to discuss regional security issues.
: China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issues “stern representations” against the US in response to the unanimous passing of a non-binding resolution reaffirming support for Taiwan and the Taiwan Assurance Act of 2019 in the House of Representatives.
: Chinese Vice Premier Liu He meets US Special Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin for the 11th round of trade talks in Washington DC. The talks conclude without a formal agreement and the Trump administration increases tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports from 10 to 25%.
: US Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun visits Tokyo and Seoul to meet South Korean and Japanese officials.
: China protests the passage of the USS Preble and USS Chung-Hoon near the Spratly Islands the same day, claiming the ships traveled within 12 nm of its territory without permission. Officials also denounce the Pentagon’s 2019 report on China’s military power, saying it aims to “distort our strategic intentions and paint China as a threat.”
: Japanese Defense Minister Iwaya Takeshi visits Vietnam and meets Defense Minister Ngo Xuan Lich and Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in Hanoi. They agree to strengthen defense cooperation and sign an MOU to promote defense industry exchanges.
: Six naval vessels from the US, Japan, the Philippines, and India conduct a military exercise in the South China Sea including “formation exercises, communication drills, passenger transfers” and a leadership exchange on board the JS Izumo helicopter destroyer.
: The Heisei era ends and the Reiwa era begins as Naruhito ascends the throne following Akihito’s 30-year reign.
: US Trade Representative Lighthizer and US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin continue trade talks with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He in Beijing.
: USS William P. Lawrence and USS Stethem sail the Taiwan Strait, demonstrating “the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
: Japanese PM Abe makes official visit to the White House to discuss bilateral trade, focusing on the automobile industry, with President Trump.
: North Korea’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country criticizes South Korea for committing “acts of perfidy” in conducting joint air drills with the United States during what it views as a “crucial moment” on the peninsula.
: China protests the Vendemiaire’s April 7 transit through the Taiwan Strait, claiming that the French warship had “illegally entered China’s territorial waters.”
: Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation is hosted by President Xi in Beijing and gathers leaders and representatives from 150 countries.
: US officials report that the French frigate Vendemiaire was “shadowed” by Chinese military when it transited the Taiwan Strait on April 7.
: Two Japan MSDF P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft join the Indian Navy for a joint anti-submarine warfare exercise off Western India.
: North Korean Chairman Kim travels to Russia to meet President Putin in Vladivostok.
: FM Kono announces that Japan has removed its call to “maximize pressure on North Korea by all available means” from its Diplomatic Bluebook 2019, in favor of working to resolve the issue of North Korea’s abduction of Japanese citizens.
: People’s Liberation Army Navy marks its 70th anniversary with a naval review off Qingdao featuring its new nuclear submarines and destroyers. Ships from 13 countries including India, Japan, Australia, Russia, Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines participate.
: Cambodian PM Hun Sen and Thai PM Prayut Chan-O-Cha inaugurate the reopening of the cross-border rail link that closed 45 years ago. During the event the two leaders sign an agreement to operationalize international rail services and Thailand presented Cambodia with a four-car diesel train.
: The air forces of the United States, South Korea, and Australia undertake two weeks of “scaled-back” joint air drills around the Korean Peninsula, replacing the previous large-scale Max Thunder drill.
: Three churches and four hotels are targeted in coordinated bombings across Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, killing over 300 people and injuring over 500.
: Japanese FM Kono and Defense Minister Iwaya meet US Secretary of State Pompeo and Acting Secretary of Defense Shanahan in Washington DC for a “2+2” Security Consultative Committee meeting that focuses on bilateral “coordination on the evolving regional security environment.”
: Malaysian PM Mahathir announces revival of the $34 billion Bandar Malaysia development project that was suspended in 2017. The Chinese-backed rail and property development project is described by the PM’s office as “a significant contribution to the Belt and Road Initiative,” and integral in fostering long-term bilateral relations between Malaysia and China.
: Korean Central News Agency reports that Kim Jong Un observed the testing of Pyongyang’s new “tactical guided weapon.”
: The US and Sri Lankan navies cancel the 2019 Cooperation Afloat and Readiness Training exercise four days earlier than scheduled. The 25th iteration was based out of Hambantota Port, but was suspended following the Easter Sunday attacks.
: US Special Representative for North Korea Biegun travels to Moscow “to discuss efforts to advance the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea.”
: Preliminary results from Indonesia’s general election show incumbent Joko Widodo winning over Prabowo Subianto in the presidential race.
: Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense and Japan’s Ministry of Defense separately report PLAAF jets and planes flying over the Bashi Channel to conduct exercises in the Western Pacific.
: Japanese Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi meets US Trade Representative Lighthizer in Washington DC for the first round of negotiations on a bilateral trade agreement.
: Indian Navy sends the warships INS Kolkata and INS Shakti to the second Indian Navy-Vietnam Peoples’ Navy Bilateral Exercise at Cam Ranh Bay in Vietnam.
: Indonesia’s Ministry of Defense signs a $1.02 billion contract with South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) for three diesel-electric submarines, following final delivery of a previous batch of submarines from the South Korean shipbuilder on April 11.
: The US Navy sends the USS Stethem and a P-8A maritime patrol aircraft to assist search and rescue operations after a Japanese ASDF F-35 jet disappears off northeast Japan during a training flight.
: South Korea President Moon Jae-in travels to Washington DC to meet President Trump for a summit on North Korean diplomacy.
: Malaysian authorities detain 41 Rohingya migrants who arrived by boat on a beach in the north of the country.
: Three Russian warships anchor in the Port of Manila for the second “goodwill visit” between the Philippine and Russian navies in 2019.
: Ninth round of US-China trade talks continue in Washington DC as Vice Premier Liu He meets US Trade Representative Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin. A meeting between Liu and President Trump also takes place.
: Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency approves the sale of 24 Seahawk helicopters to India.
: Navy, army, and air force personnel from Australia and India participate in the third AUSINDEX joint maritime exercise in the Bay of Bengal. The three phases of the exercise focus on anti-submarine warfare and improving overall bilateral cooperation and interoperability.
: Philippines presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo announces that the Department of Foreign Affairs has filed a diplomatic protest against China regarding “the presence of more than 200 Chinese boats” that have been recorded near Philippines-claimed territory in the South China Sea between January and March.
: South Korean soldiers begin searching for Korean War remains at the border without North Korean assistance despite previous agreement at the third Kim-Moon summit that a joint search would take place from April 1 to Oct. 31.
: New Zealand PM Ardern makes her first official visit to China. In addition to presiding over the opening of New Zealand’s new embassy in Beijing, the two countries sign several cooperation agreements in the areas of agriculture, finance, science and technology.
: The 2019 Balikitan exercises take place in Luzon and Palawan. Over 7,000 troops from the US, Philippines, and Australia participate in humanitarian and civic assistance projects as well as land, sea, air, and counterterrorism operations.
: Two PLAAF J-11 fighter jets cross the median line in the Taiwan Strait, prompting Taiwan to dispatch its own planes to warn off the Chinese aircraft. Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs declares the action “provocative” and a violation of “the long-held tacit agreement” of cross-straits relations.
: US Trade Representative Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin hold “a rapid-fire series” of trade talks with Vice Premier Liu He and his delegation in Beijing.
: Seven pro-democracy parties form a coalition to secure a majority in Thailand’s House of Representatives to oppose the military-backed National Council for Peace and Order.
: Prime Minister Modi declares India “a space power” following the success of Mission Shakti, an anti-satellite missile demonstration.
: Free Joseon, a political organization that opposes Kim Jong Un, claims responsibility for raiding the North Korean Embassy in Spain on Feb. 22. Information stolen from the embassy was later shared with the FBI, but the US government claims no involvement in the operation.
: South Korea’s Unification Ministry reports that “four to five” North Korean officials returned to work at the inter-Korean liaison office in Kaesong.
: Two-thirds of Thailand’s 51 million voters turn out for the country’s first election since 2014.
: The USS Curtis Wilbur and USCG Bertholf conduct “a routine Taiwan Strait transit.” It is the first FOIP mission to involve a US Coast Guard vessel.
: South Korea’s Unification Ministry announces that North Korea withdrew its staff from the inter-Korean liaison office in Kaesong following “instructions from the superior authority.”
: President Trump tweets that he is withdrawing “additional large scale Sanctions” against North Korea. His decision contradicts the Treasury Department’s announcement 24 hours earlier that it would pursue sanctions against two Chinese shipping companies for aiding North Korea in evading restrictions imposed by the US and UNSC.
: Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen visits Pacific allies Palau, Nauru, and the Marshall Islands to “deepen ties and friendly relations.” Her tour concludes with a stop in Hawaii.
: Two US B-52 bombers join the US Navy and Japan’s ASDF in integrated training near the East China Sea.
: US B-52 bombers conduct an Indo-Pacific “theater familiarization” exercise, flying north from Anderson AFB in Guam to an area east of Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula.
: Philippines withdraws from the ICC after the tribunal launched a preliminary examination into “the alleged crimes against humanity of President Rodrigo Duterte and his men.”
: China’s national legislature passes a foreign investment law, effective Jan. 1, 2020, to “provide stronger protection and a better business environment for overseas investors.”
: Communist Party Secretary of Sansha Zhang Jun announces plans to develop Woody Island and two smaller islets in the Paracels into a “national key strategic service and logistics base.”
: US Navy, UK Royal Navy, and Japanese MSDF conduct an anti-submarine warfare exercise in the Western Pacific to “support a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
: Former Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, former Ombudsman Conchita Carpacio Morales, and Filipino fishermen file a complaint against Chinese President Xi Jinping before the International Criminal Court (ICC) for committing “crimes against humanity” in China’s systematic takeover of the South China Sea.
: Japan rescinds its annual motion to the UN condemning North Korea’s human rights record, “given U.S. efforts to end North Korea’s weapons program and other factors.”
: US and India sign an agreement “to strengthen bilateral security and civil nuclear cooperation,” through building six US nuclear power plants in India.
: UN Panel of Experts on North Korea release a 400-page document showing that the DPRK has broken UN sanctions by increasing oil imports and coal exports through ship-to-ship transfers, trying to sell arms in the Middle East, and hacking banks globally.
: South Korean President Moon makes a three-nation ASEAN tour, stopping in Brunei, Malaysia, and Cambodia.
: Vietnamese official reports that a Vietnamese fishing boat was rammed by a Chinese vessel near Discovery Bay in the Paracel Islands on Mar. 6.
: South Korea FM Kang signs Special Measures Agreement with US Ambassador Harry Harris, formally agreeing to pay $915 million for the upkeep of US Forces, Korea.
: Taiwan’s deputy defense minister announces that Taiwan has submitted an official request to purchase new fighter jets from the United States.
: Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed makes his first official visit since returning to office in 2018 to Manila to meet President Duterte.
: Deputy Foreign Minister of Japan Mori Takeo meets Russian counterpart Igor Morgulov in Moscow to discuss improved bilateral relations in 2019.
: President Trump decides to withdraw India from the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program.
: South Korean Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs Lee Do-hoon visits Washington DC to meet US Special Representative for North Korea Biegun to coordinate plans following the US-DPRK second summit.
: Pakistan’s Navy denies the entrance of an Indian submarine into its waters without having it “deliberately targeted” to further de-escalation efforts between the two countries.
: US and South Korean militaries hold the inaugural Dong Maeng joint military exercise, a scaled-back version of the annual Foal Eagle and Key Resolve series.
: US Navy joins its partners for the 14th Pacific Partnership. The annual Indo-Pacific multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission aims to strengthen regional ties and “enhance regional interoperability and disaster response capabilities.”
: Pakistan returns captured Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman to India as a goodwill gesture to deescalate tensions between the countries.
: US Secretary of State Pompeo visits the Philippines and meets President Duterte. Pompeo assures Philippines Foreign Secretary Locsin that the US would respond to “any attack on Philippine aircraft or ships in the South China Sea, ” citing article 4 of the US-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty.
: Pakistan’s military shoots down two Indian warplanes in Kashmir and captures one of the pilots.
: President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un meet in Hanoi, Vietnam for their second summit. Negotiations collapse early and end what was planned to be a two-day summit.
: Indian fighter jets conduct a strike in Pakistan. Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale claims that “a very large number of (Jaish-e-Mohammed) terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis” are killed. Pakistan refutes the claim.
: Russian telecom operator Rostelecom says that it had laid 506 miles of fiber-optic cable throughout the Russian-claimed Kuril Islands, and that doing so would improve “the quality of life for the local population.”
: USS Stethem and USNS Cesar Chavez transit the Taiwan Strait to demonstrate “the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
: Senior Chinese and South Korean naval officers attend the annual meeting of Asia-Pacific countries, hosted by Japan’s MSDF, aimed to deepen “mutual understanding among the region’s navies.”
: Okinawan voters reject plans for the construction of a new US air base in Henoko.
: President Trump delays March 1 deadline for increasing tariffs on Chinese imports, citing progress made in trade talks.
: Indian PM Modi visits South Korea and meets President Moon in Seoul to discuss strengthening economic and military ties between the two countries.
: Inaugural Japan-Three Micronesian Countries’ Meeting is held in Koror, Palau to enhance cooperation between Japan, Palau, the Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia. Japan announces that it will provide $30.7 million in aid for disaster prevention and mitigation and economic and social development assistance.
: US, Japanese, and Australian troops participate in Cope North, the largest multilateral Pacific Air Forces exercise, designed to strengthen air operations with a focus on humanitarian assistance and disaster-relief training.
: New round of US-China trade talks commence in Washington DC, followed by high-level talks led by US Trade Representative Lighthizer and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He.
: US and UK navies hold a joint drill in the South China Sea, where crew from HMS Montrose embark and secure USNS Guadalupe in a high seas trafficking simulation.
: Indian PM Modi calls for “the complete isolation of Pakistan” following a suicide car bombing in Kashmir that killed 42 Indian security personnel.
: In testimony to the US Senate Armed Services Committee, Adm. Davidson identifies China’s military as “the principle threat to U.S. interests, U.S. citizens and our allies inside the First Island Chain.”
: Japanese government lodges a “stern protest” with Seoul in reaction to South Korea National Assembly Speaker Moon Hee-sang’s remarks regarding Emperor Akihito.
: Members of US Congress introduce resolutions in the House of Representatives and the Senate that they hope will “reinforce” the trilateral US-Japan-South Korea alliance amidst deteriorating relations between Tokyo and Seoul.
: US and Thailand host Cobra Gold, Asia’s largest multinational military exercise, in Thailand, during which 29 countries participate in staff exercises, humanitarian civic assistance projects, and field training exercises.
: USS Spruance and USS Preble sail within 12 nm of the Spratly Islands as a freedom of navigation operation “to challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways governed by international law.”
: Spokesperson for the Philippine government announces that the US pledged $5.75 million in intelligence support to assist counterterrorism efforts in the Philippines.
: South Korea agrees to increase its contribution to the upkeep of US Forces Korea by 8.2% ($915 million).
: US Special Representative for North Korea Biegun travels to Seoul and Pyongyang to meet South and North Korean counterparts to prepare for a second summit between President Trump and Chairman Kim.
: Following President Trump’s announcement that the US would pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, President Putin announces Russia’s withdrawal.
: European Union-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement enters into force.
: US and Chinese officials, led by US Trade Representative Lighthizer and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, meet in Washington DC to negotiate a trade agreement.
: China’s Ministry of Transport opens a maritime rescue center on Yongshu (Fiery Cross) Reef in Nansha (Spratly) Islands, “to better protect navigation and transport safety in the South China Sea.”
: US Department of Justice files financial fraud charges against Huawei and its CFO Meng Wanzhou in relation to the company’s business activities in Iran.
: USS McCampbell and the USNS Walter S. Diehl transit the Taiwan Strait to demonstrate “US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
: Indian Navy commissions a third air base, INS Kohassa, in the northern Andaman and Nicobar islands.
: Japanese SDF patrol plane flies within close proximity of a South Korean naval vessel in the East China Sea. Japanese FM Kono and South Korean FM Kang Kyung-wha meet on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum to address the incident.
: Japanese PM Abe and Russian President Putin agree to accelerate work on reaching a postwar peace treaty and resolving disputes over the Northern Territories/Kuril Islands, following their summit in Moscow.
