Regional Overview

Chronology from Jan 2022 to May 2022

:  German Chancellor Olaf Scholz visits Japan, not China, on his first Asian trip.

: China and Iran agree to step up military cooperation in a range of areas including exercises.

: USTR releases the 2022 Special 301 Report on intellectual property protection and enforcement, which places China on its Priority Watch List, indicating that “particular problems exist in that country with respect to IP protection, enforcement, or market access for U.S. persons relying on IP.”

: Court in military-ruled Myanmar sentences deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi to five years in jail after finding her guilty in the first of 11 corruption cases.

: US official says Washington wants to expand security cooperation with Papua New Guinea.

: European Union and India agree to set up a trade and technology council to step up cooperation.

: South Korea’s President-elect Yoon says he would “positively review” joining the Quad.

: Australia’s defense minister accuses China of paying bribes for international deals, but refuses to say whether corruption played a role in Beijing’s defense pact with the Solomon Islands.

: Guided-missile destroyer USS Momsen arrives in Goa, India, for a scheduled port visit. The Momsen is deployed to the US 7th Fleet in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

: Japan’s foreign minister promises his country will bolster its military to help the United States maintain regional security.

: Indian and UK prime ministers issue a joint statement expressing “in strongest terms their concern about the ongoing conflict and humanitarian situation in Ukraine.”

: Biden administration “Indo-Pacific czar” Kurt Campbell visits Solomon Islands after it signs a security pact with China. 

: Quad representatives hold handover ceremony for COVID-19 vaccine donation to Thailand.

: South Korea successfully test-fires two submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) consecutively earlier this week, in a sign the missile is nearing operational deployment.

: Chinese President Xi proposes a “global security initiative” that upholds the principle of “indivisible security,” though he gives no details on how it will be implemented.

: US and partner countries walk out of a G20 plenary session when Russia’s delegates speak.

: US shows concerns after China says it signs security pact with Solomon Islands.

: US envoy vows “strongest possible deterrent” over North Korea weapons tests.

: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un observes the test firing of a new type of tactical guided weapon aimed at boosting the country’s nuclear capabilities.

: South Korean government officially approves plan to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

: Russian submarines in the Sea of Japan, also known as East Sea, fired cruise missiles during exercises.

: Sen. Lindsey Graham leads congressional delegation to Taiwan during which they discuss US-Taiwan relations, regional security, and other issues of mutual interest with senior Taiwan leaders.

: Australia’s international development minister asks Solomon Islands not to sign China security pact.

: US aircraft carrier deploys off Korean Peninsula amid tensions following North Korean missile launches.

: Quad countries hold handover ceremony for COVID-19 vaccine donation to Cambodia.

: US secretaries of state and defense and India’s external affairs and defense ministers take part in 2+2 meeting, affirming their “common strategic interests” and “abiding commitment to the rules-based international order.”  

: President Biden meets virtually with Modi to discuss deepening ties between both governments, economies, and people.

: State Department announces that the US and India have “agreed to launch new supply chain-cooperation measures” to “more swiftly support each other’s priority defense requirements.” It also announces that the two countries have signed a Space Situational Awareness arrangement.

: China’s foreign ministry expresses “strong dissatisfaction” with the United States after it raised concerns over Beijing’s coronavirus control measures

: White House Press Secretary Psaki says that President Biden believes that the US-India partnership is the most important relationship the US has in the world.

: Peng Ming-min, a Taiwanese democracy activist and the DPP candidate for president in Taiwan’s first freely contested popular election in 1996, dies. 

:  China warns that it will take strong measures if Speaker Pelosi visits Taiwan. The trip is called off when Pelosi tests positive for COVID-19. 

: South Korea’s president-elect says he wants nuclear bombers and submarines to return to the Korean Peninsula.

: US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to visit Taiwan on April 10, according to Japanese sources; the trip is postponed when she tests positive for COVID-19.

: Department of State notifies Congress that it has agreed to sell Taiwan equipment, training, and other services totaling $95 million to support the island’s Patriot Air Defense System.

: AUKUS leaders release a statement reaffirming their commitment to the initiative and to a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” region. They also agree to cooperate on hypersonic weapons and electronic warfare capabilities.

: China warns Philippines to avoid “improper measures” for stability in South China Sea.

: Bucha massacre is first reported.

: China extends lockdown in Shanghai after surge in COVID infections.

