Regional Overview

Chronology from Jan 2007 to May 2007

: Chinese Vice FM Yang Jiechi is appointed new foreign minister.

: Singapore and Indonesia sign an extradition pact and military cooperation agreement in Bali.

: Japan and the ROK hold first chairperson’s meeting on the Second Phase of the Japan-ROK Joint History Research Meeting.

: Lt. Gen. Daniel Leaf, Deputy Commander of PACOM, visits Hanoi to discuss cooperation potential with Vietnamese military officials.

: The DPRK and Myanmar normalize diplomatic ties; the agreement is signed during the second day of a three-day visit to Myanmar by North Korean Vice FM Kim Yong-il. Myanmar was the last ASEAN country to recognize the DPRK.

: The second ROK-U.S. Consultations on Reconstruction and Stabilization is held to share experiences with providing emergency relief and reconstruction assistance for countries hit by natural disasters.

: Japan and Russia conclude the first round of negotiations for the Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy agreement.

: Japanese PM Abe visits the U.S. at the invitation of President Bush.

: Asst. Secretary of State Christopher Hill, meeting with Cambodian National Police Commissioner Gen. Hok Lundy, urges the Cambodian police to combat trafficking in persons, a serious problem in Cambodia.

: Russia and Japan hold their 13th meeting of the Japan-Russia Agreement on Incidents Prevention at Sea in Moscow. An October 2006 search-and-rescue operations exercise by Japan’s Maritime Defense Force and the Russian Navy is evaluated to be enhancing communications and operability.

: The 2007 APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting II held in Adelaide, Australia; on the agenda is the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific, energy and climate change, and APEC reform.

: Boa’o Forum for Asia is held in Bo’ao, Hainan Provice. Chairman Wu Bangguo of the Standing Committee of the NPC delivers the keynote speech.

: China and India hold 10th round of border talks in India to pin down a framework agreement to define the 2,000 km boundary between China and India.

: Fifth meeting of the High Level Task Force on the Drafting of the ASEAN Charter is held in Hanoi, Vietnam.

: About 80 U.S. soldiers are in Indonesia for Garuda Shield 2007, a joint exercise with Indonesian forces that signifies the resumption of brigade-level, army-to-army exercises that had been terminated in 1999. Washington restored full military relations with Indonesia in 2005.

: The fifth Indoneisa-U.S. Security Dialogue is held in Jakarta.

: India-Japan-U.S. Joint Naval Exercises are conducted in Guam.

: Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill travels to Beijing to discuss issues related to the Six-Party Talks with Chinese and North Korean counterparts. North Korea misses April 14 deadline for closing its Yongbyon nuclear reactor.

: The U.S. Treasury Department announces the complete lifting of a freeze on $25 million in DPRK assets being held by Banco Delta Asia (BDA) in Macao.

: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visits South Korea and Japan. Seoul and Beijing agree to open a military hotline between naval and air forces and regular Seoul-Shanghai shuttle flights are to be created. A Japan-China joint statement was issued during Wen’s visit to Japan.

: Malaysia and the Philippines hold annual naval drill MALPHI LAUT 10-2007.

: Fourth meeting of the High Level Task Force on the Drafting of the ASEAN Charter is held in Yangon, Myanmar.

: The U.S. asks China to join a global effort to maintain international maritime security during Beijing’s navy chief Vice Adm. Wu Shengli visit to Washington. Wu expresses interest in the 1,000-ship Navy plan.

: First U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer program to Cambodia begins with 28 U.S. volunteers who will be teaching English in villages across six provinces.

: U.S. President George W. Bush and Japan Prime Minister Abe Shinzo have a 20-minute conference call to discuss Abe’s upcoming U.S. visit, North Korea, Iraq, and “comfort women.”

: 14th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation is held in New Delhi, India. Sideline meeting is held between the ROK and China.

: U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez visits Moscow, Russia and Kyiv, Ukraine to meet senior government officials, business leaders, and civic groups to discuss economic reforms, World Trade Organization accession efforts, and bilateral trade ties.

: United States-Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement is concluded. Next steps are the approval of the U.S. Congress and the South Korean National Assembly.

: U.S. and South Korea conclude free trade agreement negotiations.

: ROK-Japan ministerial talks held to discuss the North Korean nuclear issue, Northeast Asia, and cooperation in the international arena.

: Cross-Strait charter flights for Tomb Sweeping Day begin.