: Taiwan’s Defense Ministry tells its citizens not to panic after PLA aircraft fly over the Bashi Channel within close-range of the island.
: Japanese MSDF support ship finds a North Korean-flagged tanker lying next to a vessel of unknown nationality with connected hoses in the East China Sea. Japan reports details of the incident to the UN Security Council Committee on suspicion of ship-to-ship transfers.
: Following President Trump’s meeting with North Korean Special Envoy Kim Yong Chol, the White House announces that President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un will meet for a second summit in late February.
: Taiwan’s military holds its first large-scale drills of the year on the island’s west coast, aimed at honing its combat readiness and “thwarting an amphibious invasion.”
: North Korean Special Envoy Kim Yong Chol travels to Washington DC to meet Secretary of State Pompeo and Special Representative for North Korea Biegun to “make progress on the commitments President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un made at their summit in Singapore.”
: Prime Minister Morrison makes the first bilateral visit by an Australian prime minister to Vanuatu and Fiji.
: Thailand’s Election Commission announces postponement of the Feb. 24 general election, citing planning conflicts with the coronation of King Vajiralongkorn in May.
: South Korea’s military publishes 2018 defense white paper, which omits the word “enemy” and other “provocative jargon” in reference to North Korea’s government and military, and underscores determination to push for more confidence-building measures in inter-Korean military relations.
: Indian Ambassador to the United States Harsh Vardhan Shringla announces to the US-India Business Council India’s commitment to purchase $5 billion in oil and gas per year, and $18 billion in defense equipment.
: Japanese FM Kono meets Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow to discuss a peace treaty and settling territorial disputes over the Kuril Islands.
: US and UK navies conduct six days of communication drills, division tactics, and a personnel exchange in the South China Sea.
: South Korean President Moon Jae-in accuses Japan of politicizing South Korea’s Supreme Court decision ordering Japanese firms to pay reparations to Korean forced laborers during Japan’s occupation of the Korean Peninsula.
: China Central Television announces deployment of DF-26 ballistic missiles in China’s northwest plateau.
: North Korean Chairman Kim Jong Un arrives in Beijing to meet President Xi for their fourth meeting in China in less than a year.
: China’s Foreign Ministry lodges “stern representations” with the US in response to the freedom of navigation (FON) operation conducted by the guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell within 12 nm of the Paracel Islands earlier in the day.
: Japanese FM Kono visits India. He holds the 10th Japan-India Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue with Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj, pays a courtesy call to PM Modi, and inaugurates the India-Japan Friendship Forum.
: US trade representatives meet Chinese counterparts in Beijing for the first face-to-face meeting to negotiate trade agreements between the two countries since Presidents Trump and Xi called a 90-day truce in trade disputes on Dec. 1, 2018.
: Russian Pacific Fleet Task Force visits Manila for an unofficial visit to strengthen the relationship between the Russian and Philippine navies. It is the seventh visit of the Russian Navy to Manila since 2012, and consists of goodwill games, a boodle fight, and shipboard tour.
: On his first day as acting secretary of defense, Patrick Shanahan tells Pentagon staff to remember “China, China, China” and that the 2018 National Defense Strategy will guide operations.
: Taiwan President Tsai announces a new “four musts” framework for cross-strait relations with mainland China, as well as her administration’s “three shields” security strategy to protect Taiwan’s democratic values, enhance cyber security, and ensure people’s livelihoods.
: Kim Jong Un delivers New Year’s speech with a message to President Trump that he is willing to meet again after negotiations with the US stalled. Kim also acknowledges progress in inter-Korean relations, citing the effectiveness of the “non-aggression pact” in reducing accidental armed clashes and easing military tensions.
: US President Trump signs the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act (ARIA), authorizing $1.5 billion a year from 2019 to 2023 to “develop a long-term strategic vision and a comprehensive, multifaceted, and principled United States policy for the Indo-Pacific region.”
: The 11-nation Comprehensive Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) enters into force.
: South Korea’s Unification Ministry acknowledges that personal information of 997 North Korean defectors living in South Korea had been leaked earlier in the month, when a computer at the Hana Center in North Gyeongsang Province was hacked.
: US Federal Court judge orders North Korea to pay $501 million in damages to the parents of Otto Warmbier for the “barbaric mistreatment” that led to his death shortly after his return to the United States in June 2017.
: US agrees to exempt the ban on industrial material transfers to North Korea to facilitate continued progress of the inter-Korean rail project that would connect rail lines between the North and South.
: US Department of Justice indicts two Chinese citizens for hacking US businesses and government agencies for sensitive information. The hackers are members of the group APT 10, or “cloudhopper,” which Justice officials link to China’s Ministry of State Security, underscoring China’s violation of a 2015 agreement to not engage in “state-sponsored hacking for economic gain.”
: Secretary of Defense Mattis resigns from his post, citing fundamental disagreements with President Trump on security issues.
: Japanese diplomats in Moscow lodge official protest against Russia for building four military barracks on the islands Etorofu and Kunishiri, two of the four islands north of Hokkaido whose territory is disputed between the countries.
: US Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun travels to Seoul to meet South Korean counterpart Lee Do-hoon and other officials for a US-ROK working group meeting to improve coordination regarding North Korea.
: Indonesia opens a military base in the Natuna Islands on the southern edge of the South China Sea. The base is supported by an army battalion, companies of marines and engineers, artillery, and a hangar for an unmanned aerial vehicle squadron.
: Malaysia’s Attorney General files criminal charges against three Goldman Sachs employees for attempting to embezzle $2.7 billion from the state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
: Russia and India’s navies participate in Indra Navy 2018, the 10th iteration of the bilateral Russia-India naval exercises, in the Bay of Bengal.
: North and South Korean soldiers cross the MDL to verify the removal of each other’s guard posts. Each side has removed 11 posts inside the DMZ, with about 50 South Korean posts and 150 North Korean posts remaining.
: US returns the Bells of Balangiga to the Philippines after their removal from the Church of San Lorenzo de Martir following a violent episode between US forces and Filipino revolutionaries over 100 years ago.
: US announces sanctions against three North Korean officials, including an aide close to Kim Jong Un, for human rights abuses and censorship.
: Singapore lodges an official protest against the Malaysian government for extending the port limits of Johor Bahru, thus impeding Singapore’s territorial waters off Tuas.
: Presidents Trump and Xi meet on the sidelines of the G20 Leader’s Summit and the US agrees to not increase tariffs on Chinese goods from 10 to 25 percent for 90 days, during which it hopes to reach an agreement with China to balance their trade relationship.
: Canadian authorities arrest Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou for extradition to the US on charges that she violated US export and sanctions laws by shipping US-origin products to Iran. The Chinese government strongly protest her arrest.
: China makes official diplomatic protest against the US in response to the Nov. 26 FONOP near the Paracel Islands.
: G20 Leaders’ Summit is held in Buenos Aires.
: Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Xi, and Indian Prime Minister Modi meet for “the first leaders-level summit between their three countries in 12 years,” on the sidelines of the G20 Leaders’ Summit. The three countries have met in recent years on the foreign ministers-level, as well as in the context of BRICS.
: President Donald Trump, Prime Minister Abe, and Prime Minister Modi meet on the sidelines of the G20 Leaders’ Summit.
: North and South Korea begin an 18-day joint inspection of two railways in the North, preliminary measures to reconnect cross-border rail lines.
: South Korea’s Supreme Court orders Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to compensate 10 South Koreans for wartime forced labor during World War II. Japanese Foreign Minister Kono Taro calls the ruling unacceptable as the Japanese government considers the issue to have been resolved in a 1965 treaty to normalize diplomatic relations between the two countries.
: Two US Navy ships, the USS Stockdale and USNS Pecos, make a “routine” transit of the Taiwan Strait, the third to be conducted there this year.
: Guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville conducts a freedom of navigation operation in the South China Sea by sailing near the Paracel Islands. A Chinese vessel shadowed the Chancellorsville as it sailed past the islands, but all interactions “were deemed safe and professional,” according to anonymous US officials.
: The coast guards of the Philippines and Japan conduct a joint maritime exercise off the coast of Manila, with drills focusing on antipiracy and rescue operations.
: President Xi meets President Rodrigo Duterte in Manila, in the first official visit to the Philippines by a Chinese president in 13 years.
: President Xi visits Brunei to meet Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.
: The 26th Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting is held in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.
: President Xi visits Port Moresby, marking the first-ever Chinese presidential visit to Papua New Guinea. Xi meets leaders of eight Pacific Island countries that have joined or are strongly considering joining China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
: The 13th East Asia Summit (EAS) is hosted in Singapore by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
: Vice President Pence meets Prime Minister Abe in Tokyo.
: The 33rd ASEAN Summit and other ASEAN-related meetings are held in Singapore. Thailand will assume the ASEAN chairmanship on Nov. 15.
: Secretary of State Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mattis meet China’s Director of Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi and Defense Minister Gen. Wei Fenghe for the second US-China Diplomatic and Security Dialogue.
: Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed and Prime Minister Abe agree to $1.8 billion in “samurai bonds” that Japan will issue to Malaysia over 10 years and agree to cooperate on Malaysian infrastructure projects and regional security issues.
: Secretary of State Pompeo meeting in New York with North Korean Kim Yong Chol is abruptly canceled.
: First joint military exercises between the armies of India and Japan take place in Northeast India, and focus on counter-terrorism cooperation.
: North Korea Vice Foreign Minister Sin Hong-chol leads a delegation to Moscow to mark the 70th anniversary of the DPRK-Russia agreement on economic and cultural cooperation. The two countries pledged for closer ties on this occasion.
: South Korea’s Supreme Court upholds a 2013 ruling that ordered a Japanese steelmaker to pay reparations to four South Koreans who were victims of forced labor and unpaid work during Japan’s colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.
: US and Japan conduct military exercise Keen Sword.
: US Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun visits Seoul to meet South Korean officials. US and South Korea announce the launch of a joint working group in November to coordinate strategy toward North Korea.
: Prime Minister Modi visits Tokyo and meets Prime Minister Abe for the 13th India-Japan Annual summit.
: Soldiers from North and South Korea, along with the US-led UNC, remove guns and guard posts from the Joint Security Area in Panmunjom, signaling progress in the inter-Korean talks as they work to disarm their border.
: Prime Minister Abe travels to Beijing to meet President Xi Jinping and other officials for the first bilateral visit by a Japanese prime minister in more than seven years.
: Two US warships transit the Taiwan Strait during a “routine” operation to demonstrate the US’ “commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
: ASEAN navies conduct their first joint exercises with China off Zhajiang in the South China Sea, in an effort to “enhance friendship and confidence.” Singapore, Brunei, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam send ships, while Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Myanmar send observers. The exercises include maritime safety, medical evacuation, and search and rescue operations.
: Eight countries, including the US and China, express “in-principle” support for nonbinding Guidelines on Air Military Encounters in a joint statement that emerged from the ADMM-Plus. The multilateral air code is hailed as the first of its kind, and will help reduce tensions between the US and China in the South China Sea.
: Twelfth Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) is held in Brussels. Leaders from Europe, Asia, the EU and ASEAN discuss “Europe and Asia: Global Partners for Global Challenges.”
: Fifth ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting (ADMM-Plus) convenes in Singapore. Territorial disputes in the South China Sea are a focus of discussion, as well as disaster relief, maritime research, and antiterrorism efforts.
: Officials from North and South Korea and the United Nations Command (UNC) hold first three-way talks to plan for demilitarizing the border between the two Koreas.
: KCNA accuses the US of threatening inter-Korean negotiations by not loosening sanctions against the state, despite progress in reunifying the two Koreas.
: North and South Korean reunification officials meet in Panmunjom and agree “to begin reconnecting rail and road links.”
: Inaugural ASEAN Leaders’ Gathering, hosted by Indonesian President Joko Widodo, is attended by leaders of Southeast Asian nations and the IMF, World Bank and UN.
: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte meets Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in Indonesia to discuss delineation of maritime boundaries. They agree to establish maritime territories “to achieve shared goals for stability in the region.”
: Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s office rejects US claim that China will develop Hambantota Port into a “forward military base”; he asserts that the Sri Lankan Navy’s Southern Command is being relocated there “to control port security.”
: Deputy division director of China’s Ministry of State Security is arrested in Belgium and extradited to the US. He is charged with attempting to steal trade secrets from US companies including GE Aviation.
: Prime Minister Abe hosts 10th Mekong-Japan Summit Meeting in Tokyo; leaders of five Mekong countries – Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam – attend.
: During bilateral talks with Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi, Prime Minister Abe pledges support to aid the repatriation process for Rohingya refugees to Myanmar.
: Third Japan-India Maritime Exercise (JIMEX) is held in Visakhapatnam; the last iteration was in December 2013. The exercise is designed to improve understanding and interoperability between the two navies.
: Secretary of State Pompeo travels to East Asia with stops in Tokyo, Pyongyang, Seoul, and Beijing. He meets counterparts and heads of state to “reiterate the Administration’s continued focus on the final, fully verifiable, denuclearization of the DPRK, and longstanding commitment to our alliances and partnerships in the region.”
: President Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi meet in New Delhi for annual India-Russia summit.
: Vice President Pence delivers remarks on the Trump administration’s policy toward China at Hudson Institute.
: Japan’s MSDF conducts a joint exercise with the Sri Lankan Navy in the Indian Ocean. The drill allows MSDF to share know-how on rescue operations and humanitarian assistance, and strengthen ties with Sri Lanka as part of its Indo-Pacific strategy.
: Cybersecurity firm FireEye releases a report that identifies an “elite” group of North Korean hackers, dubbed APT38, whose cyberattacks have netted “hundreds of millions” of dollars. Funds from global bank heists since 2014 have supported the North Korean regime.
: Chinese Defense Ministry says US Navy destroyer that sailed near islands claimed by China in the South China Sea on Sept. 30 posed a threat to its sovereignty and security.
: North Korea’s KCNA states that declaring the end of the 1950-53 Korean War “can never be a bargaining chip” for getting North Korea denuclearized, and said the country “will not particularly hope for it” if the United States does not want the end of war.
: Chinese Foreign Ministry announces that the US-China Diplomatic and Security Dialogue, which was to take place later in October, has been postponed at the request of the US.
: US Navy carries out a freedom of navigation operation (FONOP) in the Spratly Islands as the USS Decatur, a guided-missile destroyer, sails within 12 nm of Chinese artificial islands at Gaven and Johnson Reefs as part of a 10-hour patrol.
: Soldiers from South and North Korea begin removing landmines located along part of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) as agreed in a recent military-military accord. Mine removal will focus on the Joint Security Area in Panmunjom.
: Disagreement emerges at a UN Security Council meeting with the US calling for strict enforcement of UNSC resolutions on North Korea while China and Russia call for a provision to “modify the sanctions measures in light of the DPRK’s compliance” and “to send a positive signal to Pyongyang to encourage concessions.”
: China cancels scheduled port visit of the USS Wasp, an amphibious assault ship, to Hong Kong, and cuts short a visit to the US by commander of the PLA Navy, Vice Adm. Shen Jinlong.
: Ji Chaoqun, a US Army reservist from China, is arrested in Chicago on charges of secretly providing information about US defense contractor employees to a Chinese intelligence officer. Ji’s handler, an officer in China’s Ministry of State Security’s Jiangsu branch, was arrested in April.
: General debate of the 73rd UN General Assembly is held in New York. Several leaders from the Indo-Pacific region attend and meet on the sidelines.
: US tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods and retaliatory taxes by Beijing on $60 billion worth of US products including liquefied natural gas (LNG) are implemented. China accuses the US of “trade bullyism.”
: Department of State announces that the US will immediately impose sanctions on China for purchasing Russian military hardware in breach of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which decrees imposition of mandatory economic sanctions on countries importing Russian military hardware.
: President Moon Jae-in and Chairman Kim Jong Un hold their third inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang. They sign a joint statement pledging to create “a land of peace without nuclear weapons or nuclear threats” and set out steps for economic integration.
: North and South Korea open liaison office in Kaesong, setting up a permanent channel of communication that is described as “a large step toward peace, prosperity and unification of the Korean peninsula.”
: Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force conducts a “practical” anti-submarine drill in the South China Sea, including an exercise to spot enemy submarines with sonar devices.
: Fourth Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) is held in Vladivostok. Participants include heads of five states and governments: Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, China’s President Xi Jinping, Mongolia’s President Khaltmaagiin Battulga, Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, and South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon.
