Regional Overview

Chronology from Jan 2011 to May 2011

: The ASEAN Defense Senior Officials Meeting (ADSOM) Plus is held in Yogyokarta to finalize defense cooperation concepts including maritime security, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, peacekeeping operations, counter terrorism and military medicine.

: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visits Indonesia and meets President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and other Indonesian leaders to promote the strategic partnership.

: Thailand and Cambodia announce an agreement to end fighting on their shared border after seven days of clashes. The ceasefire is broken the following day.

: China’s Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Affairs Wu Dawei visits Seoul and meets his counterpart Wi Sung-Lac and Foreign Minister Kim Sung-Hwan to discuss inter-Korean relations and the North Korean nuclear issue.

: Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao visits Malaysia and meets Prime Minister Najib Razak. They agree to enhance high-level exchange and mutual trust, while deepening bilateral cooperation in trade, investment, finance, maritime, law enforcement, and in addressing international and regional issues.

: Former US President Jimmy Carter, former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Brundtland, and former Irish President Mary Robinson visit China, North Korea, and South Korea in an effort to “ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula.”

: UN Security Council (UNSC) extends the mandate of UNSCR 1540 Committee for 10 years by unanimously passing UNSCR 1977.

: Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard visits Japan, South Korea, and China to promote Australia’s strategic and economic interests.

: Singapore’s Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong visits Beijing and meets Premier Wen Jiabao.

: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visits Seoul and Tokyo. In Seoul she meets President Lee Myung-bak and Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan to discuss cooperation on regional issues. In Tokyo, she will meet Prime Minister Naoto Kan Naoto and Foreign Minister Matsumoto Takeaki and other Japanese senior officials.

: South Korea announces that it plans to establish a missile defense system to protect major cities and military installations by 2015.

: The annual meeting of the Boao Forum for Asia is held in Hainan.

: Chinese President Hu Jintao, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and South African President Jacob Zuma meet in Sanya, Hainan to coordinate their stance on major economic and international issues.

: Derek Mitchell is nominated to become special envoy to Burma.

: Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs confirms that it filed a formal protest in the UN over China’s so-called “nine-dash line” territorial claim over the South China Sea.

: ROK Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs Wi Sung-lac visits Washington and meets Special Representative for North Korea Policy Steven Bosworth and Special Envoy for Six-Party Talks Sung Kim to discuss North Korea issues.

: North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan meets China’s Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Affairs Wu Dawei in Beijing. They agree on three-stage process to resume the stalled Six-Party Talks.

: Foreign ministers and diplomats from ASEAN member countries hold a Special Informal ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting on the East Asian Summit (EAS) in Bangkok.

: Indonesia convenes a special ASEAN-Japan Ministerial Meeting co-chaired by Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty and Japanese Foreign Minister Matsumoto Takeaki to discuss ASEAN-Japan cooperation on the management of disasters in the region.

: The US and the Philippines conduct the 27th annual Balikatan (shoulder-to-shoulder) bilateral military exercises in the Philippines.

: Beijing releases its 2010 Defense White Paper.

: Trade officials from Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, US, and Vietnam meet in Singapore for the sixth round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement.

: South Korea and the US conduct the Combined Joint Logistics over the Shore military amphibious logistic support exercise in the West Sea near Anmyeon Island. It is the first joint logistic support exercise to occur in the West Sea.

:   The ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) conducts a disaster relief exercise in Manado, Indonesia.

: An earthquake measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale hits the Tohoku region of Japan resulting in a massive tsunami with estimates of damage as high as $300 billion.

: Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) is held in Washington.

: Matsumoto Takeaki replaces Maehara Seiji as Japan’s foreign minister.

: Malaysian authorities intercept what they suspect to be WMD-related material inside two cargo containers onboard the Bunga Raya 1, which was traveling from China to Iran.

: Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell travels to Japan, Mongolia, and South Korea for consultations.

:  Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard visits President Obama at the White House where they discuss climate change, Afghanistan, Libya, and trade.  President Obama praised Australia as one of America’s strongest allies.

