Regional Overview

Chronology from Jan 2005 to Mar 2005

: ROK DM Yoon visits China.

: USS Gary visits Ho Chih Minh City, the third to make a port call since the end of the Vietnam War.

: Boao Forum CEO Roundtable.

: Magnitude 8.7 earthquake strikes Sumatra.

: Japan releases East Asian Strategic Survey 2005, calling attention to China’s military modernization, cross-Strait military balance, and increasing nationalism.

: Taiwan KMT delegation visits China.

: PM Koizumi meets French President Chirac in Tokyo; Chirac affirms EU intent to end China arms embargo.

: Half a million demonstrators in Taipei protest China’s anti-secession law.

: FM Ban says the U.S. will treat North Korea as an “equal partner” in the Six-Party Talks.

: President Bush denies the U.S. has set a firm deadline for North Korea to return to the Six-Party Talks.

: In speech to the Thai Parliament, PM Thaksin pledges to make a greater effort in his second term to bring peace to the country’s restive Muslim south.

: President Roh declares that South Korea will play a “balancing role” to help ensure peace and prosperity in Northeast Asia and on the Korean Peninsula.”

: DPRK PM Pak Bong-Ju embarks on week-long visit to China.

: After fraudulent parliamentary elections, a revolt in Kyrgyzstan unseats the government and President Askar Akayev flees to Moscow.

: Washington Post reports U.S. officials distorted intelligence reports that allegedly linked North Korea to sales of processed uranium to Libya.

: Secretary Rice visits Beijing, attends church service to highlight U.S. concern for religious freedom.

: Secretary Rice visits Seoul, emphasizes North Korea is a “sovereign state” but that the U.S. will not wait “forever” for North Korea to rejoin the Six-Party Talks.

: U.S. Senate confirms Thomas Schieffer as ambassador to Japan

: George Kennan, the “father of containment,” dies at age 101.

: Secretary Rice visits Tokyo, makes major foreign policy address.

: Adm. Fallon visits Asia, meets counterparts in South Korea, Japan, and the Philippines.

: Confirmation hearing for Assistant Secretary-designate Christopher Hill.

: Chinese NPC passes anti-secession law.

: China, Philippines, and Vietnam sign landmark joint exploration agreement for oil and gas in South China Sea.

: Secretary Rice visits India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

: Tung Chee-hwa resigns as Hong Kong chief executive; Donald Tsang is named interim HK chief executive.

: President Bush telephones PM Koizumi to discuss North Korea, the resumption of U.S. beef exports to Japan, and the Middle East peace process.

: The White House calls on China to reconsider passage of its anti-secession law.

: During Senate testimony, Adm. Fallon says “China’s military modernization programs warrant our continued attention”; expresses concern with the “widening gap between China’s military capabilities and Taiwan’s ability to defend itself.”

: PM Koizumi says he seeks Washington’s understanding on Tokyo’s efforts to ensure the safety of U.S. beef before lifting Japan’s import ban on the meat.

: NPC convenes annual 10-day meeting in Beijing.

: China issues its sixth human rights report on the United States; it criticizes the Pentagon for “wanton slaughters” abroad, accuses U.S. courts of deep-seated racial bias, and urges U.S. to “reflect on its erroneous behavior.”

: Indonesian court convicts Abu Bakar Ba’asyir of conspiracy in the 2002 Bali bombings, but clears him of charges in the 2003 Jakarta Marriott bombing.

: President Bush and Indian PM Singh sign Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement.

: DPRK memorandum further asserts nuclear weapons possession; Pyongyang also says it has a right to test-fire missiles, despite a 6-year moratorium.

: Vice FM Wu Dawei meets South Korean FM Ban in Seoul, as part of intensive efforts to coax Pyongyang back to the Six-Party Talks. Wu urges U.S. flexibility.

: ASEAN Regional Forum on Confidence Building Measures (ARF CBMs) and  Regional Cooperation in Maritime Security meeting in Singapore.

: A Japanese ship insurance law comes into force; it is expected to prohibit un- and underinsured (most DPRK) vessels from its ports.

: Taiwanese airlines resume regular flights to South Korea, ending 13 years of suspended service.

: U.S. State Department releases 2004 report on global human rights practices; calls China’s human rights record a top concern of the Bush administration.

: Former President Clinton visits Taipei; Beijing says he should “know how to act.”

: TCOG meets in Seoul.

: Adm. Thomas Fargo, commander, U.S. Pacific Command relinquishes command to Adm. William Fallon in Hawaii.

: Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) holds annual foreign minister meeting in Kazakhstan.

: Presidents Bush and Putin hold summit meeting in Bratislava, Slovakia.

: The pro-independence Taiwan Solidarity Union proposes anti-annexation law that would require the president to hold a referendum if China passes an anti-secession law.

: Twenty U.S. senators threaten sanctions over Japan’s import ban on U.S. beef due to mad cow disease.

: President Roh reaffirms U.S.-South Korea alliance, saying that South Korea will deal with the U.S. on an “equal footing.”

: UN health officers meet in Ho Chi Minh City to discuss emergency plans to control bird flu.

: Finance officials from China, Japan, and South Korea meet counterparts from ASEAN to discuss ways to counteract the weak dollar.

: Kim Jong-il tells visiting Chinese diplomat Wang Jiarui that talks could resume if the United States “would show trustworthy sincerity.”

: President Bush voices “deep concern” about Europe’s plans to lift its arms embargo on China.

: Former President Clinton visits China.