: Seventh Round of Consultations on the East China Sea is held in Tokyo.

: President Bush telephones President Putin to explain U.S. plans for a missile defense system in Eastern Europe. The U.S. explanation is reportedly “received with satisfaction.”

: South Korean aid to the North resumes. A ship leaves the ROK port of Yeosu bearing 6,500 tons of fertilizer, 60,000 blankets, and other items.

: Adm. Timothy J. Keating, former commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command and United States Northern Command, assumes command of U.S. Pacific Command.

: Chinese President Hu Jintao visits Russia and meets Russian President Vladimir Putin and exchanges views on furthering China-Russia strategic partnership and energy cooperation.

: Treasury Deputy Assistant Secretary Glaser arrives in Beijing to discuss with Chinese officials issues related to the bank transfer of North Korean money from BDA.

: U.S. and ROK military hold 12th Reception, Staging, Onward Movement and Integration and Foal Eagle exercises in South Korea.

: UN Security Council adopts Resolution 1747 requiring Iran to come under IAEA compliance and freeze its nuclear weapons program.

: Chinese military ships, which included two destroyers, arrive in a seaport in Jakarta, Indonesia for the first time in 12 years. The Chinese ships recently completed anti-terror drills with the U.S. Navy in Pakistan in early March.

: First negotiations of the Trilateral Investment Agreement among China, Japan, and South Korea and the seventh Consultation for the Improvement of the Business Environment of the three countries are held in Tokyo.

: Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Peter Pace visits PLA officials in Beijing and military installations in Shenyang and Nanjing, China.

: Treasury Deputy Assistant Secretary Glaser states the $25 million frozen in a North Korean bank account at BDA in Macau will be released and transferred to a North Korean account in the Bank of China in Beijing.

: Members of Japan-China joint history study group meet in Tokyo.

: First session of the sixth round of Six-Party Talks is held in Beijing. Chief U.S. negotiator Christopher Hill announces that $25 million frozen in North Korea’s Banco Delta Asia account will be returned; DPRK says “show me the money.”

: FM Song and Secretary Rice review the process of the Six-Party Talks working group discussions and the status of the KORUS FTA.

: Senate approves a nonbinding resolution calling for the support and funding of Ukraine and Georgia’s membership to NATO.

: IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei meets in Beijing with U.S., Japanese, and South Korean ambassadors in charge of North Korean nuclear issues to report on his visit to North Korea.

: U.S. Ambassador to Japan Thomas Schieffer describes “comfort women” as the victims of rape by the Japanese military during World War II.

: After chairing the first meeting in Beijing of the six-party working group on energy cooperation, chief ROK nuclear negotiator Chun Yung-woo says Seoul will pay for the first batch of 50,000 tons of heavy fuel oil that the DPRK is due to receive once the Yongbyon site is closed.

: Assistant Secretary Hill arrives in Beijing to attend the denuclearization working group, Northeast Asia security working group, and the new round of Six-Party Talks.

: U.S. Treasury finalizes ruling against Banco Delta Asia that prohibits all U.S. financial institutions from maintaining correspondent accounts for BDA and prevents BDA from accessing the U.S. financial system. China expresses deep regret at the Treasury’s decision. The Treasury Department also announces that treatment of the North Korean BDA account will be left to the discretion of the Macau authority.

: IAEA head Mohamed ElBaradei visits North Korea to discuss the return of the DPRK to the IAEA as a member state, among other issues.

: Adm. Fallon relinquishes command of U.S. Pacific Command and moves to U.S. Central Command.

: The Russian government expresses dissatisfaction with Iran’s defiance concerning its nuclear program. It informs Tehran that it will withhold nuclear fuel for Iran’s nearly completed Bushehr power plant unless Iran meets financial obligations and suspends uranium enrichment as demanded by the UN Security Council.

: Prime Minister Abe reiterates “unfeigned apology” to the “comfort women” and that he stands by the Kono Statement – Japan’s acknowledgement and apology for Japan’s military direct involvement in the running of the “comfort stations” – on a Sunday morning NHK program.

: Australian Prime Minister John Howard visits Japan and signs the Japan-Australia Joint Declaration of Security Cooperation that provides for diplomatic and military cooperation including periodical dialogues and joint exercises.

: China and Russia, along with the U.S., France, England, and Germany, vote for UNSCR 1747 that bans all Iranian arms exports and freezes the financial assets of 28 Iranian officials and institutions.