: South Korea and US conduct the annual Foal Eagle/Key Resolve military exercises. Key Resolve is a computer-based simulation and runs through March 10. Foal Eagle is the field training portion of the exercise, and will continue through April 30.
March 2, 2011: Chinese naval boats harass a Philippine oil exploration vessel near the Spratly Islands Reed Bank.

: Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi visits Seoul to discuss the North Korean nuclear issue with his South Korean counterpart Kim Sung-hwan. He calls for inter-Korean dialogue and expresses hope that the Six-Party Talks will resume as soon as possible.

: ASEAN Chairman and Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa announces that teams of up to 20 civilians and “unarmed” military officers will monitor each side of the border of Cambodia and Thailand near the Preah Vihear temple.

: Indonesian Vice Minister of Defense Sjafrie Sjamsoedin visits Beijing and meets Defense Minister Liang Guanglie. They pledge to promote bilateral defense cooperation.

: Philippines government and the communist National Democratic Front (NDF) – the political wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) – hold peace negotiations and agree to complete the talks in 18 months.

: Thailand’s Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya and Cambodia’s Foreign Minister Hor Namhong present arguments to the United Nations Security Council regarding the disputed border area near the Preah Vihear temple. They also hold separate talks mediated by Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa.

: Chinese Minister of Public Security and State Councilor Meng Jianzhu visits Pyongyang and meets several leaders including Minister of People’s Security Ju Sang Song. They sign an agreement on cooperation between the two security ministries.

: President Dmitry Medvedev announces at a meeting of defense and regional development ministers in Moscow that Russia will deploy additional weapons on the disputed Kuril Islands (Japan refers to these islands as Northern Territories).

: Philippine government and representatives from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) meet in Kuala Lumpur for peace talks for the first time since President Benigno Aquino took office in June 2010.

: US National Military Strategy 2011 is released.

: North and South Korea hold colonel-level military talks in Panmunjom but fail to reach agreement on an agenda for higher level talks or a date for further preliminary talks.

: Taiwan demands a public apology and announces the recall of its representative to Manila and tightened visa regulations for Philippine workers in response to the deportation of Taiwanese to China rather than Taiwan after they were arrested by Philippine authorities.

: Japanese Prime Minister Kan Naoto speaking at a Northern Territories Day rally in Tokyo marking the anniversary of an 1855 treaty demands the return of the islands.

: The 30th annual Cobra Gold, one of the world’s largest military exercises involving 17,000 personnel, is held in Thailand.  Military forces from Thailand, the US, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and Malaysia participate.

: The 47th Munich Security Conference is held. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attend and exchange instruments of ratification to bring the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty into force.

: At least five people are killed and several injured in clashes between Thai and Cambodian troops over a disputed border area near the Preah Vihear temple.

:  The US and the Philippines hold their first-ever Strategic Dialogue in Manila bringing together officials from the respective foreign affairs and defense departments. Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell promises US aid to the Philippine navy to help increase its patrol capabilities in surrounding waters.

: A US delegation led by Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg visits South Korea, Japan, and China to discuss the Korean Peninsula.

: Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo visits Russia to attend the fifth round of China-Russia Strategic Security Talks.

: South Korea accepts North Korea’s proposal to hold high-level military talks.

: Chinese President Hu Jintao makes a state visit to the US with stops in Washington and Chicago and meets President Barack Obama.

: Fourth Senior Officials Meeting between China and ASEAN on implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) is held in Beijing.

: The 11th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) is held in Hanoi and names Nguyen Phu Trong as the new general secretary of the party.

: The Field of Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy Agreement, also known as the US-Russia 123 Agreement, is entered into force as US Ambassador to Russia John Beyrle exchanges diplomatic notes with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov in Moscow.

: US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates visits China, Japan and South Korea.

: US Special Envoy for North Korea Stephen Bosworth visits Seoul, Beijing and Tokyo and meets “senior government officials to discuss next steps on the Korean Peninsula.”

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