: Russia conducts Vostok-2018 military exercises, involving nearly 300,000 soldiers, 1,000 aircraft and 900 tanks and 3,200 troops from the PLA.
: White House announces that it is in talks with North Korea to arrange a second summit after President Trump received a “warm, very positive letter” from Chairman Kim.
: North Korea holds a massive military parade to celebrate the country’s 70th year, but does not include any intercontinental ballistic missiles. President Trump tweets, “This is a big and very positive statement from North Korea. Thank you To Chairman Kim. We will both prove everyone wrong! There is nothing like good dialogue from two people that like each other! Much better than before I took office.”
: Myanmar’s government “resolutely rejects” a ruling by the International Criminal Court (ICC) that said the body has jurisdiction over alleged deportations of Rohingya Muslims to Bangladesh as a possible crime against humanity.
: North Korea and South Korea ask the United Nations to circulate a peace declaration their leaders agreed to in April that vows to remove nuclear weapons from the Korean Peninsula and work toward a formal end to the Korean War.
: US charges North Korean programmer Park Jin Hyok for global hacking incidents including the WannaCry 2.0 virus, the 2014 Sony Pictures attack, and the 2016 cyber-heist of Bangladesh’s central bank. The Justice and Treasury Departments say Park was part of the “Lazarus Group” that masterminded hacks “on behalf of the government of North Korea or the Workers’ Party of Korea.”
: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and Minister of Defense Nirmala Sitharaman meet in New Delhi to conduct the first US-India 2+2 Dialogue.
: Chung Eui-yong, head of South Korea’s Presidential National Security Office, leads a five-member delegation to Pyongyang, where they meet senior officials including Chairman Kim Jong Un.
: US Vice President Mike Pence calls on Myanmar’s government to reverse a court ruling that imprisoned two Reuters journalists for seven years and to release them immediately.
: President Trump accuses China of complicating Washington’s relationship with North Korea by rendering its ally economic assistance, as talks on Pyongyang’s denuclearization are at a standstill.
: The 17th annual Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) exercise involving sailors and coast guardsmen from Bangladesh, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, US, Thailand, and Vietnam begins.
: Scott Morrison is sworn in as prime minister of Australia.
: Peace Mission 2018, the joint military exercise of SCO, is conducted in Chebarkul, Russia with the eight-member states undertaking joint training. This is the first time India and Pakistan participate in the exercise.
: US and China levy 25 percent duties on an additional $16 billion of each other’s imports.
: Malaysian PM Mahathir visits China and meets Xi and other senior leaders.
: US Navy P-8A Poseidon reconnaissance plane flies over the Spratly Islands and receives six radio warnings from the Chinese military to “Leave immediately and keep out to avoid any misunderstanding.”
: Twenty-fifth ASEAN Regional Forum is held in Singapore.
: China announces it is prepared to impose tariffs between 5 percent and 25 percent on $60 billion worth of US goods in retaliation against recent tariffs imposed on China by the US as well as US-proposed tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports.
: Fifty-first ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting is held in Singapore.
: China and ASEAN agree on an initial draft document regarding conduct in the South China Sea. This draft will serve as a baseline for future joint talks and negotiations.
: President Trump receives a second letter from North Korean leader Kim, stating North Korea’s dedication to denuclearization. Trump responds with a desire to meet again with the North Korean leader.
: Malaysian PM Mahathir meets Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Kuala Lumpur. They advocate closer diplomatic and economic ties.
: US Congress passes legislation authorizing $716 billion in total defense spending for the coming fiscal year, FY2019.
: Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) announces that it won all 125 parliamentary seats in the July 29 elections. Critics widely dismiss the elections as undemocratic.
: Secretary of State Pompeo makes remarks on America’s Indo-Pacific economic vision, at US Chamber of Commerce Indo-Pacific business forum announcing new economic strategy to support broader US Indo-Pacific strategy.
: North Korea delivers the remains of US soldiers killed during the Korean War to a US delegation in Pyongyang.
: Tenth BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) Summit is held in Johannesburg, South Africa. PRC President Xi urges a deepening of relations between the five countries to open a second “Golden Decade.”
: US and Japan hold fifth Comprehensive Dialogue on Space in Tokyo.
: UN Security Council unanimously supports the denuclearization of North Korea.
: President Trump orders the US government to investigate if higher tariffs on foreign-made vehicles and auto parts are justified on national security grounds. Japanese PM Abe warns that US tariffs on Japanese automobiles will be harmful to both economies and retaliatory tariffs may be levied.
: Japan and European Union sign bilateral trade deal eliminating nearly all tariffs.
: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, European Council President Donald Tusk, and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker hold the 20th China-EU leaders’ meeting in Beijing. China and the European Union agree to jointly work to safeguard the rules-based international order, promote multilateralism and support free trade.
: President Moon states that India and ASEAN have been raised to the level of Korea’s relations with the four major powers of the US, China, Japan and Russia as part of South Korea’s “New Southern Policy.”
: US accuses North Korea of breaching a United Nations sanction cap on refined petroleum via unlawful ship-to-ship transfers at sea with unknown third parties.
: Second Round of China-India Dialogue on Maritime Cooperation held in Beijing. Chinese Director General of the Department of Asian Affairs of the Foreign Ministry Wu Jianghao and Indian Joint Secretary for Disarmament and International Security Affairs at the Ministry of External Affairs Pankaj Sharma co-chair the dialogue.
: South Korean President Moon visits India and meets President Modi. They agree to strengthen the “special strategic partnership” including upgrading their Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).
: Japanese PM Abe receives courtesy call from Secretary of State Pompeo at the Prime Minister’s Office.
: South Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang Kyung-wha visits Japan and meets PM Abe at the Prime Minister’s Office.
: Secretary of State Pompeo visits Vietnam and meets General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Truong, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh.
: Two US Navy warships, the USS Mustin and USS Benfold guided-missile destroyers, sail through the Taiwan Strait.
: US and China tariffs begin on $34 billion in each other’s imports, with possibility of further tariffs being enacted in future. There are no signs of negotiations to ease tensions.
: North Korean state-run media denounces the United States for criticizing North Korea’s human-rights record while the two countries attempt to improve diplomatic ties.
: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets North Korean officials in Pyongyang to discuss specific commitments to denuclearization.
: Defense Secretary Mattis and Japanese Defense Minister Onodera Itsunori agree to continue joint military exercises.
: Secretary of Defense Mattis states that the US will keep current troop levels in South Korea.
: Second US-Japan Pacific Dialogue is held in Tokyo, Japan.
: Defense Secretary Jim Mattis visits Beijing and meets President Xi, Politburo Member Yang Jiechi, and Minister of National Defense Gen. Wei Fenghe. Mattis reaffirms the importance of strategic transparency in the US-China defense relationship.
: 26th biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) military exercise held in and near Hawaii. China, which was disinvited, deploys a Type 815 Dongdiao-class naval vessel to observe the exercise.
: United States withdraws from the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC).
: ROK President Moon visits Russia and meets counterpart Vladimir Putin. Their discussion focuses on economic cooperation and the situation in North Korea.
: South Korea and the United States announce the decision to stop all planning for and suspend the Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG) exercise scheduled to be held in August.
: North Korean Chairman Kim visits China and meets President Xi in Beijing.
: President Moon states that the South Korean government will “carefully consider” suspending military drills with the US following the US-DPRK Summit.
: President Trump imposes 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese goods, accusing China of intellectual copyright theft. China responds with equal tariffs on $50 billion of US goods.
: South Korean President Moon and Secretary of State Pompeo meet in Seoul to discuss the agreements reached at the United States-North Korea Summit.
: The US-DPRK summit is held in Singapore. President Trump and Chairman Kim sign a joint declaration that calls for improved diplomatic relations, a new peace regime and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and a resumption of the recovery of US POW/MIA remains from North Korea.
: PM Abe hosts meeting with Malaysian PM Mahathir at the Prime Minister’s Office.
: Prime Minister Abe calls President Trump regarding the US-DPRK summit.
: President Xi meets Prime Minister Modi of India in Qingdao. They agree that the “two sides should make persistent efforts to speed up the implementation, maintain strategic communication, expand economic and trade cooperation, promote people-to-people and cultural exchanges and enhance coordination and cooperation on international and regional affairs.”
: China hosts Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Qingdao.
: President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet in Beijing, pledging to “firmly support each other in defending their respective values.”
: Canada hosts the G7 Charlevoix Summit.
: Australia-New Zealand-United States Pacific Security Cooperation Dialogue held at the Department of State in Washington.
: Prime Minister Abe visits Washington and meets President Trump.
: China warns against US provocations in the South China Sea following two B-52 bombers flying past Chinese-held artificial islands.
: ROK President Moon hosts summit with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.
: After meeting with North Korean Vice-Chairman Kim, President Trump confirms the US-DPRK summit will take place in Singapore on June 12.
: President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker meets China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Brussels. They note the danger of protectionism and the need to cooperate to safeguard UN Charter principles and open world trade.
: The 17th Asia Security Summit, or Shangri-La Dialogue, is held in Singapore.
: Secretary of State Pompeo meets North Korean Vice-Chairman Kim Yong Chol in New York to discuss preparations for the upcoming US-DPRK summit.
: President Trump calls PM Abe to discuss recent developments in North Korea. They affirm the shared imperative of dismantling North Korea’s chemical, biological, and ballistic weapons programs.
: Two US Navy destroyers, the USS Higgins and the USS Antietam, conduct a freedom of navigation operation near Tree, Lincoln, Triton, and Woody Islands in the Paracels.
: North Korea Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan states that the DPRK is willing to meet with the US “at any time, any format”
: China urges the United States and North Korea to hold denuclearization summit.
: North Korea dismantles its nuclear testing ground at Pungye-ri.
: North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui releases statement referring to US Vice President Pence as a “political dummy” for his comments on North Korea and says it was up to the Americans whether they would “meet us at a meeting room or encounter us at nuclear-to-nuclear showdown.”
: President Trump cancels proposed June 12 summit with Chairman Kim, citing “the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed” in recent North Korean statements.
: China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi visits the US and meets Secretary of State Pompeo.
: In response to China’s continued militarization of islands in the South China Sea, the Pentagon disinvites the PLA Navy from the 2018 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise.
: President Trump blames Chinese President Xi for the delay or cancellation of his summit with Kim Jong Un.
: ROK President Moon visits Washington and meets President Trump, Secretary of State Pompeo, and National Security Adviser John Bolton.
: North Korea denies South Korean reporters access to the dismantling of its nuclear test site.
: President Trump warns North Korea to denuclearize or risk overthrow, saying, “[the Libyan] model would take place if we don’t make a deal,” referring to the overthrow of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhdafi.
: North Korea’s KCNA announces that the DPRK canceled high-level North South talks scheduled for May 16 and threatens to cancel the Kim-Trump summit in response to the decision to proceed with the US-ROK military exercise, denouncing it as “a rude and wicked provocation.”
: Chinese trade delegation led by Chinese Vice Premier Liu He visits Washington for consultations with US counterparts. He meets President Trump.
: US and South Korea conduct annual military exercise Max Thunder.
: Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in hold a trilateral summit in Tokyo.
: Mohamed Mahathir’s opposition grouping Pakatan Harapan, with a small ally, win general election in Malaysia ending the long rule of the Barisan Nasional coalition, which has been in power in Malaysia since its birth as an independent country in 1957.
: Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry requests that China withdraw military equipment from the South China Sea.
: President Donald Trump announces that the US will withdraw from the “defective” Iran nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visits Pyongyang to make additional arrangements in anticipation of the Trump-Kim summit.
: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un travels to China and meets President Xi Jinping in Dalian.
: US and the Philippines conduct joint military exercise Balikatan, which focuses on counterterrorism in an urban setting as well as traditional security scenarios.
: A delegation of senior US economic advisers travels to Beijing and meets President Xi Jinping and Vice President Wang Qishan.
: Seven-member trade delegation that includes US Ambassador to China Terry Branstad, Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, United States Trade Representative, goes to China for bilateral consultations on trade relations. The meetings are candid but make no progress.
: CNBC reports that China has installed antiship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missile systems on Mischief Reef, Subi Reef, and Fiery Cross Reef in the South China Sea.
: China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi, the highest-ranking Chinese official to visit North Korea in years, meets Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho in Pyongyang.
: President Donald Trump announces that his administration has postponed decisions about imposing steel and aluminum tariffs on the European Union and other US allies until June 1. Tariffs on South Korea are lifted because the two countries have agreed on alternative measures to reduce the US trade deficit with Seoul.
: South Korean Moon and North Korean Chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea hold a summit in Panmunjom. They sign a joint declaration pledging to end hostilities and denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.
: India’s Prime Minister Modi visits China and meets President Xi in Wuhan.
: Mike Pompeo is confirmed as US secretary of State.
: South Korean Director of National Security Chung Eui-yong meets National Security Advisor John Bolton in Washington, DC, to exchange ideas.
: ROK President Moon and Japanese PM Abe discuss latest developments on the Korean Peninsula by phone.
: North Korea announces decision to close its nuclear test site and stop test launches of mid-to-long-range missiles.
: President Trump hosts Prime Minister Abe of Japan to Mar-a-Lago.
: US Department of Commerce bans US companies from providing exports to ZTE for seven years because of the company’s failure to comply with a previous consent order for violating export ban on sales to Iran and North Korea.
: China and Japan resume high-level economic talks for first time in nearly eight years.
: Chinese Special Envoy Song Tao visits North Korea and meets Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang.
: UN report puts Myanmar’s armed forces on a UN list of government and rebel groups “credibly suspected” of carrying out rapes and other acts of sexual violence in conflict.
: Japanese FM Kono meets ROK counterpart Kang to discuss upcoming summit between North and South Korea.
: South Korea’s head of the presidential National Security Office Chung Eui-yong visits Washington and meets National Security Adviser John Bolton.
: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un talks about prospects for dialogue with the US, his first official comment on a planned summit with President Trump.
: Myanmar’s military sentences seven personnel to 10 years in prison and hard labor as alleged accomplices in the killing of 10 Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state.
: Chinese President Xi met with UN Secretary-General António Guterres at the Great Hall of the People.
: Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan meets Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at Zhongnanhai in Beijng.
: International Criminal Court turns down petition to prosecute North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and others for the suspected abductions of Japanese citizens.
: Russia’s President Putin meets State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Moscow.
: United States, India, and Japan hold ninth trilateral meeting in New Delhi.
: State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets DPRK Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho during Ri’s stopover in Beijing.
: Acting Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Susan Thornton visits Malaysia to co-chair 31st US-ASEAN Dialogue with Malaysia Ministry of Foreign Affairs Secretary General Ramlan Ibrahim.
: Great Mekong Sub-region (GMS) Summit in Hanoi, Vietnam.
: UN Security Council blacklists 27 ships and 21 companies for helping North Korea evade sanctions.
: Rex Tillerson’s commission as US secretary of State ends.
: India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj meets Prime Minister Abe in Tokyo.
: China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on the sidelines of the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) Summit in Hanoi, Vietnam.
: Special Representative of President Xi and Director of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi visits Seoul and meets President Moon.
: Myanmar’s Parliament elects U Win Myint to be president of Myanmar.
: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits China and meets President Xi in Beijing.
: Deputy Secretary of State Sullivan meets Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman in Washington to affirm the importance of the US-Malaysia Comprehensive Partnership.
: Deputy Secretary of State Sullivan meets Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi in Washington to reaffirm the US-Indonesia Strategic Partnership.
: Navy destroyer USS Mustin conducts freedom of navigation operation in the South China, sailing within 12 nm of Mischief Reef. China condemns the activity saying it “seriously harmed the country’s sovereignty and security” and that “provocative behaviour by the United States will only cause the Chinese military to strengthen its defence capabilities.”
: South Korean President Moon visits Vietnam and meets President Tran Dai Quang, and other Vietnamese leaders.
: Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano visits China and meets Foreign Minister Wan Yi. They agree that China and the Philippines will cautiously proceed with discussions on joint oil and gas exploration in the South China Sea.
: H.R. McMaster, US national security adviser, Japan counterpart Yachi Shotaro, and Korean counterpart Chung Eui Yong meet in San Francisco.