: Chinese Information Office of the State Council releases Human Rights Record of the U.S. in 2006 in response to the State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights.

: Japan and North Korea hold bilateral six-party working group talks in Hanoi, Vietnam, to discuss normalization of diplomatic relations and the abduction issues.

: Defense Secretary Gates says at a Pentagon press roundtable that he does not view China as a strategic adversary despite Beijing’s growing military budget.

: Pro-Beijing Hong Kong newspaper Wen Wei Po reports a PLA official stated off-the-record on the sidelines of the National People’s Congress that China could build its first aircraft carrier by 2010.

: U.S. State Department issues 2006 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices as required by Congress in the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961.

: ROK Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development announces that from 2012 South Korean high school textbooks will include information on South Korea’s historical and territorial disputes with China and Japan.

: Abe reaffirms government will stand by Kono Statement on “comfort women.”

: The U.S. and North Korea hold working group meetings in New York to discuss the North Korean nuclear arms programs, removal of North Korea from the U.S. list of state-sponsor of terrorism, and normalization of relations.

: Taiwan President Chen announces “four wants and one have not”: that Taiwan wants independence, a new constitution, name rectification and further development, and there are no rightist and leftist divisions in Taiwan except for the debate on the issue of reunification and independence.

: Fifth Plenary Session of the 10th National People’s Congress is held in Beijing. The NPC passes private property legislation, unified corporate tax rates for domestic and foreign companies at 25 percent; and all proposals and resolutions were for the first time fully translated into English.

: Japanese PM Abe fumbles questions on the Japanese government’s role in recruiting “comfort women” during War World II.

: Newly appointed Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte travels to Japan, South Korea, and China to discuss Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea, regional security, the war on terrorism, and trade.

: U.S. Department of Defense announces that it plans to sell Taiwan more than 400 missiles, as well as spare parts and maintenance equipment. China voices its strong dissatisfaction.

: Japanese and Chinese diplomats hold seventh bilateral Strategic Dialogue in China.

: Defense Secretary Robert Gates and ROK Defense Minister Kim Jang-soo meet in Washington to reaffirm and to look at the future of the U.S.-ROK alliance. It is agreed that the Joint Forces Command will be disestablished on April 17, 2012.

: U.S. and China mark 35th anniversary of President Nixon’s visit to China.

: India and Pakistan sign a nuclear pact to reduce the risk of nuclear war by establishing a hotline between the two nations.

: Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives’ International Relations Committee Tom Lantos arrives in Moscow for a two-day visit. In Moscow, Lantos pledges to help repeal the Jackson-Vanik Amendment, which prevents Russia from attaining permanent normal trading status with the United States.

: Assistant Secretary Hill says that the six-party agreement to end North Korea’s nuclear program has strengthened the diplomatic relationship between the U.S. and China.

: Vice President Dick Cheney and Mrs. Cheney pay official working visit to Japan. Cheney receives in an audience with the Emperor and Empress of Japan, and then meets Prime Minister Abe.

: U.S. and Philippine military forces hold Balikatan 2007 exercises in the Philippines.

: The U.S. announces that the multilateral Cobra Gold annual military exercise will take place in Thailand May 8-18.

: “The U.S.-Japan Alliance: Getting Asia Right through 2020,” co-authored by Richard Armitage and Joseph Nye, highlights major trends in Asia and provides comprehensive analyses on of the security and economic situation in the region and policy recommendations.

: President Hu Jintao talks to President Bush on the phone and exchanges opinions on China-U.S. relations and the North Korean nuclear issue.

: FM Li travels to Japan to make preparations for Premier Wen Jiabao’s visit to Japan; meets Prime Minister Abe and Japanese FM Aso.

: FM Li Zhaoxing, Indian FM Pranab Mukherjee, and Russian FM Sergei Lavrov meet in New Dehli to exchange views on Iranian and North Korean nuclear issues, Middle East, Iraq, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and other regional and international issues.

: Adm. Fallon, CENTCOM commander-designate, states he would seek support from Indonesia and Malaysia in the Afghan and Iraq conflicts, though he did not specify what kind.

: Lunar New Year/Spring Festival charter flights begin between Taiwan and PRC.

: In a key policy speech at an international security conference in Munich, Russian President Vladimir Putin strongly denounces U.S. policy, using – among other terms – the words “pernicious” and “unacceptable.”