: China proposes revising confidentiality rules involving offshore listings, removing a legal hurdle to China-US cooperation on audit oversight while putting the onus on Chinese companies to protect state secrets.

: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visits India from March 31-April 1, 2022 and meets with FM Jaishankar. Lavrov expresses appreciation for India’s neutral stand on Ukraine.

: EU leaders call on China to help end Russia’s war in Ukraine.

: Japan provides emergency grant aid for humanitarian assistance to populations affected by the coup in Myanmar. 

: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visits India from March 31-April 1, 2022 and meets with FM Jaishankar. Lavrov expresses appreciation for India’s neutral stand on Ukraine.

: Department of Defense releases its annual Freedom of Navigation Report for Fiscal Year 2021, which lists excessive maritime claims by 26 claimants, including China.

: In response to US visa restrictions on Chinese officials who are believed to have violated human rights, China imposes reciprocal visa restrictions on US officials “who concocted lies about China’s human rights issues, pushed for sanctions against China and undermined China’s interests.”

: State Department releases the 2022 Hong Kong Policy Act Report, which documents actions by leaders in Hong Kong and China from March 2021 through March 2022 that have further eroded both democratic institutions and human rights.

: US Securities and Exchange Commission places 11 Chinese entities on its provisional or conclusive list of issuers under the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act.

: Secretary Blinken meets Indian FM Jaishankar to discuss bilateral cooperation to address the humanitarian situation in Ukraine, shared efforts in the Indo-Pacific, and the global economy.

: Biden meets Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong to discuss Asian relations.

: Classified versions of US National Defense Strategy, Nuclear Posture Review, and Missile Defense Review are released. The 2022 National Defense Strategy identifies China as the “most consequential strategic competitor and the pacing challenge for the Department.”

: Kim Jong Un says North Korea will continue to develop “formidable striking capabilities” that cannot be bartered or sold for anything.

:  India and Maldives sign a memorandum of understanding to upgrade police infrastructure in archipelago.

: Beijing announces it will host the third regional meeting between foreign ministers of neighboring countries of Afghanistan at the end of the month.

: North Korea says that it successfully test-fired a new ICBM, the Hwasong-17, the previous day on the direct order of leader Kim Jong Un. US and South Korean intelligence later say the ICBM launched by North Korea was actually a Hwasong-15 missile disguised to look like the newer, larger Hwasong-17, according to South Korean military sources.

: Solomon Islands confirms it is drafting a security deal with China.

: South Korean and Japanese authorities say that North Korea has conducted what is likely its largest-ever intercontinental ballistic missile launch.

: North Korea fires an apparent long-range ballistic missile toward the East Sea, says South Korea’s military. 

: North Korea fires four suspected projectiles from its multiple rocket launchers into the Yellow Sea, says South Korean military officials. 

: Japan pledges to offer Cambodia about $428 million in aid and 1.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX global vaccine-sharing program.March 21, 2022: Southeast Asian peace envoy meets Myanmar’s military rulers on his first trip to the crisis-hit country.

: PLA spokesperson says the USS Ralph Johnson‘s sail-through of the Taiwan Strait on March 17 is a “provocative” act by the US and sends the wrong signals to pro-Taiwan independence forces.

: South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor opens Indonesia factory, where the company plans to roll out electric vehicles.

: North Korea fires an apparent ballistic missile, but the launch ended in failure, says South Korea’s military. 

: USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier leads military exercises in the Yellow Sea, and air defense artillery at Osan air base intensified drills.

: US tells allies in NATO and several Asian countries that China has signaled willingness to provide military and economic aid to Russia, at Moscow’s request, to support its war in Ukraine.

: National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan meets Chinese Communist Party Politburo Member and Director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission Yang Jiechi in Rome and discusses issues in US-China relations, Russia’s war against Ukraine, and the “importance of maintaining open lines of communication between the United States and China.”

: Australia reports that it has stopped an “incursion” by Beijing into the Pacific islands by talking with leaders there weekly and offering vaccine aid.

: Vietnam bans Sony’s action movie Uncharted from domestic distribution over a scene featuring a map that shows a disputed line declared by China to stake its claim to large parts of the South China Sea.

: India claims that it has accidentally fired a missile into Pakistan because of a “technical malfunction” during routine maintenance.

: North Korea appears to be working to restore underground tunnels of its purportedly demolished Punggye-ri nuclear test site. 

: Prime Minister Kishida and President-elect Yoon speak on the phone for the first time since Yoon’s victory. They agreed on the importance of improving ties and resolving pending issues. Kishida is the second leader to speak with Yoon, after President Joe Biden. 

: Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez says Manila is ready to assist Washington should the war between Russia and Ukraine reach Asia.

: Conservative candidate Yoon Seok-yul narrowly wins the South Korean presidential election. 

: Members of US Congressional Hispanic Caucus urge President Biden to champion vaccine collaboration with India to end the COVID-19 pandemic

: Summitry between President Biden and ASEAN leaders to be held later this month is postponed.

: Vietnam lodges a complaint and urges China to respect its exclusive economic zone and sovereignty after China had earlier announced military drills in the vicinity of China’s Hainan Islands in South China Sea from March 4-15. 

: South Korea’s military seizes a North Korean boat that crossed into its waters and fires a warning shot to see off a North Korean patrol vessel that tries to intervene.

: China’s foreign minister announces that it is a “naked double standard” to seek to conflate the issues of Taiwan and Ukraine, claiming the island has always been part of China.

: Analysts say recent photos taken from space show new buildings and other signs of work at North Korea’s nuclear testing facility.

: Three-day 23rd Executive Steering Group Meeting begins in New Delhi between the Indian and US Navies. The meeting discusses bolstering defense relations 

: Over 100 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar arrive by boat on the shores of Indonesia’s Aceh province.

: North Korea says it has conducted “another important” test for reconnaissance satellite systems.

: North Korea appears to continue producing fissile materials for nuclear weapons at its main Yongbyon nuclear facility, says a US monitoring website, citing recent satellite imagery of Yongbyon.

: Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank announces that it has put all activities relating to Russia and Belarus on hold and under review in the wake of the conflict in Ukraine.

: Top diplomats of Southeast Asian nations call for an “immediate cease-fire” or “armistice” between Russia and Ukraine, urging continuation of dialogue between the two warring parties.

: Modi participates in a call with Putin to review the situation in Ukraine and emphasize India’s need to evacuate its citizens from Kharkiv amid an assault by Russian forces. 

: Cambodia rejects the use or threats of force and does not side with any of the parties in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

: USTR releases its 2021 Annual Report and its Fiscal Year 2022-2026 Strategic Plan, in which one of its objectives is to “pursue strengthened enforcement to ensure that China lives up to its existing trade obligations.”

: A delegation of former senior US defense and security officials sent by President Joe Biden arrive in Taipei.

: South Korea and Singapore unveil sanctions against Russia for invading Ukraine, rare pushback against Moscow in a region that largely avoided taking sides in the conflict.

: North Korea fires an unidentified projectile, says South Korea’s military. 

: Former Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo suggests the US renounce “strategic ambiguity” toward a cross-Strait conflict, saying in unusually direct language that a Taiwan contingency is a Japan contingency.

: South Korea and Japan say that North Korea fired a ballistic missile.

: Modi participates in a call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to discuss the situation in Ukraine. 

: US warship sails through the strait separating Taiwan and China.

: United Nations Security Council fails to adopt a draft resolution, submitted by the United States and Albania, intended to end Russia’s military offensive against Ukraine

: Japan strengthens sanctions against Russia to include financial institutions and military equipment exports.

: Based on Biden administration leaks, The New York Times reports that the US shared intelligence with China on Russia’s troop buildup around Ukraine over a three-month period and urged Beijing to tell Putin not to invade. The Chinese dismissed the intelligence and allegedly shared it with Moscow.

: President Biden speaks with Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar about the crisis in Ukraine and the importance of a strong collective response to Russian aggression.

: Indian Prime Minister Modi participates in a call with Russian President Putin, and the prime minister urges an end to the violence in Ukraine.

: Taiwan’s air force scrambles to warn away nine Chinese aircraft that entered its air defense zone on the same day that Russia invaded Ukraine.

: South Korea test-fires a long-range surface-to-air missile.

: China’s foreign ministry asserts that Taiwan is “not Ukraine” and has always been an inalienable part of China.

: Vladimir Putin declares “special military operation,” launches invasion of Ukraine. 

: India asks for restraint and greater diplomatic effort to prevent military escalation in Ukraine as it prepares to evacuate its citizens.

: China’s foreign ministry denies a US report that a spent rocket booster forecast to crash on the far side of the moon next month was debris from a Chinese lunar mission in 2014.

: China imposes sanctions on US defense firms Raytheon Technology Corporation and Lockheed Martin Corporation in response to their arms sales to Taiwan.