: Australia-ASEAN summit is held in Sydney.
: Deputy Secretary Sullivan meets South Korea’s Foreign Minister Kang and Japanese Foreign Minister Aso Kono in Washington DC.
: President Trump signs the Taiwan Travel Act (TTA).
: Prime Minister Turnbull and Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc sign a new Australia-Vietnam strategic partnership agreement.
: South Korea Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha meets Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan of Singapore to discuss bilateral issues and ways to step up cooperation between the ROK and ASEAN as well as between the ROK and Singapore, the ASEAN chair for 2018.
: Trade ministers from 11 Pacific Rim countries sign the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
: US announces a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 to protect US national security. The sanctions are not immediately imposed to give time for affected countries to come to agreements on voluntary restraints with the US.
: Representatives from US and ROK meet in Honolulu for first round of talks to develop the 10th Special Measures Agreement (SMA), which will enter into force in 2019.
: India hosts biennial naval engagement, Milan 2018. The exercise includes naval personnel from 23 countries and ships from 16 navies from across the Indo-Pacific region.
: ROK President Moon sends a five-member delegation headed by National Security Council Adviser Chung Eui-yong and National Intelligence Service Director Suh Hoon to North Korea to meet leader Kim Jong-un. They agree to hold the third inter-Korean summit in the joint security area of Panmunjom in late April.
: USS Carl Vinson and two other US Navy ships make a port call in DaNang, marking the first US carrier to a Vietnamese port since the end of the Vietnam War.
: Vietnam President Tran Dai Quang visits India and meets President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
: US announces it is cutting aid to several assistance programs in Cambodia due to “recent setbacks to democracy.”
: Australian Prime Minister Turnbull visits US and meets President Trump in Washington.
: US and Thailand host 37th Cobra Gold joint military exercise in Thailand. Primary activities include a staff exercise, a field training exercise, and humanitarian civic assistance projects in Thai communities with participants from 30 countries.
: President Moon meets UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in Gangneung.
: President Moon and Japanese Prime Minister Abe hold a summit in Pyeongchang.
: ROK President Moon and Vice President Pence hold bilateral meeting at the Blue House in Seoul.
: Vice President Pence meets North Korean defectors in Seoul and visits Cheonan Memorial.
: President Moon meets Chinese Special Envoy Han Zheng, a member of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
: Vice President Pence and Prime Minister Abe hold a bilateral meeting.
: Vice President Mike Pence visits Japan and South Korea.
: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte orders end to all foreign scientific research missions in waters off the country’s northeast in the region called Benham rise, which his government has renamed Philippine Rise.
: Russia‘s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev approves the deployment of Russian military aircraft to the island of Iturup (Japan: Etorofu) off the northeast coast of Japan.
: US Special Representative for North Korea Policy and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Korea and Japan Joseph Yun travels to Tokyo and Seoul to coordinate on the DPRK and other alliance and bilateral issues.
: Japan’s Foreign Minister Kono Taro visits China and meets Premier Li Keqiang.
: US releases an unclassified summary of the National Defense Strategy.
: Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Japan’s Prime Minister Abe Shinzo meet in Japan.
: US and ROK hold second meeting of the Extended Deterrence Strategy and Consultation Group (EDSCG) in Washington, DC.
: USS Hopper, a guided-missile destroyer, conducts a freedom of navigation operation in the South China Sea, sailing within 12 nm of Scarborough Shoal.
: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland co-host Vancouver Foreign Ministers Meeting on Security and Stability on the Korean Peninsula. The 20 participating countries included the United States’ Korean War allies.
: National security chiefs of South Korea, the US, and Japan meet in San Francisco to coordinate policies on North Korea.
: President Moon speaks by phone to Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss bilateral relations, high-level inter-Korean talks and the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.
: President Moon Jae-in speaks by phone to President Donald Trump to discuss the prospect for inter-Korean talks.
: US and ROK agree to delay joint military exercises until after the Winter Olympics and the Paralympics.
: In his 2018 New Year’s speech, Kim Jong Un repeats nuclear threats against the US, acknowledges the effects of sanctions against North Korea, and, in a major shift, is conciliatory toward South Korea, offering to send a delegation to the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.
: South Korea reports the seizure of a second ship suspected of oil transfers.
: Reuters reports that Russian tankers have illicitly supplied fuel to the DPRK via transfers at sea.
: Trump tweets that China was “caught RED HANDED” allowing oil into the DPRK and preventing “a friendly solution” to the conflict with the DPRK. China blocks US effort to blacklist six foreign-flagged ships believed involved in illicit trade. ROK claims ship seizure over illicit petroleum trade with the DPRK.
: US Treasury announces sanctions against two DPRK officials behind ballistic missile program. China is reported to have broken sanctions on the sale of petroleum products to the DPRK with ship transfers.
: DPRK condemns the new UNSC sanctions resolution as an act of war.
: UN Security Council unanimously adopts Resolution 2397, which imposes new sanctions against North Korea.
: South Korean Coast Guard patrol vessel fires 249 warning shots at 44 Chinese fishing boats suspected of illegally fishing in South Korean waters.
: US releases National Security Strategy.
: The inaugural US-India Counterterrorism Designations Dialogue convenes in New Delhi, India to discuss increasing bilateral cooperation on terrorism-related designations.
: US and Singapore hold 10th annual Counter-proliferation Dialogue in Singapore.
: Myanmar’s President Htin Kyaw visits Japan and meets Prime Minister Abe.
: ROK President Moon visits China and meets President Xi in Beijing.
: The 15th Foreign Ministers Meeting of China, Russia, and India held in New Delhi.
: Senior officials from China and Japan meet in Shanghai and reach a tentative agreement on implementation of a crisis management hotline to avoid sea and air clashes in disputed areas of the East China Sea.
: UN Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman visits North Korea and meets Vice Foreign Minister Pak Myong Guk.
: US and South Korea conduct Vigilant Ace joint military exercise involving about 230 aircraft, characterized as the largest-ever such exercise. North Korea calls the exercise an “all-out provocation.”
: Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi visits China and meets President Xi. They hail close ties between the two countries and avoid any mention of the Rohingya.
: President Xi addresses the annual party-to-party talks in Beijing and says China’s Communist Party wants to boost its international image but “will not import other countries’ models, and will not export the China model.”
: North Korea tests an intercontinental ballistic missile that flies for 54 minutes giving it an estimated range at normal trajectory of over 8,000 nm. The US, Japan, and South Korea call for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.
: Secretary Tillerson says Myanmar’s Rohingya population was subjected to “ethnic cleansing,” accusing the security forces of perpetrating “horrendous atrocities” against the Muslim minority.
: Air China announces that it suspended flights between Beijing and Pyongyang because “business was not good.”
: US unveils new sanctions targeting North Korean shipping and Chinese traders doing business with Pyongyang.
: President Trump announces that the US has re-designated North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism.
: Secretary Tillerson travels to Nay Pyi Daw to discuss the humanitarian crisis in Rakhine State and US support for Myanmar’s (Burma’s) democratic transition.
: Cambodia’s Supreme Court orders the country’s main opposition party to be dissolved.
: Cambodian opposition politician Sam Rainsy says the international community should cut ties with Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government after the court-ordered dissolution of the only challenging party.
: Lim Jock Hoi of Brunei Darussalam is named the new ASEAN Secretary General. He will assume the position on Jan. 1.
: President Trump skips East Asia Summit plenary meeting in the Philippines after being told the meeting would be delayed by about two hours.
: ASEAN and China agree to start negotiations on “a substantive and effective Code of Conduct in the South China Sea after concluding the Framework Agreement on Code of Conduct.”
: Senior officials from US Department of State, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, India’s Ministry of External Affairs, and Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs meet in Manila to discuss a shared vision for increased prosperity and security in a “free and open Indo-Pacific region.”
: President Xi Jinping makes a state visit to Vietnam and Laos.
: The 11 remaining members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agree to its “core elements” and to move ahead despite US withdrawal from the group. The proposed agreement is renamed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
: Three US Navy carrier strike groups including USS Ronald Reagan, USS Nimitz, and USS Theodore Roosevelt conduct a joint exercise in the Sea of Japan (East Sea) near the Korean coast.
: The 25th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders Meeting is held in Da Nang, Vietnam.
: South Korea’s President Moon meets Chinese President Xi on the sidelines of the APEC meeting in Da Nang.
: The 31st ASEAN Summit and related meetings including the ASEAN+1 summits and the East Asia Summit are held in the Philippines.
: President Trump visits Asia with stops in Hawaii, Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
: ROK President Moon Jae-in says military cooperation with the US and Japan is needed to rein in the rising threat from North Korea but is skeptical about a trilateral defense alliance.
: Myanmar’s State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi visits Rakhine State for the first time since hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims began fleeing the region.
: China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi visits Vietnam and meets counterpart Pham Binh Minh.
: Philippine President Duterte visits Japan and meets senior government leaders and Emperor Akihito in Tokyo.
: China and South Korea agree to to move beyond a yearlong standoff over the deployment of a US anti-missile system in South Korea.
: North Korea repatriates a South Korean boat and its crew as a “humanitarian” gesture after the vessel had entered the North’s waters.
: Defense Secretary James Mattis reaffirms Pentagon’s support for local counterterrorism operations with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana in Manila.
: Secretary Tillerson visits India and meets Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj to discuss India’s role in Afghanistan.
: Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong visits Washington and meets President Trump at the White House.
: US and ROK conduct a joint naval exercise near South Korea.
: Philippine government declares the end to the five-month siege of Marawi.
: The 11th ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) and ADMM-Plus is held in the Philippines.
: Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman says the US should take an objective view of China, after Secretary Tillerson said Washington wanted to “dramatically deepen” ties with New Delhi to counter China’s influence in Asia.
: Secretary Tillerson delivers remarks on US-India relations at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC and outlines a strategy for US engagement in Asia characterized as the “free and open Indo-Pacific framework.”
: North Korea sends a congratulatory message to China on the opening of the 19th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party.
: South Korean Vice Foreign Minister Lim Sung-nam and US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan meet in Seoul. Lim also meets Sullivan and Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Shinsuke Sugiyama to coordinate policies on North Korea.
: Nineteenth Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Congress is held in Beijing.
: Deputy Prime Minister Aso Taro and Vice President Mike Pence co-chair second round of the Japan-US Economic Dialogue in Washington DC.
: US Navy Strike Group 5, led by USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), participates in a combined exercise with South Korea’s Navy near the Korean Peninsula.
: Malaysia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Anifah Aman announces that Malaysia has no plans to appoint an ambassador to North Korea.
: North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri threatens to “shower fire” on the United States with “unprecedented strategic force.”
: US flies two B-1B Lancer bombers escorted by fighters from Japan and South Korea, while in the airspace of the two countries, over the Korean Peninsula.
: UN North Korea Sanctions Committee bans four ships with ties to North Korea from entering all ports outside North Korea.
: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un pledges to continue the country’s policy of simultaneously developing the economy and nuclear weapons.
: President Trump and Prime Minister Abe agree in a telephone conversation that pressure should be maintained on North Korea.
: Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha visits Washington and meets President Trump at the White House.
: Myanmar authorities take foreign diplomats and UN representatives on a tour of northern Rakhine State.
: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visits China and meets President Xi and other senior leaders.
: North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho accuses Trump of declaring war against his country, saying Pyongyang is ready to defend itself by shooting down US bombers.
Sept. 26, 2017: Japan provides $4 million to various organizations to assist people in the northern part of Rakhine State, Myanmar.
Sept. 26, 2017: Japan provides $4 million to various organizations to assist people in the northern part of Rakhine State, Myanmar.
: US Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers along with F-15C Eagle fighter escorts fly in international airspace over waters east of North Korea.
: Kim Jong Un responds to Trump’s remarks at the UN, saying he “will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire.”
: President Trump, South Korea’s President Moon and Japan’s Prime Minister Abe Shinzo meet on the sidelines of UN General Assembly in New York.
: In a speech at the UN General Assembly President Trump refers to Kim Jong Un as “rocket man” and as being “on a suicide mission.” He also says that, “The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”
: Presidents Xi and Trump talk by telephone. The White House statement says, “The two leaders committed to maximizing pressure on North Korea through vigorous enforcement of United Nations Security Council resolutions.” The Chinese version says, “The two leaders also exchanged views on the current situation on the Korean Peninsula.”
: US and Malaysia conduct a “Maritime Training Activity” (MTA) which appears to be a replacement for the annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise series, which has been held for past 22 years.
: Chinese People’s Liberation Army-Navy (PLAN) and Russian Navy conduct Joint Sea 2017 military exercises in the Sea of Japan and, for the first time, the Okhotsk Sea. The exercises focus primarily on joint submarine rescue and anti-submarine warfare.
: North Korea vows to accelerate its weapons program in response to UN Security Council Resolution 2375.
: Japanese Prime Minister Abe visits India and meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
: US Ambassador to Cambodia William Heidt denies allegations by Prime Minister Hun Sen that Washington is seeking to oust his government.
: Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak visits Washington and meets President Trump at the White House.
: UN Security Council adopts Resolution 2375 in response to North Korea’s nuclear test on Sept. 3.
: Leaders of the BRICS nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa –meet in Xiamen, China. As host, President Xi Jinping calls on them to stand together against a growing tide of protectionism across the world.
: North Korea conducts its sixth nuclear test, a powerful nuclear device that it claims is a hydrogen bomb.
: North Korea conducts its sixth nuclear weapon test at its Punggye-ri test site. US Geological Survey reports a 6.3 magnitude earthquake in conjunction with the test. North Korea describes the event as a successful test of a hydrogen bomb.
: US President Donald Trump and ROK counterpart Moon Jae-in talk by phone and agree to enhance Seoul’s deterrence against North Korea by increasing its missile capabilities, but also reaffirm the need to resume talks with the DPRK.
: North Korea launches a missile over Japan that lands in waters off the northern region of Hokkaido.
: India and China agree on an “expeditious disengagement” of troops at a disputed border area at the Doklam Plateau in the Himalayas.
: Chinese Foreign Ministry sends official note to the Indonesian Embassy in Beijing expressing opposition to Jakarta’s renaming of the southwest part of South China Sea to North Natuna Sea.
: The Rakhine Advisory Commission, led by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, releases report that says the Muslim community in Myanmar’s Rakhine State has become particularly vulnerable to human rights violations due to protracted statelessness and profound discrimination.
: ROK and US Combined Forces Command conduct the annual Ulchi Freedom Guardian military exercise. In addition, UN Command forces from seven countries, including Australia, Canada, Columbia, Denmark, New Zealand, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, participate.
: Secretary of State Tillerson and Secretary of Defense Mattis host Japanese Foreign Minister Kono Taro and Defense Minister Onodera Itsunori for a Security Consultative Committee (“2+2”) meeting in Washington.
: KCNA reports Kim Jong Un delayed a decision on firing missiles toward Guam.
: Indian and Chinese soldiers are involved in an altercation in the western Himalayas, raising tensions between two countries that are already locked in a two-month standoff in another part of the disputed border.
: China’s President Xi calls for a peaceful resolution to the North Korean nuclear issue in a telephone call with President Trump.
: KCNA reports that the KPA Strategic Force is “carefully examining” plans to launch four missiles toward Guam and surround the US territory in an “enveloping fire.”
: President Trump warns that “North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with the fire and the fury like the world has never seen.”
: North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, speaking at the ASEAN Regional Forum, blames the US for the situation on the Korean Peninsula and says Pyongyang would “teach the US a severe lesson” if it used military force against North Korea.
: Foreign ministers from ASEAN endorsee a framework for the South China Sea code of conduct. It is adopted on Aug. 6 during the ASEAN-China Post-Ministerial Conference.
: UNSC passes Resolution 2371 in response to North Korean long-range missile tests. It bans North Korean exports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore, and seafood. It also prohibits countries from increasing the current number of North Korean laborers working abroad, and bans new joint ventures with North Korea and new investment in current joint ventures.
: National security advisers from the US, South Korea, and Japan hold a video conference to coordinate their response to North Korea’s missile and nuclear threats.
: ASEAN-related meetings are held in Manila including the 50th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting and Post-Ministerial Conferences, 18th ASEAN Plus 3 Foreign Ministers Meeting, 7th East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers Meeting, and 24th ASEAN Regional Forum.
