Regional Overview

Chronology from Jan 2014 to May 2014

: The Philippines and the US sign a 10-year Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) that allows US military forces to access military bases in the country.

: President Obama visits Asia with stops in Tokyo, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, and Manila.

: The 14th annual meeting of the Western Pacific Naval Symposium is held in Qingdao, China. Member states endorse the Code for Unalerted Encounters at Sea (CUES), a navy-to-navy system designed to reduce misunderstandings and avoid maritime accidents.

: UN Security Council meets to discuss human rights violations in North Korea outlined in the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea. Russia and China do not attend the meeting.

: US, South Korea, and Japan hold Trilateral Defense Dialogue in Washington.

: Chinese Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Affairs Wu Dawei visits the US and meets Special Representative for North Korea Policy Davies in New York and Washington to exchange views on issues related to the DPRK.

: US Special Representative for North Korea Policy Glyn Davies hosts a trilateral meeting 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 Junichi Ihara to exchange views on a wide range of issues related to the DPRK.

: Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel visits Thailand and Burma.

: Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott visits Northeast Asia with stops in Japan, South Korea, and China.

: Secretary Hagel visits Asia with stops in Japan, China, and Mongolia.

: Two Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyers visit the Philippines and   undertake maneuvering training with the Philippine Navy.

: Japan announces a relaxation of restrictions on weapons exports.

: Secretary of Defense Hagel meets ASEAN defense ministers in Hawaii.

: North and South Korea exchange artillery volleys into contested waters on the western side of the Korean Peninsula.

: Philippine government files a 4,000-page memorandum on its claims on the East China Sea with the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.

: Japan and North Korea hold first formal talks in over a year in Beijing.

: Dozens of foreign aid workers leave Sittwe, the capital city of Rakhine state in Myanmar, after their offices were attacked during riots.

: The Philippines signs agreements valued at $528 million to purchase military aircraft from South Korea and Canada.

: Ships from 17 nations including all 10 ASEAN members, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea, and the US participate in the biannual humanitarian assistance and disaster relief Exercise Komodo in Indonesian waters around the Natuna Islands.

: The Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front sign a peace treaty entitled Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.

: President Barack Obama, Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, and South Korean President Park Guen-hye meet on sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, Netherlands.

: North Korea fires two medium-range missiles using mobile launchers into the East Sea.

: North Korea fires 46 short-range missiles into the East Sea.

: Thailand’s Constitutional Court nullifies the Feb. 2 general election and orders that new elections must be undertaken.

: Officials from China and ASEAN member countries meet in Singapore to discuss a code of conduct governing maritime activity in the South China Sea.

: North Korea fires 25 short-range missiles in three separate volleys into the East Sea (Sea of Japan).

: North Korea’s National Defense Commission states that it will continue efforts “to bolster up its nuclear deterrence for self-defence.”

: Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Saiki Akitaka visits South Korea and abruptly curtails the visit after meeting with Korean counterpart Cho Tae-yong. It is the first contact between senior officials from the two countries in eight months.

: Philippines DFA summons Charge d ’affairs from Chinese Embassy in Manila to protest blockade of its ships attempting to deliver supplies to soldiers on Second Thomas Shoal, saying that it had “no plans to expand or build permanent structures on the shoal.”

: Philippines airdrop supplies to soldiers stationed on Second Thomas Shoal.

: Chinese Coast Guard vessels prevent two ships contracted by the Philippine Navy to deliver supplies and replacement troops to a Philippine outpost on the Second Thomas Shoal (Philippines: Ayungin Shoal, China: Ren’ai Reef), claiming the ships were carrying construction materials in violation of the 2002 Declaration on Conduct in the South China Sea.

: Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 loses contact with air traffic control and disappears from radar over the Gulf of Thailand, leading to a multinational search that begins in the South China Sea and eventually extends to the Strait of Malacca, the Andaman Sea, and to southern part of the Indian Ocean.

: Red Cross officials from North Korea and Japan meet in Shenyang, China to discuss the return of the remains of Japanese nationals from the North.

: North Korea launches two short-range missiles into the East Sea.

: North Korea launches four short-range missiles into the East Sea (Sea of Japan).

: Philippine President Benigno Aquino visits Kuala Lumpur and meets Prime Minister Najib Razak.

: China’s Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) ratifies two new national days, one to mark victory of the war against Japanese aggression (Sept. 3) and the other to commemorate victims in the Nanjing Massacre (Dec. 3).

: Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) summons China’s ambassador over allegations that a Chinese surveillance ship fired water cannons at Philippine fishing vessels near Scarborough Shoal (Chinese: Huangyan Island, Philippines: Bajo de Masinloc. China dismisses the protest, saying its sovereignty in the area is “indisputable.”

: President Obama approves an agreement to allow cooperation between the United States and Vietnam on civilian nuclear projects.

