Regional Overview

Chronology from Apr 2010 to Jul 2010

: Benigno Aquino III is sworn in as the 15th president of the Philippines.

: China and Taiwan sign an Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) that will cut tariffs on a range of goods and services.

:   Russian military conduct a series of drills in the Sea of Japan as part of the Vostok 2010 strategic exercises in Russia’s Far East.

: The FBI arrests 10 people for allegedly serving for years as Russian secret agents with the goal of penetrating U.S. government policymaking circles.

: The US and South Korea announce that the transfer of wartime operational control of ROK military forces will be delayed from 2012 to 2015.

: G20 Summit is held in Toronto.

: G8 Summit is held in Muskoka, Canada.

: Julia Gillard is elected through a leadership vote by the Labor Party as Australia’s first female prime minister.

: RIMPAC 2010 is held in the waters off Hawaii.

: Russian President Medvedev visits the US at the invitation of President Obama and attends events in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. He also attends several “summit-level negotiations” in Washington.

: The State Department releases its Human Trafficking Report 2010 which criticizes several ASEAN countries for labor trafficking and prostitution.

: Myanmar’s ruling junta says it has no intention of building a nuclear weapon, saying that “Myanmar is a country that always respects UN declarations and decisions as it is a UN member country. Myanmar is not in a position to produce nuclear weapons. Myanmar has no intention to become a nuclear power.”

: A South Korea rocket carrying a climate observation satellite explodes seconds into its flight, the country’s second major space setback in less than a year.

: The 10th annual Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit is held in Tashkent.

: Twelve of the 15 members of the UN Security Council, including China and the US, vote to apply sanctions against Iran.

: North Korea’s Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA) convenes in Pyongyang. Kim Jong-il’s brother-in-law, Jang Song-thaek, who heads a Workers’ Party Department, is appointed vice chairman of the National Defense Commission.

: The UN Security Council approves a measure to extend for another year the authority of a UN body charged with overseeing sanctions against North Korea.

: National Security Council Asia Director Jeffrey Bader says US policy on arms sales to Taiwan will not change.

: US and ROK postpone planned joint naval exercises in the Yellow Sea.

: G20 meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors in Busan.

: The White House announces that President Obama has postponed a trip to Australia and Indonesia.

: Kan Naoto is elected prime minister of Japan.

: South Korea officially refers the sinking of the corvette Cheonan to the UN Security Council.

: Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama announces his resignation.

: A Russian team, including torpedo and submarine experts, arrives in Seoul to begin its investigation into the sinking of the Cheonan.

: A UN panel accuses North Korea of continuing to export nuclear and missile technology in defiance of UN sanction. The preliminary report was compiled by a seven-member group that monitors Pyongyang’s compliance with sanctions.

: Prime Minister Wen visits Japan and meets Prime Minister Hatoyama and Emperor Akihito.

: ROK President Lee Myung-bak, Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama Yukio, and Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao meet in Jeju, South Korea for the third trilateral summit.

: The final declaration of the NPT review conference urges Pyongyang “to fulfill [its] commitments under the Six-Party Talks, including the complete and verifiable abandonment of all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs in accordance with the September 2005 Joint Statement.”

: The US releases its National Security Strategy.

: The US announces that the US Navy and the ROK Navy will conduct joint naval exercises in the Yellow China (West) Sea beginning in June.

: President Obama directs all US agencies to conduct a review of their “existing authorities and policies related to the DPRK.”

: The Indonesian-US Security Dialogue focuses on the roles of militaries in disaster relief, peacekeeping, counterterrorism, and bilateral military relations.

: Secretary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and their co-chairs, State Councilor Dai Bingguo and Vice Premier Wang Qishan, gather for the second meeting of the US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Beijing. Over a dozen US cabinet members and agency heads make up the US delegation.

: The US and Japan reach an agreement on the plan for relocating Futenma Air Base to another location on Okinawa.

: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton travels to Japan (May 21), China (May 21-26), and Korea (May 26).

: South Korea announces that an international panel of experts has concluded that the corvette Cheonan was sunk by a North Korean torpedo, offering analysis of the damage to the ship and a fragment of a torpedo with a Korean serial number found in the area where the ship sunk as evidence.

: Thailand authorities put Bangkok and 23 provinces under curfew after red-shirt protest leaders surrender to troops storming their barricades. Arsonists set fires in many Bangkok areas, including a shopping mall, a TV station, the stock exchange, and bank branches.