: Over 300 U.S. soldiers and 650 Filipino troops participate in Balikatan 2005 exercise in Quezon Province.

: Japanese Foreign Ministry officially informs Chinese Embassy of concerns over exploration activities in East China Sea.

: China protests U.S.-Japanese Feb. 19 statement, claiming reference to Taiwan violates China’s national sovereignty and its criticism of China’s military buildup is “untenable.”

: Japan and the U.S. agree to start providing tsunami warning to countries around the Indian Ocean until the region establishes its own alert system.

: U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee joint statement outlines “common strategic objectives.”

: Former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton visit Thailand and Bandar Aceh.

: Chinese envoy Wang Jiarui visits Pyongyang.

: Secretary Rice proposes to reinstate U.S. military training programs for Indonesian military officers.

: ASEAN Plus Three holds expert meeting on emerging diseases in Bangkok.

: CIA annual assessment of worldwide threats warns that China’s military modernization is tilting the balance of power in the Taiwan Strait.

: U.S. Navy to deploy two Aegis destroyers to Yokosuka to strengthen missile defense system.

: Thai Cabinet adds 12,000 troops to more than 25,000 already stationed in the three southern provinces.

: Secretary Rice meets ROK FM Ban Ki Moon, both pledge to continue using diplomatic means to pressure North Korea to end its nuclear program; Unification Ministry says “too early” to call the North a nuclear weapons state.

: U.S. rejects demand from DPRK for one-on-one talks as a pre-condition for restarting the Six-Party Talks.

: DPRK announces that is has nuclear weapons and will indefinitely suspend participation in the Six-Party Talks.

: Chinese New Year (Year of the Rooster).

: U.S. almost triples tsunami relief pledge to $950 million.

: Japan accepts Chinese proposal for China-Japan Strategic Dialogue.

: PM Thaksin Shinawatra’s Thai Rak Thai party wins large enough majority to form a one-party government.

: China’s central bank says “China’s yuan is not substantially undervalued” but China will set up mechanisms to achieve renminbi convertibility” at an early date.”

: DPRK accuses President Bush of trying to turn the world into a “global battleground.”

: Seoul releases Defense White Paper that refers to the DPRK as a “military threat.” The report indicates that the U.S. would dispatch 690,000 troops and 2,000 warplanes if war breaks out on the peninsula.

: Chinese Ambassador Wang calls for Japan-China FTA.

: President Bush telephones PM Koizumi; they discuss the war in Iraq, North Korea, and the appointment of Ambassador Schieffer.

: Reuters reports the U.S. has new evidence that the DPRK is the source of nuclear material exported to Libya.

: Australian PM John Howard tours tsunami ravaged Aceh province. Australia pledges $815 million for tsunami relief.

: Russia and China establish a new consultative body on security issues.

: Former President Clinton is chosen by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to be his special envoy to countries affected by the tsunami.

: High-level officials from China (ARATS officers Sun Yafu and Li Yafei) visit Taiwan to attend the funeral of Koo Chen-fu, Taiwan’s longtime top negotiator with China.

: Indonesia rejects GAM rebels’ surprisingly flexible offer to put demands for independence claims on hold in exchange for a referendum on Aceh’s future.

: First U.S.-China defense policy dialogue takes place in Beijing.

: Holiday direct flights commence between Chinese mainland and Taiwan, including first ever flights by mainland carriers since 1949. A total of 48 flights are approved.

: ROK Defense Ministry announces it will stop calling the DPRK its “main enemy.”

: Indonesian officials and exiled leaders of the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) meet in Helsinki for the first time in nearly two years to discuss Jakarta’s offer of limited autonomy.

:   Japan’s Finance Ministry announces China has overtaken the U.S. as Japan’s largest trading partner. China accounted for 20.1 percent of Japanese trade in 2004, compared with 18.6 percent for the U.S.

: Cope Tiger 2005 exercises in Singapore; forces from the U.S., Singapore, and Thailand participate.

: Grenada reestablishes diplomatic ties with China, ending its recognition of Taiwan.

: Deputy Secretary of State Zoellick visits U.S. Pacific Command (Jan. 19-20) for consultations, Japan (Jan. 22-23) for talks on alliance and trade issues, and China (Jan. 23-25) for Senior Dialogue.

: At her confirmation hearing, Secretary of State-designate Condoleezza Rice terms North Korea an “outpost of tyranny.”

: ROK FM Ban travels to New York to meet UN Secretary General Kofi Annan (Jan. 18) and to Washington for the Strategic Consultation on Allied Partnership (SCAP) meeting (Jan. 19).

: Taiwan and China agree to allow nonstop charter flights over the Chinese New Year holidays.

: Indonesia asks all foreign troops to complete humanitarian missions by March 31.

: Congressman Weldon visits the DPRK.

: ROK President Roh says he would welcome a visit by the Japanese emperor and expects six-party talks to resume after the inauguration of President Bush.

: Chinese security agents abruptly end news conference by four ROK legislators, forcibly removing journalists; ROK demands an explanation. (Beijing says domestic law bans news conferences not approved in advance.)

: Assistant FM Shen highlights China’s aid of $133 million to tsunami-stricken countries.

: DPRK says it will not return to Six-Party Talks until U.S. drops its “hostile policy.”

: Congressman Lantos visits DPRK.

: Special ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting on Aftermath of Earthquake and Tsunami in Jakarta.

: South Korea increases its tsunami relief contribution to $50 million.

Date Range