: North Korea launches a ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan (East Sea). The missile reportedly travels for 45 minutes and lands in Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
: Vietnam orders a private oil company to stop drilling in contested territory one week after China allegedly threatens to attack its bases in the Spratly Islands.
: Two Chinese fighter jets intercept a US Navy surveillance plane over the East China Sea.
: US-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue is held in Washington DC.
: Indonesia unveils a new official map of the national archipelago that includes renaming of the southwest part of South China Sea to North Natuna Sea.
: Eleven TPP countries meet in Hakone, Japan and agree to draft a new version of the TPP text that makes minimal changes to reflect the US withdrawal from the group.
: Naval ships, aircraft, and personnel from India, Japan, and the US participate in exercise Malabar, which features ashore training in Chennai and at-sea training in the Bay of Bengal.
: G20 Summit is held in Hamburg, Germany. Leaders from Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Russia, South Korea, and US attend.
: Two US bombers fly over parts of the South China Sea amid territorial disputes, asserting the right to treat the region as international territory.
: US and South Korea conduct military exercise that is described as a response to the North Korean missile launch on July 4.
: North Korea tests what it claims to be its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of carrying a large nuclear warhead.
: China’s President Xi visits Russia and meets President Putin. They sign several agreements related to trade and investment, agriculture, infrastructure, energy, and culture. The joint statement reaffirms their support for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, maintenance of regional stability, and solving the North Korean nuclear issue through dialogue.
: US destroyer USS Stethem conducts FON operation within 12 nm of Triton Island in the Paracel Island chain while shadowed by a Chinese warship.
: China files formal protest against Washington’s decision to sell arms to Taiwan.
: Chinese President Xi travels to Hong Kong for celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary of the city’s return to Chinese sovereignty and to oversee the July 1 swearing-in of Hong Kong’s first female chief executive Carrie Lam.
: South Korean President Moon Jae-in visits the US and meets President Trump. Discussion between the two focuses on North Korea and US-ROK trade.
: KCNA says North Korea will impose a “death penalty” on former South Korean President Park Geun-hye and former head of the National Intelligence Service Lee Byoung-ho for their alleged plot to assassinate Kim Jong Un.
: Recently-appointed Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano visits China. He meets Chinese counterparts Wang Yi and Yang Jiechi in Beijing.
: US releases annual Trafficking in Persons Report. It downgrades China’s status as among the world’s worst offenders, citing Beijing’s complicity in North Korea’s export of forced labor.
: Indian Prime Minister Naendra Modi visits the US and meets President Trump. They agree to promote strategic cooperation.
: Inaugural US-China Diplomatic and Security Dialogue co-chaired by Secretary of State Tillerson and Secretary of Defense Mattis for the US, and State Councilor Yang Jiechi and Gen. Fang Fenghui, chief of staff of the PLA for China, is held in Washington.
: China stages military exercises in the Paracel Islands.
: Indonesia, Malaysia, and Philippines launch trilateral maritime patrols of borders, which will allow hot pursuit operations to cross borders until authorities of the other country take over.
: Indian Army intercepts and stalls road-laying efforts by Chinese in Doka La area of the Doklam Plateau, leading to a standoff between the Indian Army and China’s PLA.
: Otto Warmbier, a US citizen who had been detained in North Korea since January 2016, is released to US Special Representative for North Korean Policy Joseph Yun and returns to the US. He reportedly has been in a comatose state for the past 17 months.
: The 17th meeting of the Council of Heads of States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is held in Astana.
: Two US Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers fly a training mission from Guam over the South China Sea in conjunction with the Navy’s USS Sterett guided-missile destroyer.
: Secretary of State Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis visit Sydney for the 2017 Australia-US Ministerial Consultations hosted by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Defense Minister Marise Payne.
: Vietnam’s PM Nguyen visits Japan and meets Prime Minister Abe Shinzo.
: Shangri-La Dialogue (16th Asia Security Summit) is held in Singapore.
: UNSC expands North Korea sanctions, barring 14 officials from traveling to UN member states and four companies, including Koryo Bank and Kangbong Trading, from doing business with UN member state entities.
: USS Carl Vinson and USS Ronald Reagan strike groups and Japanese destroyers Hyuga and Ashigara conduct a joint exercise in the Sea of Japan (East Sea).
: Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc visits the US and meets President Trump, first Southeast Asian leader to visit Washington during Trump administration.
: US Navy destroyer, USS Dewey, sails within 12 nm of Mischief Reef in the Spratley Islands, the first US freedom of navigation operation in the region since October 2016.
: Philippine President Duterte visits Russia and meets President Vladimir Putin. Duterte cuts his trip short after declaring martial law in Mindanao following a skirmish between the military and members of the Maute Group, a terrorist group affiliated with the Islamic State.
: UNSC condemns North Korea’s latest missile test and directs its sanctions committee to redouble its efforts to implement existing sanctions.
: North Korea launches an intermediate-range missile (Pukguksong-2, also known as KN-15) 500 km into the East Sea (Sea of Japan). KCNA claims the test demonstrates accuracy of the missile’s guidance system and confirms the capacity of the rocket’s propulsion system.
: US, ROK, and Japan call for an emergency session of the UN Security Council to discuss the latest missile launch by North Korea.
: On the sidelines of APEC meetings in Hanoi, the remaining 11 countries of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agree to pursue the trade agreement without the US. The APEC forum fails to issue a consensus statement when the US refuses wording agreed by the other 20 APEC countries that supported free trade and opposed protectionism.
: The 14th meeting of senior officials from China and ASEAN on implementation of a code of conduct (COC) in the South China Sea is held in Guiyan, China. Participants agree on a draft COC, which will be submitted to the foreign ministers for consideration.
: North Korea conducts a test of what KCNA identifies as a Hwasong-12 missile and describes as a “medium long-range missile that “can carry a heavy nuclear warhead.”
: China hosts delegates from 138 countries for Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, including: Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo, Vietnam’s President Tran Dai Quang, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Laotian President Bounnhang Vorachith, and Myanmar’s State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi.
: In Beijing for the Belt and Road Forum, Vietnam’s President Tran Dai Quang meets President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People. They have “positive” talks, “without any criticism of each other” on the South China Sea.
: Jakarta Gov. Basuki Tjahaja Purnama is found guilty of blasphemy and sentenced to two years in prison following a trial seen as a test of Indonesia’s religious tolerance.
: US and Philippines conduct 33rd iteration of Balikatan military exercises, with special focus on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) and counter-terrorism operations, in multiple locations in the Philippines.
: North Korea accuses the US CIA and South Korea’s intelligence service of a plot to attack its “supreme leadership” with a biochemical weapon.
: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson meets foreign minister of 10 ASEAN countries in Washington and urges them to do more to help cut funding streams for North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs and to minimize diplomatic relations with Pyongyang.
: China calls for immediate dismantlement of the THAAD missile defense system in South Korea.
: US Forces Korea announces that the recently deployed Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system has achieved initial operational capability.
: Three Chinese Navy ships make a port call visit in Davao, marking the first such visit to the Philippines since 2010.
: CIA Director Mike Pompeo makes unannounced visit to South Korea and meets counterpart in South Korea’s National Intelligence Service and other senior South Korean and US officials.
: North Korea conducts a medium-range missile test. The rocket explodes shortly after launch.
: Chairing a special ministerial session of the UN Security Council, Secretary of State Tillerson proposes that UN member states should fully implement UN Security Council sanctions on North Korea suspend or downgrading diplomatic relations with Pyongyang, and take steps to deepen the Norths financial isolation.
: Prime Minister Abe visits Moscow and meets President Vladimir Putin and other senior Russian officials.
: During an interview with Reuters, President Trump states that South Korea owes $1 billion for deployment of the THAAD missile defense system currently being operationalized in South Korea and that the US intends to renegotiate the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement.
: The 30th ASEAN Summit and related meetings are held in Manila.
: US Navy conducts separate exercises with MSDF and South Korean Navy in the Sea of Japan (East Sea).
: USS Carl Vinson and Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) destroyers conduct joint exercises south of Japan in the Philippine Sea.
: Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein visits Beijing and meets Defense Minister Gen. Chang Wanquan and other senior leaders.
: UN Security Council adopts a press statement strongly condemning North Korea’s latest missile launch.
: Former Indonesian Education Minister Anies Baswedan is elected mayor of Jakarta.
: Department of Defense announces that the USS Carl Vinson carrier battle group is in the Indian Ocean conducting exercises with the Australian Navy.
: Vice President Mike Pence visits the Asia-Pacific region, making stops in South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Australia, and Hawaii.
: North Korea celebrates Kim Il Sung’s birthday with a massive military parade that features several long-range ballistic missiles. Later in the day, it attempts to test a missile, which explodes almost immediately after launch.
: Presidents Xi and Trump speak by telephone as a follow up to the recent summit in Florida.
: Wu Dawei, Chinese envoy for Korean affairs, meets South Korean counterpart Kim Hong-kyun in Seoul. They agree that China and South Korea would impose tougher sanctions on North Korea if it carries out nuclear or intercontinental ballistic missile tests.
: North Korea’s Foreign Ministry issues statement that the recent US attack on Syria was “absolutely unpardonable as it was an undisguised act of aggression against a sovereign state.”
: Department of Defense announces that the US Navy strike group led by the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier will be dispatched to the Korean Peninsula for an unscheduled visit.
: President Trump hosts Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago, Florida.
: US, ROK, and Japan conduct first trilateral anti-submarine warfare exercise off the coast of South Korea.
: Malaysia and North Korea reach agreement to release the body of Kim Jong Nam and two North Koreans suspected of involvement in Kim assassination in exchange for the release of nine Malaysian citizens that had been prevented from leaving Pyongyang.
: Okinawa Gov. Onaga Takeshi retracts his predecessor’s approval of the central government’s land reclamation project at the site of the Futenma replacement facility at Henoko, which results in a temporary halt to land reclamation efforts.
: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang states that defense equipment placed on China’s artificial islands in the South China Sea are there to maintain “freedom of navigation.”
: UN Security Council denounces North Korea’s recent missile test and ballistic missile engine test as “increasingly destabilizing behavior.”
: China’s Foreign Ministry denies reports that it is about to start preparatory work this year for an environmental monitoring station on Scarborough Shoal claiming that China “place[s] great importance on China-Philippines relations.”
: Sansha City mayor claims that China is preparing to install environmental monitoring station on land features in the South China, including one on Scarborough Shoal.
: Secretary of State Tillerson makes his first official visit to Asia with stops in Japan, South Korea, and China.
: South Korea, Japan, and the United States conduct a missile warning exercise to enhance trilateral cooperation in detecting and tracing North Korean missiles.
: Combined forces of South Korea and the US conduct the annual command post exercise Key Resolve in South Korea.
: South Korea’s Constitutional Court upholds National Assembly’s impeachment of President Park Geun-hye.
: North Korea fires four ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan (East Sea); three of them land in Japan’s Economic Exclusive Zone.
: Report of the Panel of Experts Established Pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1874 is released. The details provided in the report suggest that UN sanctions against the DPRK remain largely ineffective.
: Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, and Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre accompany US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim on a visit to the USS Carl Vinson in the South China Sea.
: US-ROK Foal Eagle military field exercise is held in South Korea.
: US Special Representative for North Korea Policy Joseph Yun meets Japanese and South Korean counterparts, Kenji Kanasugi and Kim Hong-kyun, in Washington to discuss ways to cooperate more closely on North Korea.
: Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi visits Washington and meets President Trump, Vice President Pence, National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster, Secretary of State Tillerson, and other senior officials.
: Malaysian police report that a toxicology evaluation of the substance rubbed on Kim Jong Nam’s face contained VX nerve agent.
: ASEAN Foreign Ministers Retreat is held in Boracay, Philippines.
: China’s Ministry of Commerce announces that, as of Feb. 12, it will ban all coal imports from North Korea in 2017.
: Meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting in Bonn, Germany, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Japanese Foreign Minister Kishida Fumio and South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se agree to closely coordinate their response to the recent North Korean missile test.
: Kim Jong Nam, the older brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, dies after being poisoned by assassins at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
: Thailand and the US co-host the Cobra Gold military exercises in various areas throughout Thailand. It is the largest multilateral exercise in Asia involving 29 participant and observer countries.
: North Korea successfully test-fires a new type of medium- to long-range ballistic missile named Pukguksong-2, which KCNA described as a new type of strategic weapon capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.
: Prime Minister Abe visits the US and meets President Trump. They agree that the friendship between the US and Japan is “very, very deep” and that “an alliance between the two countries is a cornerstone of peace in the East Asian region.”
: Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping talk by phone. Both sides characterize the conversation as “extremely cordial” and Trump confirms his administration will adhere to the “one-China policy.”
: Hong Kong Customs releases and returns all nine armored Terrex vehicles to Singapore that had been impounded in Hong Kong during transit following their involvement in an annual military exercise between Singapore and Taiwan.
: US Defense Secretary James Mattis visits Asia on his first overseas trip since taking office with stops in South Korea and Japan.
: US releases its latest Nuclear Posture Review, which declares a need for modified nuclear warheads of lower yield and a new, nuclear-armed, sea-launched cruise missile. It also argues for more “flexible” options to meet possible threats from resurgent Russia and China and that these supplemental and “tailored” options will enhance deterrence.
: Philippines announces that China has agreed to fund 30 projects worth $3.7 billion to help Philippine poverty alleviation programs.
: United States formally withdraws from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
: US, Japan, and South Korea conduct a naval missile defense exercise off the coast of South Korea.
: Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo visit the Philippines, Australia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide says, “This trip will further strengthen [Japan’s] cooperative relations with each country as well as emphasizing the importance of building coordination with countries in the Asia-Pacific for a free and open world order based on the rule of law.”
: General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong visits Beijing and meets Premier Li Keqiang. In a joint communiqué, the two countries agree to “manage well their maritime difference, avoid actions that complicate the situation and escalate tensions, and safeguard the peace and stability of the South China Sea.”
: China’s State Council Information Office issues white paper on China’s Policies on Asia-Pacific Security Cooperation.
: China deploys aircraft carrier Liaoning and associated battle group in the Taiwan Strait for the first time.
: South Korean National Security Advisor Kim Kwan-jin visits Washington and meets incoming National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. They reaffirm plans to deploy the THAAD missile defense system in South Korea despite China’s growing protest.
: Trade ministers from Japan, South Korea, and China meet in Beijing for a round of talks aimed at finalizing a trilateral free trade agreement.
: South Korean Vice Foreign Minister Lim Sung-nam, Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Sugiyama Shinsuke, and US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken meet in Washington to discuss trilateral cooperation to counter North Korean threats.
: Two Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Escort Division destroyers, JS Inazuma and JS Suzutsuki, make a port call at Subic Bay en route to Japan after conducting counter-piracy operations at the Gulf of Aden.
: Russian Navy anti-submarine destroyer Admiral Tributs and fleet oiler Boris Botuma make a goodwill port visit in Manila.
: China’s first aircraft carrier Liaoning sets off for the Western Pacific for its first open-sea training exercise, according to the Chinese Defense Ministry.
: Chinese Navy returns the underwater drone to the US Navy “after friendly consultations between the Chinese and US sides.”
: Indonesian Coordinating Maritime Minister Luhut Panjaitan visits Japan and meets Foreign Minister Kishida. They sign a Memorandum of Cooperation to establish the Indonesia-Japan Maritime Forum.
: Chinese Navy warship seizes an underwater drone deployed by the USNS Bowditch, a US oceanographic survey vessel, in international waters in the South China Sea, triggering a formal diplomatic protest from the US and a demand for its return.
: CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) reports that satellite imagery shows China has apparently installed “significant” defensive weapons on a series of artificial islands it built in the South China Sea.
: South Korea’s National Assembly votes 234-56 to impeach President Park Geun-hye over her role in a corruption and influence-peddling scandal, forcing her to immediately hand over the running of the country to a caretaker prime minister.
: Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and President-elect Donald Trump have a telephone conversation, marking the first time a Taiwan president has had official contact with a US president or president-elect since the US broke ties with Taiwan in 1979. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi characterizes the exchange as a “petty action” by Taiwan.
: North Korea condemns the new UNSC sanctions, saying the “UN Security Council has once again overstepped its authority and infringed on our sovereignty” and that “There is nothing in the UN Charter or any other international law that defines nuclear tests as threats to international peace or security.”