: Japanese Foreign Minister Okada and Defense Minister Kitazawa Toshima meet Australian counterparts Stephen Smith and John Faulkner in a “two-plus-two” meeting in Tokyo and sign an Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA), under which their armed forces will provide each other with food, fuel, and logistical support during peacekeeping and disaster-relief missions.

: South Korean Ministry of Culture and Tourism announces it requested that China exclude North Korea’s Mt. Kumgang resort from its approved group tour destinations while it seeks understanding on a dispute over the North’s recent freeze of South Korean assets there.

: South Korean Unification Ministry announces that it has requested all South Korean ministries to suspend all government-sponsored aid to North Korea.

: Foreign ministers of Japan, China, and ROK meet in Gyeongju Korea. During a bilateral meeting Japan Foreign Minister Okada challenges China’s nuclear arms reduction.

: The US closes its embassy in Bangkok and says it is “very concerned” about the violence between the Thai government and protesters there.

: Maj. Gen. Khattiya Sawatdiphol, who is allied with Thailand’s red shirt protesters, is shot during an interview in Bangkok and later dies.

: Israeli officials say Pyongyang has been supplying anti-tank missiles, surface-to-surface rockets, and shoulder-fired air defense systems to Hamas and Hezbollah.

: The Thai government extends a state of emergency to cover 17 provinces to prevent rural protesters from joining an anti-government rally in Bangkok.

: North Korea claims it has accomplished “successful nuclear fusion.” No details are given, but outsiders are skeptical.

: US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell visits Burma and meets detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. He warns the ruling junta that planned elections would not be recognized by the international community and calls for the release of all political prisoners.

:    Russkiy Newsweek releases a “secret” Russian government document “Program for Effective Utilization of Foreign Political Factors on a Systematic Basis for Purposes of Long-Term Development of the Russian Federation.”

: President Hu Jintao visits Russia as the guest of President Medvedev for the ceremony marking the 65th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. Hu meets Prime Minister Putin on May 8 and President Medvedev the following day.

: China National Tourism Administration and the Cross-Strait Tourism Association (CSTA) open an office in Taipei.

: Taiwan Strait Tourism Association opens an office in Beijing.

: North Korean leader Kim Jong-il visits China and meets President Hu Jintao.

: Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference held in New York.  

: The 2010 World Expo opens in Shanghai.

: Burma’s Prime Minister Thein Sein and about 20 other ministers reportedly retire from their military posts and apply to register a new political party ahead of elections scheduled for later this year.

: North Korea announces the seizure of South Korean-owned buildings at Mt. Kumgang resort, accusing Seoul of heightening cross-border tensions.

: Japan’s Ministry of Defense announces that a Chinese helicopter approached a Japanese destroyer conducting surveillance activities.

: South Korea’s Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan, says that evidence of North Korean involvement in Cheonan incident would further hinder progress on the stalemated Six-Party Talks.

: North Korea expels the staff and seals off South Korean government-owned ventures at the Mt. Kumgang resort.

: President Obama hosts first Nuclear Security Summit in Washington. Obama meets several Asian leaders including Chinese President Hu Jintao, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev on the sidelines.

: Twenty-one are killed and hundreds wounded in Bangkok when the government forces attempt to evict protesters from city streets.

: Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force spots and tracks two Chinese submarines and eight destroyers heading southeast between the main island of Okinawa and Miyako Island, Okinawa prefecture.

: North Korea’s Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA) convenes in Pyongyang. Kim Jong-il does not attend the session.

: An interim coalition government is formed in Kyrgyzstan with Roza Otunbayeva as prime minister.

: Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev sign the New US-Russia Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) in Prague.

: The United Nations Security Council begins negotiations on sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program.

: The 16th ASEAN Summit is held in Hanoi.

: Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva invokes emergency rule in Bangkok.

: The US publishes its Nuclear Posture Review.

:   Riots break out across Kyrgyzstan, leading to the ouster of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev.

: South Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Lee Yong Joon, Chinese Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs Hu Zhengyue and Japanese Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Kenichiro Sasae meet in Jeju, Korea to prepare for a trilateral summit and foreign minister talks.

: Inaugural Mekong River Commission meeting held in Hua Hin, Thailand. Participants include political leaders, multilateral donors, and experts in the field of integrated water resources management from Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam along with dialogue partners Burma and China.

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