: US-ROK conduct annual combined field training exercise Foal Eagle, which will mobilize 7,500 personnel. In addition Key Resolve, a combined command post exercise, will be held Feb. 24 – March 6.

: Twelve countries involved in the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership meet in Singapore but fail to reach an agreement over differences regarding tariffs on imported goods.

: North and South Korea hold reunions of war-separated families at the Mt. Kumgang resort marking the first such reunions in three years.

: Thailand’s National Anti-Corruption Commission announces that Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra will be charged with neglect of duty over a rice farm subsidy scheme and could be removed from office if found guilty.

: Officials from the Philippines, Malaysia, and Vietnam meet in Manila to coordinate policy regarding Chinese activities in the South China Sea. Fellow claimant Brunei fails to send representatives to the meeting, despite originally agreeing to attend.

: The UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea releases a lengthy report that accuses the DPRK government of actions that “constitute crimes against humanity and should be referred to an international court or tribunal for prosecution.”

: Former Taiwan Vice President Lien Chan leads an 80-person delegation to China and meets President Xi Jinping. Xinhua report identifies Xi as “general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and Lien as “Kuomintang honorary chairman.” Lien tells reporters in Taipei that he was not representing any organization or political party, nor would he convey any message to Xi from Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou.

: Secretary of State Kerry visits Asia with stops in Seoul, Beijing, and Jakarta to meet senior government officials to discuss bilateral, regional, and global issues.

: Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Minister Wang Yu-chi visits China and meets China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) Director Zhang Zhijun in Nanjing on Feb. 11. The meeting is the highest-level dialogue between officials from China and Taiwan since 1949. Wang also visits the tomb of Sun Yat-sen.

: Japanese Foreign Minister Kishida Fumio meets Secretary of State John Kerry to finalize plans for President Obama’s upcoming trip to Japan. He also meets Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and National Security Advisor Susan Rice.

: Opening ceremony for the 2014 Winter Olympics is held in Sochi, Russia. Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo attend and meet President Vladimir Putin separately while there.

: Thailand holds general election. The Democratic Party boycotts the election and voting is canceled in nine provinces due to violent protesters.

: US Special Representative for North Korea Policy Glyn Davies visits China, South Korea, and Japan to discuss North Korea policy.

: Forty-nine Philippine police commandos are killed in what Interior Secretary Mar Roxas describes as a “misencounter” with Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) soldiers in the Mindanao province of Maguindanao.

: Japan’s Prime Minister Abe Shinzo visits India and meets Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He is a guest of honor at India’s Republic Day parade and calls for closer commercial and strategic ties with India.

: Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra declares a 60-day state of emergency in Bangkok and surrounding areas in response mass protests aimed at overthrowing the government, but rules out using force to end the rallies.

: Chinese media reports that Hainan province and the city of Sansha will set up new civilian patrols in the South China Sea. The intent is to “safeguard national sovereign rights and benefits, develop at-sea assistance, [and] ensure navigational safety.”

: Chinese naval vessels including an island landing ship begin military exercises in the South China Sea that will focus on integrated combat missions involving ships, submarines, and aircraft. The deployment is part of annual exercises and includes combat exercises in the West Pacific Ocean and the East Indian Ocean.

: US Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel visits China, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore. He accompanies Deputy Secretary Burns in China and Japan; he leads the US delegation at the US-Singapore Strategic Partnership Dialogue.

: Inamine Susumu is reelected mayor in Nago on the east coast of Okinawa after vowing to oppose the relocation of US Marine Corps Air Base at Futenma to a base near the city.

: US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns visits South Korea, China, and Japan to discuss bilateral, regional, and global issues.

: ASEAN foreign ministers meet in Bagan, Myanmar.

: North Korea’s Committee for Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland says that USFK joint military exercises Key Resolve and Foal Eagle drills are tantamount to a declaration of “full-scale nuclear war” and “if carried out, will fatally destroy the inter-Korean relations and trigger unimaginable calamities and disasters.”

: South Korean President Park Geun-hye leads a delegation to India and meets Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other senior leaders.

: Anti-government protesters in Thailand begin a shutdown of Bangkok by blocking intersections, and cutting utilities to government buildings.

: South Korea and US hold preliminary discussions in Washington on possibility of South Korea participating in Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

: Malaysian Minister of Defense Hishammuddin Hussein visits the US with stops in Honolulu and Washington where he meets Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to discuss international security issues, including Afghanistan, North Korea, and the role of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in addressing regional security challenges.

: US announces the deployment of an additional mechanized infantry battalion equipped with tanks and armored infantry fighting vehicles to Korea.

: US and South Korea hold ninth round of talks on replace of the 1974 treaty on civil nuclear cooperation.

: South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se visits Washington and meets Secretary of Defense Hagel and Secretary of State John Kerry.

Date Range