: UN Security Council passes UNSC Resolution 2321, which imposes new sanctions on North Korea aimed at cutting its annual export revenue by a quarter in response to North Korea’s fifth nuclear test in September.
: Japan and South Korea sign a General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA), which will allow them to share sensitive information on the threat posed by North Korea’s missile and nuclear activities.
: US-Philippines Mutual Defense Board and Security Engagement Board (MDB-SEB) is held in Manila. A joint statement says that “We look forward to continued, close cooperation in areas central to both our national and security interests including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, counter-terrorism, cyber security, and maritime security.”
: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declares the lagoon at Scarborough Shoal as a marine sanctuary and off-limits to fishermen. Chinese Foreign Ministry refuses to comment.
: Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic (APEC) Leaders Meeting is held in Lima, Peru.
: US and Brunei conduct the 22nd iteration of Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) naval exercises involving shore-based and at-sea training events.
: The Obama administration announces that it will not seek congressional ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement.
: Vietnam announces cancellation of its plan to construct two nuclear power plants, citing the high cost and slower than expected growth in the demand for electricity.
: Donald Trump is elected 45th president of the United States.
: Fifteenth Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Prime Minister’s Meeting is held in Bishkek.
: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak visits China and meets President Xi Jinping and other senior leaders.
: Deputy Secretary Blinken visits Beijing to meet Executive Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui for the third interim Strategic Security Dialogue, continuing discussions between the two sides on strategic security issues including DPRK and maritime issues.
: Deputy Secretary Blinken visits South Korea to discuss strategies to deal with North Korea.
: US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken visits Japan for fifth round of deputy-level US-Japan-South Korea trilateral consultations.
: President Duterte visits Japan and meets Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and other senior leaders.
: Sixth Plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China is held in Beijing.
: Navies of Japan, South Korea, and the US participate in a joint naval exercise off the southern coast of South Korea’s Jeju Island.
: The USS Decatur conducts a “freedom of navigation” operation near the Paracel Islands in what the US described as a “routine, lawful manner.” China responds by lodging a protest with the US referring to the operation as “illegal” and “provocative.”
: South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se and Defense Minister Han visit Washington and meet Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter for the fourth US-ROK 2+2 meeting.
: Philippine President Duterte leads a delegation that includes more than 200 business leaders to China. He meets President Xi Jinping and other senior leaders and a joint statement is issued.
: India hosts eighth BRICS Summit in Goa. The theme of India’s BRICS Chairmanship is Building Responsive, Inclusive and Collective Solutions.
: Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej dies at the age of 88 after extended illness.
: Chinese President Xi Jinping visits Cambodia and meets Premier Hun Sen and other senior leaders.
: South Korea says it would use greater force, including firearms, against Chinese boats fishing illegally in its waters and summons China’s ambassador to protest a clash between a Chinese vessel and a ROK Coast Guard boat.
: South Korean President Park Geun-hye tells ROK government to prepare for large-scale defections from DPRK, days after a direct appeal to its citizens to flee their country.
: Seventh Xiangshan Forum, co-hosted by Chinese Association for Military Science and the China Institute for International Strategic Studies, is held in Beijing under the theme of “Strengthen Security Dialogue and Cooperation, and Build a New Type of International Relations.” Representatives from more than 60 countries attend.
: US and ROK conduct Invincible Spirit naval exercises to “strengthen maritime interoperability and tactics, techniques and procedures,” in South Korean waters.
: US and the Philippines conduct Philippine Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX), which President Rodrigo Duterte says will be the last joint US-Philippine exercise during his term in office. The exercise ends one day earlier than originally planned.
: Lt. Gen. Anthony Crutchfield, deputy commander of US Pacific Command, visits Myanmar to meet senior government officials, ethnic leaders, and Myanmar youth.
: Two US Navy ships, the submarine tender USS Frank Cable and guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain make a port call in Vietnam’s Cam Ranh Bay as part of naval engagement activities between the US and Vietnam.
: Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin, and Indonesian Defense Minister Ryacudu reach agreement on the sidelines of the ASEAN-US Defense Dialogue in Hawaii to explore joint air patrols in transit corridors considered by the three nations as maritime areas of common concern.
: Informal US-ASEAN Defense Minister Meeting is held in Honolulu to discuss a range of issues, including terrorism, maritime security, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
: Two Chinese frigates in transit from the Gulf of Aden visit Yangon’s Thilwa deep-sea port for what “a show of diplomatic cooperation between the two nations.”
: United States places sanctions on Chinese firm Dandong Hongxiang Industrial Development Company Ltd and four company officials and files criminal charges against them for assisting North Korea with its nuclear and missile programs, a move representing the first-ever sanctions on a Chinese entity over Pyongyang’s weapons programs.
: US and South Korean navies conducted a joint exercise near the North Korean maritime border. The exercise marks the first time joint forces conducted naval training in an area closest to North Korea’s maritime border in the East Sea or Sea of Japan.
: US Secretary of State John Kerry, Japanese Foreign Minister Kishida Fumio, and South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se meet in New York to discuss responses to North Korea’s latest nuclear test.
: Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi visits Washington and meets President Obama and other senior officials.
: China and Russia conduct Joint Sea 2016 naval exercise off Guangdong Province in the South China Sea. The joint drill is described as “a strategic measure” and a concrete action to promote the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership.
: DPRK conducts its fifth nuclear test since 2006 and its second this year. The rest of the world sharply condemns the action.
: UN Security Council issues a strong condemnation of North Korea’s latest missile tests and threatens to take “further significant measures” against Pyongyang.
: Japan’s Prime Minister Abe Shinzo meets Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in Vientiane and agrees to provide two large-sized patrol ships and lend up to five used surveillance aircraft to the Philippines.
: The 28th and 29th ASEAN Summits, the 19th ASEAN Plus Three Summit, and the 11th East Asia Summit are held in Vientiane.
: North Korea launches three Rodong ballistic missiles from its east coast into the Sea of Japan (East Sea) landing about 400km inside Japan’s Air Identification Zone.
: Eleventh G20 Summit is held in Hangzhou, China.
: North Korea test-fires a submarine-launched missile in the Sea of Japan (East Sea) that reportedly travels 300 miles, much further than previous similar tests.
: Foreign ministers from China, South Korea, and Japan meet in Tokyo.
: Fifteenth annual Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) military exercise with naval forces from Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Bangladesh, Cambodia, and the United States is held with the Singapore Navy’s Multinational Operations and Exercises Center (MOEC) as the main coordinating center.
: ROK and US Combined Forces Command (CFC) conduct annual Ulchi Freedom Guardian military exercise.
: North Korea’s Atomic Energy Institute says it has resumed plutonium production by reprocessing spent fuel rods and has no plans to stop nuclear tests as long as perceived US threats remain. It also states that it has been producing highly enriched uranium necessary for nuclear arms and power “as scheduled.”
: Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi visits China and meets Premier Li Keqiang, President Xi Jinping, and other senior officials.
: The 13th Senior Officials Meeting on the Implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of the Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) is held in Manzhouli, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
: Japan summons Chinese diplomats to protest after six Chinese Coast Guard vessels, three of which reportedly armed with gun batteries, approached the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, accompanying a fleet of 230 Chinese fishing boats.
: Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong visits the US and meets President Barack Obama. The visit coincides with the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations, and is the first official visit to the US by a Singapore prime minister since 1985.
: North Korea fires two mid-range Rodong ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan (East Sea) with one reportedly landing in Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
: Japan issues annual defense white paper. China expresses opposition, saying the document is hostile to China’s military and deceptive to the international community.
: The 17th ASEAN Plus Three Foreign Ministers Meeting is held in Vientiane.
: The 23rd ASEAN Regional Forum, the sixth East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers Meeting, and the Lower Mekong Initiative Ministerial Meeting are held in Vientiane.
: ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting and Post Ministerial Conference are held in Vientiane. After considerable discussion, the ministers issue a joint communiqué.
: North Korea fires three ballistic missiles from the western city of Hwangju, which fly 500-600km toward the East Sea (Sea of Japan).
: Malcolm Turnbull is sworn in for another term as Australia’s prime minister.
: Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay states that the Philippines rejected a Chinese offer to hold talks “outside of and in disregard” of an international tribunal’s ruling that rejects Beijing’s claim to ownership of virtually the entire South China Sea.
: The11th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) is held in Ulaanbataar. ASEM is an informal dialogue process involving 51 countries from Asia and Europe and two organizations—ASEAN Secretariat and the European Union.
: US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken, ROK First Vice Foreign Minister Lim Sung-nam, and Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Sugiyama Shinsuke meet in Hawaii for the fourth round of deputy-level trilateral consultations on “shared regional and global priorities.”
: Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin announces the issuance of a white paper on the South China Sea and says the decision to establish an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the disputed waters will depend on its threat perception in the region.
: UNCLOS Arbitral Tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration issues an award in the Philippines v. China case over the maritime jurisdiction of the Philippines in the West Philippine Sea.
: Chinese commercial jets land for the first time on newly built runways at Subi Reef (China: Zhubi, Philippines: Zamora; Vietnam: Da Xu Bi) and Mischief Reef (China: Meiji, Philippines: Panganiban, Vietnam: Da Vanh Khan).
: US and South Korea reach agreement to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system with the US military stationed in South Korea to counter North Korea’s missile threat. China and Russia protest the decision.
: US imposes sanctions on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un along with 10 other top officials and five state agencies over human rights abuses. North Korea responds by stating that the sanctions are tantamount to a declaration of war.
: China conducts military exercises near the Paracel Islands (China: Xisha) and announces that civilian vessels would be prohibited from entering the area for the duration.
: Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), the world’s largest international maritime exercise, is held around the Hawaiian Islands and off the Southern California coast.
: North Korea’s Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA) appoints Kim Jong Un as chairman of a newly-created state apparatus, tentatively named the commission on state affairs.
: South Korea, Japan, and the United States conduct a joint missile defense exercise off the coast of Hawaii. This is the first joint military training exercise involving the three countries focused on tracking and defending against North Korean missile launches.
: North Korea proposes a conference with South Korea to discuss reunification of the Korean nation and peace on the Korean Peninsula. Seoul refuses to accept the invitation saying North Korea should take action to denuclearize first.
: UN Security Council rebukes North Korea for its latest missile tests, calling for redoubled enforcement of sanctions imposed after the DPRK’s fourth nuclear test.
: Indonesian President Joko Widodo holds a Cabinet meeting aboard a warship off the Natuna Islands asserting sovereignty over waters in the southern portion of the South China Sea after Beijing states its “over-lapping claim” on nearby waters.
: The 16th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Council of Heads of State Meeting is held in Tashkent.
: North Korea launches two mid-range (Musudan-type) ballistic missiles from its east coast. Kim Jong Un hails the tests as successful and they represent a direct threat to US military bases in the Pacific.
: Northeast Asia Cooperation Dialogue (NEACD) is held in Beijing.
: Indonesian Navy arrests and detains a Chinese fishing boat and seven crew members over illegal fishing near the Natuna Islands.
: Special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers Meeting is held in Kunming, China. Following the meeting, the ASEAN minister issued a communiqué expressing serious concerns over recent and ongoing developments that “have the potential to undermine peace, security and stability in the South China Sea.” Shortly after, the communiqué is retracted.
: US, Japan, and India conduct joint naval exercise Malabar in the Philippine Sea near the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands.
: ASEAN-China Joint Working Group on the Implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea convenes in Vietnam. The meeting focuses on drafting guidelines for a regional hotline on urgent contingency events at sea, as well as a joint statement on the implementation of the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea.
: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reports that the North Korean reprocessing plant at the Yongbyon Nuclear Complex has resumed operations.
: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits the US and meets President Barack Obama and addresses a joint session of the US Congress.
: The sixth US-China Strategic Security Dialogue (SSD) and eighth US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) are held in Beijing.
: Shangri-La Dialogue is held in Singapore.
: US Treasury designates North Korea as a primary money launderer, saying that it would seek to cut off from the US financial system any bank or company that conducts banking transactions with the North.
: Kim Hong-kyun, South Korea’s special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, Sung Kim, US special representative for North Korea policy, and Ishikane Kimihiro, director general for Asian and Oceanian affairs at Japan’s Foreign Ministry meet in Tokyo to continue trilateral coordination on North Korea policy.
: Forty-second G7 Summit is held in Ise-Shima Japan.
: President Obama visits Japan to attend the G7 Summit and tour the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, becoming the first sitting US president to do so.
: The 10th ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting is held in Vientiane. The Joint Declaration highlights ASEAN countries’ commitment to promoting regional peace and security.
: US President Barack Obama visits Vietnam to discuss the US-Vietnam comprehensive partnership. He is accompanied by Secretary of State Kerry.
: ASEAN-Russia Summit is held in Sochi, Russia.
: US Navy destroyer USS William P. Lawrence sails within 12nm zone near Fiery Cross Reef (China: Yongshu; Philippines: Kagitingin; Vietnam: Da Chu) to “challenge excessive maritime claims of some claimants in the South China Sea.”
: Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi visits Indonesia and Malaysia. In Indonesia, he attends the second meeting of China-Indonesia High-level Economic Dialogue. In Malaysia Yang meets Foreign Minister Anifah Aman.
: North Korea holds its first Workers’ Party (WPK) Congress since 1980. Kim Jong Un is elected as chairman of the WPK.
: Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines agree to conduct coordinated maritime patrols in the Sulu and Celebes seas to combat piracy and ship hijacking in the region.
: Lao President Bounnhang Vorachit visits China and meets President Xi Jinping.
: Japanese Foreign Minister Kishida Fumio visits Southeast Asia with stops in Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam. Kishida offers to improve infrastructure and bolster development in the region with 750 billion yen ($7 billion) in aid over three years.
: South Korea and US conduct Key Resolve (Mar. 7-18) and Foal Eagle military exercises, involving more than 300,000 ROK and 15,000 US troops.
: The 22nd China-ASEAN Senior Officials Consultation is held in Singapore. The meeting focuses on advancing China-ASEAN relations and regional cooperation in East Asia. Chinese Foreign Affairs Vice Minister Liu Zhenmin urges ASEAN states to resolve territorial disputes through dialogue and warns of “negative consequences” if the Philippines wins an arbitration case in The Hague.
: Fifth Foreign Ministers Meeting of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) is held in Beijing.
: Chinese FM Wang Yi meets counterparts from Brunei, Cambodia, and Laos. They reach a four-point consensus on the South China Sea, emphasizing that the dispute should be resolved through consultations and negotiations of the claimant states.
: A 92 member supra-party delegation of Diet members’ led by Cabinet Minister Takaichi Sanae visits Yasukuni Shrine.
: Deputy Secretary of State Blinken travels to Hanoi and Jakarta.
: Secretary Carter announces five US aircraft and 200 personnel will remain in the Philippines after the conclusion of Balikatan to support joint patrols in the South China Sea.
: China’s Ministry of National Defense confirms visit of Gen. Fan Changlong, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, to artificial islands in the South China Sea.
: China’s Foreign Ministry summons diplomatic representatives of “relevant countries” from the Group of Seven (G7) nations to express its dissatisfaction with the joint statement about the South China Sea issued by G7 foreign ministers at a meeting in Japan.
: Indonesia hosts Komodo 2016 naval exercise near Padang, involving forces from 14 countries.
: G7 Foreign Ministers Meeting is held in Hiroshima.
: US Secretary of State Ashton Carter visits India and the Philippines.
: Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) reports that Kim Jong Un has overseen a successful test of a “heavy-lift” engine of a “new-type” of intercontinental ballistic rocket at the Sohae Space Center.
: Vietnam’s National Assembly elects Nguyen Xuan Phuc as prime minister. The Politburo and Central Committee of the Vietnamese Communist Party nominated him for the post in January.
: Chinese FM Wang Yi visits Myanmar to meet counterpart Aung San Suu Kyi.
: Philippines and US conduct Balikatan military exercise at several locations in the Philippines.
: Chinese military aircraft lands on Fiery Cross Reef for an emergency evacuation of three ill Chinese construction workers stationed there.
: Two Japanese destroyers, the JS Ariake and JS Setogiri, and the submarine Oyashio make a port call to Subic Bay.
: Fourth and final Nuclear Security Summit is held in Washington.