: Third session of the fifth round of Six-Party Talks is held in Beijing, culminating in a phased “action for action” plan under which in return for heavy fuel oil and other economic assistance North Korea will shut down and seal the Yongbyon nuclear facility and bring IAEA inspectors to the DPRK.

: The U.S. and ROK hold Security Policy Initiative talks.

: Indonesia announces that the U.S. has given Jakarta permission to interview Hambali, a notorious Southeast Asian al-Qaeda operative, who was captured in Thailand in 2003. Hambali is being held in Guantanamo.

: The U.S. files a trade case against China at the WTO charging that China unfairly subsidizes its steel, information technology, wood, and other industries.

: The U.S. Peace Corps inaugurates its first mission to Cambodia since the Corps inception in 1962.

: U.S. Congressman Michael Honda (D-Ca) introduces nonbinding resolution in the House of Representatives calling for the Japanese government to apologize unambiguously for its role in the “comfort women” issue during World War II.

: U.S. Treasury Deputy Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes Daniel Glaser hosts talks to discuss Banco Delta Asia and counterfeiting concerns with DPRK officials at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.

: U.S., Thai, and Singapore Air Forces conduct annual Cope Thunder air exercise from Korat, Thailand with 113 aircraft and 1,300 personnel.

: A senior PLA delegation headed by Deputy Chief of Staff Gen. Ge Zhenfeng visits Hawaii, San Diego, and Washington, D.C.

: Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives in India for a two-day visit.

: Top army commanders from South Korea and China announce plans to enhance military cooperation and improve military exchange programs during the visit to South Korea of PLA Deputy Chief of the General Staff Gen. Ge Zhenfeng.

: Tokyo hosts fourth Asian Senior-level Talks on Nonproliferation to discuss Iranian and North Korean nuclear developments and cooperation on nonproliferation.

: Chinese Vice FM Dai Bingguo and Japanese Vice FM Shotaro Yachi head seventh round of China-Japan strategic dialogues.

: Foreign Ministry spokesman confirms that China fired a missile to destroy one of its orbiting satellites, China’s first confirmation of the ASAT test.

: The governments of Japan and Russia hold a “strategic dialogue,” as their foreign vice ministers meet in Moscow.

: Ambassador Hill visits Beijing and talks to Chinese Fforeign Mministry officials about his meeting with DPRK officials in Berlin.

: DNA tests confirm the death of Khaddafy Janjalani, nominal head of Abu Sayyaf, who was reportedly killed in a September raid by U.S.-backed Philippine troops in operation Oplan Ultimatum.

: U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill and DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gye-gwan, top negotiators in the Six-Party Talks, meet in Berlin for a U.S.-DPRK bilateral “discussion” to get the six-party process going.

: Second East Asia Summit is held in Cebu.

: Tenth ASEAN Plus Three and Seventh Plus Three Korea-China-Japan Summit are held in Cebu.

: China and Russia veto U.S.-backed resolution before the UN Security Council that condemns Burma’s human rights violations, arguing that although Beijing and Moscow condemn the military junta’s political tyranny, it does not threaten regional security, and, therefore, should not be a UNSC concern.

: Twelfth ASEAN summit is held in Cebu, the Philippines, along with a series of 10+1 meetings with dialogue partners.

: China destroys one of its own satellites using a ground-based medium-range ballistic missile; U.S. and other governments’ protest.

: U.S. National Intelligence Director John Negroponte reports to the Senate Intelligence Committee that the emerging “rivalry with Russia will complicate cooperation on important foreign policy goals including counter-terror, nonproliferation and democracy promotion in the Middle East.”

: Japan Defense Agency becomes Ministry of Defense.

: Energy Secretary Bodman meets Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry Amari Akira to discuss U.S.-Japan energy cooperation issues in Washington.

: The U.S. introduces a draft resolution in the UN Security Council calling on Burma to engage the opposition in “substantive political dialogue,” cease continued attacks “in ethnic minority regions on civilians,” and “desist immediately from the systematic use of rape on women and girls as an instrument of armed conflict.”

: Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman says that China strongly opposes the U.S. government’s sanctions on Chinese companies on the basis of selling sanctioned weapons to relevant countries.

: President Chen overnights in San Francisco en route to Nicaragua.

: FM Li Zhaoxing calls Secretary Rice to protest U.S. transit decision.

: U.S. approves President Chen’s U.S. transits in San Francisco and Los Angeles en route to and from Central America.

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