: Australia brands a Chinese navy vessel pointing a laser at one of his nation’s surveillance aircraft off the northern coast an “act of intimidation.”

: Philippines follows New Zealand’s decision to reject inclusion of Myanmar in RCEP.

: Russia and China alter  communique being drafted by the G20 to remove a reference to “current” geopolitical tensions clouding the global economic outlook.

: New Zealand says it will not allow Myanmar into RCEP.

: Vietnam announces that it will lift most restrictions on international tourists arriving in the country beginning March 15.

: Secretary of State Blinken and foreign ministers of South Korea and Japan, meeting in Honolulu to discuss North Korea and issues between Japan and South Korea, present a unified front against Pyongyang’s recent missile tests.

: South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong and Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi hold bilateral talks in Hawaii to discuss North Korea, shared history, and other bilateral issues. 

: Hong Kong extends a ban on incoming flights from eight countries, including the United States and Britain, and imposed one on Nepal until March 4.

: President Joe Biden nominates Philip Goldberg a senior member of the foreign service, as ambassador to South Korea.

: White House releases its Indo-Pacific Strategy, which notes the challenges that China poses for the United States.

: Secretary of State Blinken and foreign ministers of Japan, Australia, and India release a joint statement on their fight against COVID-19 and their cooperation “to address regional challenges, including humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR), maritime security, counter-terrorism, countering disinformation, and cyber security” as part of the Quad Foreign Ministers meeting. 

: Indonesia urges G20 to establish a global body that can dispense emergency funds during a health crisis.

: Taiwan’s foreign ministry expresses support for US Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) and says it will continue to exchange views with Washington on it.  

: Japan offers Europe part of its liquefied natural gas imports over fears supplies will be disrupted following a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine.

: China suspends imports of beef from Lithuania. No reason is provided, but the move is the latest in a series of retaliatory measures Beijing has taken against the Baltic state since it allowed a de facto Taiwan embassy to open in its capital. 

: Taiwan says that it will relax a ban on Japanese food imports put in place following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

: CSIS reports that North Korea harbors an undisclosed missile base built specifically for a unit equipped with intermediate-range and potentially intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

: Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) announces that it has conducted a four-day exercise with the US Navy in the East China Sea to boost joint deterrence capabilities.

: State Department approves a possible arms sale to Taiwan of equipment and services to support the Patriot Air Defense System for an estimated cost of $100 million.

: Singapore President Halimah Yacob meets China’s President Xi Jinping in Beijing and congratulates him on the successful hosting of the Olympic Winter Games.

: Russia agrees to a 30-year contract to supply gas to China via a new pipeline and will settle the new gas sales in euros.

: United States asks Japan if it could divert some LNG to Europe if the Ukraine crisis leads to a disruption of supplies.

: US House of Representatives advances a multibillion-dollar bill aimed at increasing US competitiveness with China and boosting US semiconductor manufacturing.

: RCEP takes effect for South Korea. This 15-member free trade agreement is the first to have both South Korea and Japan as members.

: Japan’s Parliament adopts resolution on the “serious human rights situation” in China and calls on Prime Minister Kishida Fumio’s government to take steps to relieve the situation.

: United States, Britain, and Canada impose sanctions against additional officials in Myanmar.

: Taiwan Vice President William Lai concludes visit to the United States and Honduras with a virtual meeting with US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

: Chinese Foreign Ministry “lodges solemn representation” with the US over meetings between Taiwan’s Vice President Lai and several US officials, including Vice President Kamala Harris in Honduras and a virtual meeting with House Speaker Pelosi.

: North Korea fires ballistic missile toward the East Sea said South Korea’s military. It conducted four other launches earlier this month, including those of what it claimed to be hypersonic missiles.

: United States customs agency has banned imports from Malaysian disposable glove maker YTY Industry Holdings (YTY Group) over suspected forced labor practices.

: China agreed to allow UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) Michelle Bachelet to visit Xinjiang in the first half of 2022 after the Beijing Winter Olympic Games.

: China’s ambassador to US warns of conflict over Taiwan.

: North Korea sets off another volley of suspected short-range ballistic or tactical guided missiles.

: US announces it will join the UK, the EU, Australia, and Taiwan at the WTO to challenge China’s trade curbs on Lithuania.

: Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosts first India-Central Asia Summit in a virtual format.

: In an anti-dumping dispute that dates back to 2012, the World Trade Organization rules in China’s favor, permitting it to slap duties on $645 million worth of US imports per year.