: Vietnamese Coast Guard announces the seizure of a Chinese resupply vessel that was allegedly disguised as a fishing boat for trespassing into Vietnamese territorial waters.
: President Obama meets Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and South Korean President Park Geun-hye in Washington to discuss North Korea. He meets separately with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit.
: Malaysia Foreign Ministry summons the China’s ambassador for “clarification” and “to register Malaysia’s concern” over the encroachment of some 100 Chinese fishing boats into Malaysia’s territorial waters in the South China Sea, which were accompanied by a Chinese Coast Guard vessel.
: Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne tells reporters in Kuala Lumpur that Australia will continue sending ships and planes to defend freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea.
March 29, 2016: Myanmar President Thein Sein lifts a state of emergency in the western state of Rakhine on his last day in office.
March 30, 2016: Htin Kyaw, the first democratically-elected president in more than 50 years, is inaugurated in Myanmar.
: Chinese Coast Guard vessel rams a Chinese fishing boat to pry it free from the Indonesian boat that was towing it. Indonesian authorities had seized the boat for fishing illegally in Indonesian territory in the Natuna Sea.
: UN Security Council issues a unanimous statement saying that North Korea’s March 17 missile launches “constituted a clear violation of UN Security Council resolutions.”
: Sixth annual US-Philippines Strategic Dialogue held in Washington with a focus on implementation of the EDCA and modernization of the Philippine Armed Forces.
: North Korea test-fires two medium-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea (Sea of Japan).
: US Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson confirms the US military has seen increased Chinese activity around Scarborough Shoal.
: Cambodia and US militaries conduct seventh annual Angkor Sentinel humanitarian and disaster relief exercise focusing on military engineering, explosive-ordnance disposal, transport, and leadership development.
: China’s chief justice, Zhou Qiang, says China will launch an “international maritime judicial center” to safeguard its territorial claims and protect its maritime rights.
: UN Security Council unanimously adopts UNSC Resolution 2270, the toughest sanctions ever imposed on North Korea, in response to its fourth nuclear test and rocket launch.
: Philippines and Japan sign an agreement allowing the transfer military equipment and technology to Manila in an expansion of their 2015 Memorandum of Defense Cooperation.
: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi states that the Philippines violated Article 4 of the 2002 Declaration on Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea by resorting to arbitration instead of dialogue and bilateral negotiations.
: China confirms the deployment of fighter jets to Woody Island.
: Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, commander of US Seventh Fleet, urges Australia to carry out naval patrols within 12nm of China’s artificial features in the South China Sea.
: Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) and the Vietnamese Navy conduct a joint exercise off the coast of Danang in central Vietnam.
: President Barack Obama hosts the leaders of the 10 ASEAN countries for a summit at Sunnylands, California.
: South Korea announces the total shutdown of a jointly run industrial park in Kaesong, saying Pyongyang had been using it to fund its nuclear weapons programs.
: US and Thailand cohost the annual Cobra Gold military exercise, focusing on multilateral operations in counterpiracy and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
: North Korea launches a rocket carrying the Kwangmyongsong-4 satellite from its Sohae Satellite Launching Station.
: UN Security Council condemns the North Korean rocket launch.
: Ministers from the 12 Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) member countries sign the final version of the trade agreement in Auckland, New Zealand.
: US Navy destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur conducts a freedom of navigation (FON) operation in the South China Sea involving “innocent passage” without prior notification within 12nm of Triton Island in the Paracels. China responds with “resolute opposition,” accusing the US of violating Chinese law and undermining regional peace.
: Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou visits Taiping Island (Itu Aba) in the South China Sea. US and Vietnam criticize the visit for adding tension to the disputed waters.
: Japanese Emperor Akihito and his wife Michiko visit the Philippines, marking the 60th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
: Secretary of State John Kerry visits Asia with stops in Laos, Cambodia, and China for “meetings with senior leaders … to discuss a range of global, regional, and bilateral issues, including North Korea.”
: Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel visits Singapore to lead the US delegation at the fourth US-Singapore Strategic Partnership.
: Deputy Secretary Blinken and Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui co-chair the inter-sessional meeting of the China-US Strategic Security Dialogue in Beijing.
: Vietnam Communist Party Congress is held in Hanoi.
: Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is launched in Beijing.
: Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) wins the presidency and an outright legislative majority in Taiwan.
: Special Representative Hwang visits China to meet counterpart Wu Dawei.
: Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken travels to Tokyo, Nay Pyi Taw, Seoul, and Beijing.
: Hwang Joon-kook, South Korea’s special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, meets US and Japanese counterparts Sung Kim and Ishikane Kimihiro in Seoul for “in-depth talks” on possible responses to the North’s nuclear test.
: Philippine Supreme Court rules that the 2014 US-Philippine Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) is constitutional, allowing implementation of the agreement without ratification by the Philippine Senate.
: US and Philippine defense and foreign affairs secretaries meet in Washington for their annual “2+2” meeting to discuss bilateral security issues.
: A US B-52 Stratofortress strategic bomber flies over South Korea in what is described a “major show of force” after North Korean nuclear test.
: South Korea resumes broadcasting information across the DMZ as a response to the Jan. 6 North Korean nuclear test.
: In a phone conversation with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, US Secretary of State John Kerry says that the Chinese approach to dealing with North Korea “has not worked and we cannot continue business as usual.”
: China lands two large civilian aircraft on Fiery Cross Reef, drawing more protests from Vietnam and the Philippines.
: North Korea claims to have successfully conducted a thermonuclear test at its Pungye-ri nuclear test site saying it has “successfully joined the ranks of advanced nuclear states.” Seismic monitoring agencies report a 5.1 magnitude tremor in the vicinity of the site.
: North Korea claims to have successfully conducted a thermonuclear test at its Pungye-ri nuclear test site saying it has “successfully joined the ranks of advanced nuclear states.” Seismic monitoring agencies report a 5.1 magnitude tremor in the vicinity of the site.
: China lands a small civilian aircraft on a recently completed runway on Fiery Cross Reef (Chinese: Yongshu, Philippines: Kagitingan, Vietnam: Da Chu Thap). Vietnam, Philippines, and Japan protest the action, accusing China of destabilizing the region.
: South Korean Foreign Minister Yun and Japanese counterpart Kishida meet in Seoul and agree to “finally and irreversibly” resolve the issue of Japan’s wartime exploitation of Korean women as “comfort women/sex slaves.”
: The defense and foreign ministers of Japan and Indonesia meet in Tokyo in a “two-plus-two” format and agree to strengthen security and economic ties.
: China’s Foreign Ministry summons the US charge d’affairs in Beijing to protest the Obama administration’ s authorization of arms sales to Taiwan and says it would impose sanctions on the firms involved.
: The 14th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Prime Ministers Meeting is held in Zhengzhou, China. They issue a statement on regional economic cooperation.
: US announces the planned sale of $1.83 billion in military equipment to Taiwan. Included in the package are two decommissioned US Navy frigates, anti-tank missiles, surface-to-air missiles, and amphibious assault vehicles.
: Assistant Secretary of State Russel travels to Asia with stops in Thailand, Laos, and Japan. In Thailand, Russel leads the US delegation to the fifth US-Thai Strategic Dialogue on Dec. 16, marking the first time the dialogue has been held since 2012.
: UN Framework on Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP21) is held in Paris.
: North and South Korea hold vice-ministerial meeting in Kaesong. The talks end without any substantive agreement and no plans for subsequent meetings.
: Prime Minister Abe visits India and meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
: Despite protests from China and Russia, a UN Security Council (UNSC) meeting is held on North Korea’s human rights violations.
: Singapore Minister for Defense Ng Eng Hen visits Washington and meets Secretary of Defense Carter. They sign a joint enhanced defense cooperation agreement (DCA) that will provide a framework for an expanded defense relationship.
: US Special Representative for North Korea Policy Sung Kim hosts a trilateral meeting in Washington with ROK Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs Hwang Joon-kook and Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director-General for Asian and Oceanian Affairs Ishikane Kimihiro.
: Chinese and Thai air forces conduct first joint exercises that China says are aimed at increasing “mutual trust and friendship.”
: Tenth East Asia Summit Leaders Meeting is held in Kuala Lumpur.
: The 27th ASEAN Summit is held in Kuala Lumpur.
: UN General Assembly passes a resolution calling for North Korea to be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for its human rights violations.
: Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders Meeting is held in Manila.
: G20 Summit is held in Antalya, Turkey.
: US and Cambodia conduct sixth CARAT naval exercise.
: China’s Xi Jinping and Taiwan’s Ma Ying-jeou meet in Singapore as “leaders of the two sides,” marking the first time since the civil war between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China ended in 1949.
: President Xi visits Singapore and meets counterpart Tony Tan Keng Yam.
: Chinese President Xi Jinping visits Vietnam and meets General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Nguyen Phu Trong and President Truong Tan Sang.
: Secretary of State Kerry visits Central Asia with stops in Bishkek, Samarkand, Astana, Dushanbe, and Ashgabat.
: ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM+) is held in Kuala Lumpur.
: The 47th ROK-US Security Consultative Meeting (SCM) is held in Seoul.
: President Park and Prime Minister Abe meet in Seoul marking the first bilateral meeting between leaders of the two countries since May 2012.
: Chinese Premier Li, Japanese Prime Minister Abe, and South Korean President Park hold a trilateral summit in Seoul, the first such meeting since 2012.
: Annual ROK-US Military Committee Meeting (MCM) is held in Seoul.
: Australian Navy ships HMAS Stuart and HMAS Arunta visit China’s South China Sea base at Zhanjiang and conduct military exercises with the Chinese Navy.
: Permanent Court of Arbitration awards its first decision in The Republic of Philippines v. The People’s Republic of China case, ruling that the case was “properly constituted” under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, that China’s “non-appearance” (i.e., refusal to participate) did not preclude the Court’s jurisdiction, and that the Philippines was within its rights in filing the case.
: US guided missile destroyer USS Lassen reportedly sails within 12nm of Subi Reef and Mischief Reef in the South China Sea.
: Indonesian President Joko Widodo visits the US and meets President Obama and other senior officials.
: Japan Prime Minister Abe visits Mongolia and five Central Asian Countries including Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan.
: Japanese Defense Minister Nakatani Gen visits South Korea; he meets Defense Minister Han and attends Seoul’s International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition.
: Xiangshan Forum is held in Beijing.
: China hosts ASEAN defense ministers in Beijing for a “deep exchange of views.”
: Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force joins the US and Indian navies in the annual Malabar training exercise in Chennai, India. Japan had taken part in these exercises as an invited guest in the past, but joined this year as a permanent member.
: Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi and head of the Japanese National Security Council Yachi Shotaro co-chair the second China-Japan high-level political dialogue in Tokyo.
: South Korean President Park Geun-hye visits the US and meets President Obama and other senior officials. She is accompanied by Defense Minister Han Min-koo.
: Secretary of State Kerry and Secretary of Defense Ash Carter co-host Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Defense Minister Marise Payne in Boston for the 2015 Australia-US Ministerial (AUSMIN) consultations.
: US and Philippines conduct the 31st iteration of the Philippine Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX).
: The US, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand, with Bangladesh Navy officials observing, conduct Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training Exercise (SEACAT), a naval exercise focused on anti-piracy in the South China Sea.
: Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken travels to Japan, South Korea, and China to discuss key political, economic, and security issues.
: Trade representatives from the 12 Trans-Pacific Partnership countries (Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States, and Vietnam) meet in Atlanta and conclude negotiations on the trade agreement.
: Secretary Kerry hosts an ASEAN-US ministerial meeting in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
: South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se, Secretary of State Kerry, and Japanese Foreign Minister Kishida Fumio meet on the sidelines of UNGA.
: Secretary Kerry hosts the inaugural US-India-Japan Trilateral Ministerial Dialogue with Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Japanese Foreign Minister Kishida on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
: South Korea, China, and Japan hold the eighth round of negotiations for a trilateral free trade agreement (FTA) in Beijing.
: Chinese President Xi Jinping visits the US with stops in Seattle to meet business leaders, Washington DC for a summit with President Obama and a state dinner, and New York to participate in the UN General Assembly (UNGA).
: Japanese Diet passes legislation that reinterprets self-defense and gives the government the authority to send its Self-Defense Forces overseas to defend allies, even if Japan itself is not under attack. China criticizes the legislation as destabilizing to regional security.
: Secretary of State Kerry warns of “severe consequences” if North Korea continues to develop its nuclear weapons and missiles.
Sept. 17-22, 2015: China and Malaysia conduct Peace and Friendship 2015 in Malaysia and surrounding waters. It is the first joint military exercise between the two militaries and the largest bilateral exercise between China and an ASEAN country.
Sept. 17-22, 2015: China and Malaysia conduct Peace and Friendship 2015 in Malaysia and surrounding waters. It is the first joint military exercise between the two militaries and the largest bilateral exercise between China and an ASEAN country.
: North Korea’s KCNA announces the DPRK’s main nuclear facility at Yongbyon has “resumed normal operations,” that the country is improving its nuclear weapons “in quality and quantity,” and that it is ready to “face US hostility with nuclear weapons any time.”
: Malcolm Turnbull is sworn in as prime minister of Australia after ousting Prime Minister Tony Abbot in a party leadership ballot.
: Photographs published by Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) show construction of a 3,000-meter retaining wall on Mischief Reef that matches work by China on Subi Reef and Fiery Cross Reef, where it has constructed airfields and other facilities.
: Chairman of Vietnam’s National Assembly Nguyen Sinh Hung meets Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington, saying Vietnam hopes to deepen its relations with the US.
: Thailand’s junta-appointed National Reform Council rejects a draft charter by a vote of 135 to 105, effectively extending the military regime’s rule for at least 22 more months.
: Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu says that the country will upgrade military facilities on the Natuna Islands.
: President Xi Jinping meets Myanmar President Thein Sein in Beijing.
: US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel visits Myanmar and meets Cabinet officials, members of the Union Election Commission, opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and ethnic leaders.
: China marks the 70th anniversary of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War over Japan with a large military parade in Tiananmen Square.
: While in Beijing for the 70th anniversary of the victory over Japan, Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Prawit Wongsuwon meets Vice Chairman of China’s Central Military Commission Xu Qiliang, They agree to strengthen military ties.
: Lao President Choummaly Sayovone visits Beijing and meets Premier Li Keqiang. They pledge to strengthen bilateral ties with Li emphasizing the two countries’ similarities and China’s desire to advance relations with ASEAN countries and protect the peace, prosperity, and stability of the region.
: US National Security Advisor Susan Rice visits China and meets President Xi Jinping as well as State Councilor Yang Jiechi, Foreign Minister Wang Yi, and General Fan Changlong, a vice chairman of China’s Central Military Commission.
: North and South Korea meet in Panmunjom and reach agreement on measures to reduce tensions. The North “expresses regret” over recent mine blasts that maimed two ROK soldiers and the South agrees to switch off loudspeakers broadcasting propaganda messages across the border.
: ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting and related meetings are held in Kuala Lumpur. Ministers from the countries involved in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership announcement agreement on the “modalities” for the partnership on Aug. 24.
: China and Russia conduct a joint naval exercise, Joint Sea-2015 (II), in the Peter the Great Gulf, waters off the Clerk Cape, and the Sea of Japan.
: US Department of Defense releases its Asia-Pacific Maritime Security Strategy.
: US and Malaysia conduct CARAT Malaysia 2015, a joint military exercise.
: South Korea-US joint military exercise Ulchi Freedom Guardian is held in Korea. North Korea condemns the exercise as a “declaration of war” and boasts of its ability to make retaliatory strikes against Seoul and the White House.
: North Korea rejects accusations by South Korea that it was responsible for landmine explosions on Aug. 4 inside the DMZ that wounded two South Korean soldiers.
: Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo delivers a speech commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in which he acknowledges the Murayama and Kono Statements, but largely fails to satisfy the Chinese and South Korean demands for an apology.
: ASEAN Regional Forum is held in Kuala Lumpur.
: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi states that Beijing has halted land reclamation in the South China Sea, and calls on countries in the region to speed up talks on how claimant states should conduct themselves in the disputed waters.
: Two South Korean soldiers are injured by landmines inside the demilitarized zone (DMZ). The South Korean military blames Pyongyang for placing the mines in the area.