: Secretary Blinken holds call with China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi to discuss the Russia-Ukraine situation, health security and climate change. The MFA readout says Wang called on the US to “stop interfering with the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, stop playing with fire on the Taiwan issue, and stop creating various anti-China ‘small cliques.’”

: US Navy makes arrangements to recover F-35C fighter jet that fell into the South China Sea after the pilot attempted a landing on the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier.

: White House announces the Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force, chaired by the Department of Homeland Security, will work to implement the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act and prohibit the importation of goods made by forced labor from China.

: North Korea fires two suspected cruise missiles from an inland area, its fifth such test this year. 

: Two US aircraft carrier groups enter South China Sea for training as Taiwan reported a Chinese air force incursion at the top of the waterway including a new electronic warfare jet.

: Taiwan reports largest incursion since October by China’s air force into its air defense zone.

: State Department imposes sanctions on three Chinese entities for engaging in missile-technology proliferation activities.

: US Transportation Department issues order to suspend 44 China-bound flights from the US by four Chinese carriers in response to the Chinese government’s decision to suspend some US carrier flights over COVID-19 concerns.

: Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry officials reject reports from Chinese media that Vietnam has been supporting and arming militia fishing vessels in the maritime dispute.

: China and Russia delay a US effort at the United Nations to impose sanctions on five North Koreans in response to recent missile launches by Pyongyang.

: Russia, China, and Iran hold second joint naval exercises in the Gulf of Oman. They practice sea-lane protection, anti-pirate, and hostage-rescue operations.

: US Special Envoy for North Korea Sung Kim, South Korea’s Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs Noh Kyu-duk, and Director-General of the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau Funakoshi Takehiro hold phone talks to discuss North Korea’s missile launch. 

: UN envoy calls on Thailand’s support to prevent a deterioration in the crisis in neighboring Myanmar and welcome assurances that refugees fleeing military operations will be protected by the Thai government.

: Singapore’s prime minister says ASEAN should continue excluding Myanmar’s junta from its meetings until it cooperates on an agreed peace plans.

: Myanmar’s ousted former leader Aung San Suu Kyi and deposed President Win Myint face five additional charges of corruption, each carrying a maximum of 15 years in prison.

: North Korea fires two suspected ballistic missiles eastward, South Korea’s military said, after Pyongyang publicly warned earlier in the day of a “stronger and certain” response to the United States’ imposition of new sanctions.

: Inter-governmental Mekong River Commission (MRC) urges China and mainland Southeast Asian countries to better coordinate management of Mekong hydropower dams and reservoirs.

: After nearly two years of border closures to protect North Korea against the pandemic, some humanitarian aid trickles into the country.

: Japan donates approximately 2.72 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to Indonesia.

: China orders the suspension of six more US flights in the coming weeks after a surge in passengers testing positive for COVID-19.

: Cambodia postpones meeting of ASEAN foreign ministers scheduled for next week because some ministers expressed “difficulties” in attending.

: North Korea fires a suspected ballistic missile toward the East Sea, less than a week after it launched what it claimed to be a hypersonic missile.

: Supreme Court of South Korea dismisses second appeal filed by Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries against the forced sale of two of its patents to compensate forced labor victims. 

: Taiwan suspends F-16 training missions after jet crashes into the sea.

: Aung San Suu Kyi faces six years in jail after new sentences from a Myanmar court.

: Secretary of State Blinken says China’s sanctions in December on four US Commission on International Religious Freedom commissioners “constitute yet another PRC affront against universal rights.”

: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visits Sri Lanka as the island nation searches for funds to rebuild foreign exchange reserves and repay debt amid ballooning import bills.

: US agrees to impose stricter COVID-19 measures at US military bases in Japan.

: North Korea fires suspected ballistic missile into the sea off its east coast, in its first such launch since October.

: Australia and Japan sign a treaty to beef up defense and security cooperation at a virtual summit.

: US Navy joins India, Australia, Canada, Republic of Korea, and Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force to begin multinational exercise Sea Dragon 22.

: Taiwan announces launch of All-Out Defense Mobilization Agency to boost capabilities of Taiwan’s reservists.  

: Indian Minister of External Affairs Dr. S Jaishankar meets US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to discuss bilateral issues, the Indo-Pacific region, and other global matters.

: Okinawa’s governor criticizes US military over spread of Omicron variant of COVID-19.

: Vietnam urges China to urgently reopen border gates as trade stalls.

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