: Secretary of State John Kerry visits Asia with stops in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Vietnam.
: US and Indonesian navies conduct CARAT exercise. Activities include amphibious landings and anti-submarine warfare.
: ASEAN-related foreign minister and post-ministerial meetings (48th ASEAN, 16th ASEAN+3, and fifth East Asia Summit) are held in Kuala Lumpur.
: China and Southeast Asian nations agree to set up a foreign ministers’ hotline to address emergencies, avoid accidents and miscalculations in the South China Sea. The regional foreign ministers’ hotline will be the first involving China. Manila and Hanoi established a naval hotline in 2014 to monitor ongoing events in the South China Sea.
: South Korean Director General of the Foreign Ministry’s North Korean Nuclear Affairs Bureau Kim Gunn, Japanese Deputy Director General of the Foreign Ministry’s Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, and US Special Envoy for the Six-Party Talks Sydney Seiler meet in Tokyo to discuss next steps on North Korea’s denuclearization.
: Ninth China-ASEAN senior officials meeting on the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) is held in Tianjin to discuss a code of conduct (COC) in the South China Sea.
: Ministers from TPP countries meet in Hawaii to finalize negotiations. Outstanding issues include access to Canada’s agricultural market, Australia’s concerns about US pharmaceutical patent rules, Vietnam’s ability to meet rules-of-origin requirements, and labor rights in Mexico and Vietnam.
: US State Department releases its 2015 Trafficking in Persons Report, assessing government efforts around the world to combat modern slavery.
: US Special Envoy for Six-Party Talks Sydney Seiler travels to Seoul, Beijing, and Tokyo for meetings with senior officials on North Korea policy.
: Chinese Navy conducts military training in the waters east of Hainan Island in the South China Sea. During the training, “no vessel is allowed to enter the designated maritime areas,” according to China’s Maritime Safety Administration.
: Japanese Cabinet approves the Defense Ministry’s white paper for 2015, which gives significant attention to “China’s military threat.”
: US and Singapore conduct 21st annual CARAT Singapore naval exercise.
: Myanmar’s opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) announces that it will participate in the parliamentary elections scheduled for Nov. 8 even though party opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi will not be eligible to serve as president.
: Fifteenth Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit and fifth BRICS Summit is held in Ufa, Russia.
: Five-member tribunal hearing Manila’s case against Beijing’s South China Sea claims at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague holds a hearing on preliminary jurisdiction and admissibility of claims.
: Vietnam’s Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong travels to the US and meets President Barack Obama.
: US and Australia conduct sixth Talisman Sabre (TS2015) biennial military exercise involving nearly 30,000 personnel. Forty Japanese also participate in the exercise.
: ASEAN Secretariat announces during meeting in Kuala Lumpur that the group will create a fund to aid regional countries that host the victims of human trafficking. US State Department and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees also participate in the meeting.
: In its annual rebuttal to US accusations of human rights violations by the US State Department, Beijing issues its own report and accuses the US of being “haunted by spreading guns” and racial discrimination.
: US hosts the seventh trilateral dialogue with India and Japan in Honolulu to exchange views on a broad range of regional and global issues of mutual interest.
: US State Department releases its Country Reports on Human Rights Practices in 2014, detailing human rights abuses in several Asian countries.
: US Congress renews trade promotion authority for the president more commonly referred to as “fast track” or TPA, which is seen as needed to finalize negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
: Seventh meeting of the US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) is held in Washington, DC.
: Philippines and Japan hold second joint naval maneuvers of the year in the South China Sea.
: US and Philippines conduct their 21st annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Philippines military exercise.
: Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi and Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh co-host the eighth meeting of the China-Vietnam Steering Committee for Bilateral Cooperation in China.
: Zhou Yongkang, the former secretary of China’s Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission and a member of the 17th Chinese Communist Party’s Politburo Standing Committee is sentenced to life in prison for bribery, abuse of power, and leaking state secrets.
: Anonymous US officials suggest that China may have been behind a massive US government data breach in April 2015. Chinese officials call the allegations “counterproductive” and “irresponsible.”
: Vice Chairman of China’s Central Military Commission Fan Changlong visits the US with stops at a Boeing aircraft factory and several military installations. He also meets Defense Secretary Carter in Washington.
: Secretary of Defense Carter visits India, meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar.
: Philippines President Benigno Aquino visits Japan and meets Prime Minister Abe. They agree to initiate talks on a framework for the transfer of defense equipment and technology and to discuss a visiting forces agreement for Japanese Self-Defense Force personnel visiting the Philippines to facilitate joint training and exercises.
: Secretary of Defense Carter pays an official visit to Vietnam and meets Minister of Defense Phung Quang Thanh; they sign a joint vision statement.
: Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng and South Korean Trade Minister Yoon Sang-jick sign a bilateral FTA in Seoul.
: Thai government hosts summit with more than 20 nations and international organizations participating to seek solutions to the crisis of asylum seekers fleeing Bangladesh and Myanmar’s Rakhine State.
: US Special Representative for North Korea Policy Sung Kim says at a media briefing in Beijing that China agrees that “pressure” should be a part of its policy on North Korea, and the US believes that China is fully implementing sanctions on North Korea.
: Shangri-La Dialogue is held in Singapore.
: US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter meets Philippine Secretary of National Defense Voltaire Gazmin in Hawaii, discussing security issues in the South China Sea and reaching an agreement to hold a 2-plus-2 assistant secretary-level meeting as soon as possible.
: China issues a white paper on its military strategy, stressing “active defense” and pledging closer international security cooperation.
: The ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Disaster Relief Exercises (DiREx) 2015 convenes in Malaysia and is co-chaired by Beijing and Kuala Lumpur. The discussion focuses on regional coordination and cooperation on disaster relief mechanisms.
: The lead negotiators to the Six-Party Talks from the US, Japan, and South Korea meet in Seoul to consult on ways to make substantive progress in North Korea’s nuclear issues at all levels, including deterrence, pressure and dialogue.
: China lodges a complaint with the US over the US Navy P-8A Poseidon that flew over parts of the Spratly Islands on May 20.
: Vietnamese Defense Minister Phùng Quang Thanh visits India and meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar.
: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak visits Japan and meets Prime Minister Abe Shinzo. They sign the Japan-Malaysia Joint Statement on Strategic Partnership.
: Naval forces from Singapore and China conduct inaugural Exercise Maritime Cooperation, described by Singapore’s Ministry of Defense as a “milestone in the bilateral defence relationship.” The exercise involves conventional naval warfare serials, such as gunnery firings and maneuvering drills.
: US Navy P-8 Poseidon surveillance aircraft conducts overflights in the region of the Spratly Islands. Chinese Navy repeatedly warns the aircraft to depart the airspace.
: Foreign ministries of Indonesia and Malaysia agree to provide up to a year of humanitarian assistance and shelter for as many as 7,000 Bangladeshi and Rohingya migrants left adrift in Southeast Asian waters.
: US Pacific Command hosts defense leaders from 23 countries (excluding China) in Hawaii at the inaugural Pacific Command Amphibious Landing Symposium (PALS).
: Secretary of State John Kerry visits China and South Korea.
: Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken visits Vietnam, Indonesia, and Myanmar.
: Third China-Japan-ROK Counterterrorism Consultation meeting held in Beijing.
: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits China and South Korea.
: Chief negotiators for the Trans-Pacific Partnership countries meet in Guam.
: Two Japanese destroyers and one of the Philippines’ newest warships conduct maneuvers involving maritime domain awareness, search and rescue, and disaster response.
: Seventh round of negotiations on a trilateral free trade agreement (FTA) among China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea is held in Seoul.
: North Korea announces it successfully fired a ballistic missile from a submarine.
: Japanese and Philippine coast guards conduct joint anti-piracy exercises in the Philippines.
: Meeting on the sidelines of the Asian Development Bank annual meeting, the 18th ASEAN Plus Three Finance Ministers’ and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting (AFMGM + 3) is held in Baku, Azerbaijan.
: Russia announces that it was informed that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has cancelled his planned May visit to Moscow.
: US-Japan Security Consultative Committee (2+2) meeting, hosted by Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Ash Carter with Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and Japanese Defense Minister Gen Nakatani is held in New York City.
: The 26th ASEAN Summit is held in Kuala Lumpur.
: TPP negotiators meet in Maryland.
: US and ROK announce a new agreement on the civil nuclear relationship.
: Sixth Asian African Conference is held in Jakarta with representatives from 77 countries and 34 heads of state in attendance.
: US and Philippines conduct their annual bilateral military exercise Balikatan (Shoulder-to-Shoulder) at various locations in the Philippine.
: US, ROK, and Japan hold Defense Trilateral Talks in Washington.
: Annual US-ROK Integrated Defense Dialogue is held in Washington.
: 16th China-ASEAN Joint Cooperation Committee meeting is held in Jakarta.
: Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter visits Japan and South Korea to “affirm defense relationships with allies and build upon key initiatives of the rebalance to the region.”
: General Secretary of Vietnam Communist Party Nguyen Phu Trong visits China and meets General Secretary Xi Jinping and other Chinese Communist Party officials.
: China hosts the first senior officials meeting of the Lancang-Mekong River Dialogue and Cooperation forum with representatives from Cambodia, China, Laos, and Myanmar participating.
: DPRK test-fires four short-range missiles into its western waters.
: Government of Myanmar and armed ethnic groups issue a joint statement on a finalized nationwide ceasefire agreement.
: South Korea applies to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
: China’s Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Affairs Wu Dawei meets Russian counterpart Igor Morgulov in Beijing where they “exchanged views on the resumption of the Six-Party Talks.”
: Deputy foreign ministers of China, Russia, and Mongolia hold the second round of trilateral meetings in Beijing.
: Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, visits Japan and South Korea.
: Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) visits Japan and China.
: The foreign ministers of South Korea, China and Japan meet in Seoul for the first time in nearly three years.
: Chinese and Japanese foreign and defense ministers meet in Tokyo for the first time since January 2011.
: Li Jinjun is appointed as the Chinese ambassador to the DPRK.
: The 9th ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting (ADMM) is held in Langkawi, Malaysia. Member countries sign a joint declaration underscoring their commitment to address common security challenges.
: A bomb released by a Myanmar jet kills four Chinese people near the border city of Lincang. Nine others are injured.” China’s Foreign Ministry calls on Myanmar to “thoroughly investigate the case and inform the Chinese side of the result.”
: North Korea fires seven surface-to-air missiles into the sea off its east coast.
: US voices concerns to Vietnam about Hanoi’s permission for Russia to use Cam Ranh Bay to refuel nuclear-capable bomber flights.
: TPP negotiators meet in Honolulu Hawaii.
: US Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert is injured in an attack by a knife-wielding assailant in Seoul.
: North Korea ends its four-month Ebola quarantine.
: North Korea fires two short-range ballistic missiles from Nampo into the West Sea (Sea of Japan) without designating any no-sail zones prior to the launches.
: US and South Korea conduct annual military exercises Key Resolve, lasting until March 13, and Foal Eagle.
: The 21st ASEAN Economic Ministers Retreat is held in Malaysia. Discussion topics include the ASEAN Economic Community and the Post-2015 Economic Vision and Strategic Action Plan.
: US deactivates its Joint Special Task Force-Philippines which was established in 2002 to help the Philippine military fight Abu Sayyaf and other terrorist groups.
: Philippines suspends oil exploration in Reed Bank in the South China Sea.
: President Thein Sein declares a state of emergency in the Kokang region of Myanmar, following intense fighting between ethnic-minority rebels and the army.
: Ashton Carter is sworn in as US secretary of defense.
: South Korea and Japan agree to allow a bilateral currency swap agreement established in 2001 to expire on Feb. 23, 2015.
: Andrew Hsia (Li-yan) is appointed minister of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), which handles cross-strait policy with counterpart, Taiwan Affairs Office.
: US-Japan Extended Deterrence Dialogue is held in Japan.
: US and South Korea hold an annual tabletop exercise on political and military responses to a North Korea nuclear threat.
: Feb. 10: South Korea agrees to repatriate the remains of 68 Chinese soldiers killed during the Korean War.
: Second Japan-US Development Dialogue is held in Tokyo.
: Seventh round of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations are held in Bangkok.
: New US Deputy Secretary of State Anthony Blinken visits East Asia with stops in South Korea, China, and Japan. He delivers remarks on US economic policy while in Tokyo. (http://www.state.gov/s/d/2015/237511.htm)
: Cobra Gold 2015, with military personnel from 24 countries participating, is held in Thailand.
: North Korea fires five short-range missiles off its east coast.
: China responds to Philippine protests over activities near Scarborough Shoal, saying Philippine fishermen ignored instructions from Chinese patrols to leave the area.
: Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan visits Bangkok. China and Thailand agree to increase military cooperation over the next five years.
: Philippines accuses China of ramming Filipino fishing boats off Scarborough Shoal (Philippines: Bajo de Masinloc, China: Huangyan) in the South China Sea and demands China respect its sovereignty over the territory. It also protests Beijing’s land reclamation at Mischief Reef (Philippines: Panganiban Reef, China: Meiji Reef).
: Seventh US-China Security Dialogue is held in Beijing.
: 13th Russian, Indian, and Chinese Foreign Ministers Meeting is held in Beijing.
: US Agency for International Development launches a new Sustainable Mekong Energy Initiative at a meeting of the Friends of the Lower Mekong – a coordination group of major donor countries and organizations – with representatives from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam in Pakse, Laos.
: Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) officials meet in New York.
: US-ROK Disarmament and Nonproliferation Consultation is held in Seoul.
: Chinese government accuses 15 Communist party officials in Tibet of joining underground Tibetan independence organizations, providing intelligence to the Dalai Lama and his supporters, or participating in activities deemed harmful to China’s security.
: President Barack Obama visits India to participate in the annual Republic Day celebrations and meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
: US and Vietnam hold seventh annual political, security, and defense dialogue in Hanoi.
: China’s Foreign Ministry confirms that 155 Chinese citizens are being detained in Myanmar for illegal logging, denying reports that they were trapped by an armed conflict in northern Myanmar.
: Fifth US-Philippines Bilateral Strategic Dialogue (BSD) is held in Manila. They express “concern over developments in the South China Sea that are inconsistent with the 2002 ASEAN-China Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and international law….”
: Ri Yong-ho, North Korea’s chief negotiator for the long-stalled Six-Party Talks meets former US special envoy for North Korea policy Stephen Bosworth and other US experts in Singapore.
: US State Department spokesperson reiterates US rejection of North Korea’s offer to suspend nuclear tests in exchange for scrapping joint military exercises with South Korea.
: China and the United States conduct a joint military exercise and symposium on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) in Guangzhou and Haikou.
Jan. 13, 2015: North Korea offers to hold direct talks with the US on its proposal to suspend nuclear tests, and says dialogue could pave the way to changes on the Korean Peninsula.
: US State Department spokesperson calls North Korea’s offer to suspend nuclear tests as an “implicit threat,” saying it was “inappropriately” linking routine military exercises between Washington and Seoul to the possibility of a nuclear test.
: North Korea offers to suspend future nuclear tests temporarily if Washington suspends all upcoming military exercises in South Korea and its vicinity.
: US and Indonesia sign a Defense Institution Reform Initiative to begin the process of enhancing the performance of Indonesia’s defense establishment.
: Chinese and South Korean foreign and defense ministries meet to discuss bilateral and regional security issues. They agree to bolster cooperation to promote regional peace and reaffirm their “zero tolerance” toward North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
: United States, Japan, and South Korea sign a trilateral agreement on intelligence sharing about North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.
: AirAsia Flight QZ8501 crashes in the Java Sea while enroute from Surabaya to Singapore. Countries from around the region including US, China, South Korea and several Southeast Asian countries provide assistance in the search and recover operation.
: Japanese Diet formally elects Abe Shinzo as prime minister.
: Malaysian Armed Forces and China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) conduct their first-ever bilateral military exercise “to develop a common framework for humanitarian and disaster relief operations.”
: The 25th session of the US-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) is held in Chicago.
: The 13th annual Shanghai Cooperation Organization Prime Ministers Meeting is held in Astana.
: LDP-Komeito coalition wins election victory in Japan; Xinhua warns against “right-wing” trend in Japanese politics.
: South Korea-ASEAN special summit is held in Busan.