Regional Overview

Chronology from Jul 2006 to Oct 2006

: Mid-Autumn festival cross-Strait charter flights begin between the PRC and Taiwan.

: Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei visits Seoul to exchange views on how to jumpstart the six-party process.

: Japanese PM Abe and South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun agree by telephone call to hold a summit as early as possible.

: President Chen declares that “Taiwan is Taiwan, China is China, and Taiwan and China are totally different countries,” drawing protests from Beijing and a reminder that Washington expects Chen to honor his previous commitments.

: Washington suspends $24 million in military assistance to Thailand.

: Prime Minister Abe and President Bush in a telephone call agree to maintain close ties and to meet in November at APEC meeting in Hanoi.

: A delegation from the Russian government arrives in Washington, D.C. to discuss Russia’s remaining obstacles to joining the WTO.

: Abe Shinzo succeeds Koizumi Junichiro as Japan’s new prime minister.

: In a speech in Los Angeles, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov tells his American audience that the United States will have to get used to a strong Russia.

: Shanghai Communist Party chief and Politburo member Chen Liangyu arrested on corruption charges.

: U.S. and 19 other nations attend the third government-industry Proliferation Security Initiative workshop in London, UK.

: President Chen calls for reconsideration of territory defined in constitution.

: Sixth round of China-Japan Strategic Dialogue held in Tokyo.

: NASA Administrator Michael Griffin visits China to gain an overview of the Chinese civilian space program.

: The joint U.S.-Russian Nuclear Cities Initiative (NCI), part of the Nunn-Lugar nonproliferation program, expires.

: Second 5+5 (minus a few) meeting held in New York along UNGA sidelines.

: U.S. Ambassador to Korea Alexander Vershbow tells Yonhap News that Assistant Secretary Hill, could visit Pyongyang if the DPRK returns to the table.

: Abe Shinzo is elected the new president of the Japanese Liberal Party with 66 percent of the vote.

: The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson issues a brief statement commenting on the military coup in Bangkok as Thailand’s internal affair.

: U.S. and Chinese navies hold a Search and Rescue Exercise (SAREX) off the coast of Southern California. The second-half of the exercise is scheduled to be held off the coast of China.

: U.S. and ROK chief nuclear delegates discuss the six-party process in New York.

: Thai military carries out bloodless coup against Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra while he is attending the UN General Assembly opening.

: Japan and Australia adopt new financial sanctions against North Korea for July missile tests in accordance with UNSC Resolution 1695.

: U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson visits China; first Economic Strategic Dialogue held on Sept. 20.

: United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) is held in New York City.

: APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting is held in Hanoi to draft agenda for the larger APEC gathering in November.

: At a UN Security Council procedural meeting, China votes against a U.S.-backed proposal to include Myanmar’s deteriorating situation in the Council’s agenda. As this was a procedural vote, China could not use their veto to block the decision.

: DPRK’s Supreme People’s Assembly Vice Presidents Yang Hyong-sop and Kim Yong-dae meet with Chinese Ambassador Liu.

: The fifth meeting of the SCO’s prime ministers held in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe, focusing on energy, transport, and telecommunications as priorities.

: Some 300,000 protesters call for President Chen’s resignation as they march in front of the president’s office and home.

: U.S.-ROK Summit held in Washington, D.C.

: U.S. and China hold second round of U.S.-China Energy Policy Dialogue in Hangzhou, China to promote global energy security, protect the environment, and encourage bilateral economic growth and trade.

: UN decides not to consider Taiwan’s UN bid.

: The Daily Telegraph reports that Kim Jong-il has made known to Russian and Chinese diplomats his plan to conduct an underground nuclear test.

: Sixth Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) held in Helsinki, Finland.

: Japan-Philippine Economic Partnership Agreement is signed by Japan PM Koizumi and Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in Helsinki. The agreement takes effect in 2007 to liberalize flow of goods and services between the two countries.

: Tens of thousands of protesters gather in front of the Presidential Office for an open-ended sit-in campaign to oust President Chen.

: South Korea and Japan agree in principle to a joint survey in the East Sea on radioactive pollution from waste dumped by the former Soviet Union off of Vladivostok.

: Five Central Asian countries sign a Central Asia nuclear weapons free area treaty in Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan.

: Third round of the ROK-Japan Vice Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue held in Seoul to express views on territorial disputes, the North Korea nuclear issue, and the international situation.

: China appoints new ambassador to DPRK, Liu Xiaoming, a United States expert.

: The 13th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation finance ministers’ meeting held in Hanoi.

: Two Chinese naval vessels arrive in Pearl Harbor to participate in bilateral communications and passing exercises; later the Chinese ships will travel to California for search and rescue exercises Sept. 20.

: Taiwan’s Executive Yuan adopts act to rename Chiang Kai-shek International Airport as “Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.”

: Third round of ROK-U.S. free trade agreement negotiations take place in Seattle, Washington.

: Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian signs the Palau Declaration with six Pacific allies at the conclusion of the first Taiwan-Pacific allies summit in Koror, Palau. The declaration sets up a framework for future cooperation.

: Sixth round of talks on the demarcation of the exclusive economic zone and to set up a reliable system on early notification to conduct maritime mapping between Japan and South Korea held in Seoul.

: Assistant Secretary Hill visits Japan, China, and South Korea to discuss regional and global issues with senior government officials in the three countries. He will also meet with the six-party negotiators to get North Korea back to the table.

: ROK chief delegate to the Six-Party Talks Chun Young-woo meets U.S. chief delegate, Assistant Secretary Hill in Washington, D.C.

: PM Koizumi visits Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to seek energy deals.

: Some 39 Japanese fishing boats enter Russian-claimed territorial waters near Hokkaido and are chased out by Russian border guard ships after an hour. The Russian Foreign Ministry lodges a complaint with the Japanese Embassy in Moscow.

: Kim Jong-il is reported by Japan’s Kyodo News as having called China and Russia “unreliable,” saying that North Korea should overcome the international standoff over its nuclear and missile programs on its own.

: Taiwan Army’s commander-in-chief Gen. Hu Chen-pu on a visit to Japan as a tourist attends live-fire drills by the Japanese Self-Defense Force.

: Ninth ROK-Australia Political-Military Dialogue held in Seoul.

: Thai police arrest some 175 North Korea asylum seekers in Bangkok. None will be repatriated to North Korea without their signed consent.

: North Korea threatens to quit the armistice that ended the Korean War over the Ulchi Focus Lens exercise and considers the exercise an “act of war.”

: Four-member U.S. team arrives in the Philippines to assist in the cleanup of an oil spill Aug. 11 at the request of the Philippine government.

: General Secretary of the Vietnamese Communist Party Nong Duc Manh starts an official five-day visit to China. It is agreed to make 2008 the deadline to settle all border disputes between Vietnam and China.

: Bloc 8406 reform group outlines four-phase plan for Vietnam’s democratization.

: U.S. and South Korea hold Ulchi Focus Lens exercises across the Korean Peninsula.

: ABC News reports that U.S. intelligence believes that a North Korea nuclear test is a “real possibility.”

: Russian coast guard forces fire on a Japanese fishing boat operating in disputed waters, killing one Japanese crewmember. The three other crewmembers are arrested and detained on Sakhalin.

: Japan PM Koizumi visits Yasukuni Shrine and elicits outrage from China and South Korea.

: Ambassador Vershbow says that transferring operation control of armed forces during wartime to South Korea will strengthen the U.S.-Korea alliance.

: The Philippine and U.S. Navies engage in a CARAT exercise involving 8,000 Philippine marines and 2,000 U.S. personnel. The exercise includes counterterror and transnational crime scenarios.

: Mongolian-U.S. military exercise Khaan Quest 2006 held in Mongolia is the capstone event for the Global Peace Operations Initiative, which is to address gaps in international peace operations.

: Taipei’s allies submit annual resolution to UN on Taiwan participation.

: Japan PM Koizumi visits Mongolia.

: A Yomiuri Shimbun poll shows that half of respondents do not want the next prime minister to visit Yasukuni, marking the first time in three surveys since February that those opposed exceed those in favor.

: Undersecretary of State Paula Dobriansky leads U.S. delegation to the second U.S-China Global Issues Forum in Beijing. On the agenda is clean energy, public health, humanitarian assistance, human trafficking, and other sustainable development issues.

: Chad switches diplomatic relations from Taipei to Beijing.

: Thirteenth ASEAN Regional Forum is held in Kuala Lumpur. Secretary Rice attends.

: South Korea, China, Japan, Russia, the U.S., Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Malaysia, and New Zealand hold 5+5 Talks in Kuala Lumpur to discuss North Korea as well as other broader regional security concerns.

: ASEAN Plus Ones (Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Russia, EU, U.S., etc.) are held in Kuala Lumpur. Secretary Rice signs Framework Agreement for Plan of Action to implement the ASEAN-U.S. Enhanced Partnership.

: Yonhap News reports since February North Korea has asked Asan Hyundai to pay tour fees in euros rather than U.S. dollars.

: ASEAN Plus Three Senior Officials and Foreign Ministers meetings held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

: Ad hoc consultations among East Asia Summit senior officials take place in Kuala Lumpur.

: U.S. and Malaysian navies begin a 10-day CARAT exercise involving some 3,000 personnel. The exercise includes land and sea combat and rescue.

: The Doha Development Agenda negotiations are suspended because gaps between key players remain too wide. WTO Director General Pascal Lamy does not suggest how long the talks would be suspended.

: The 39th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting is held in Kuala Lumpur.

: Secretary of State Rice travels to Asia to attend the ARF in Malaysia.

: ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

: North Korea notifies South Korea that it would stop inter-Korean family reunions in response to the ROK halt of humanitarian aid.

: Six North Koreans will be granted permanent residency in U.S. for fiscal year 2007 as part of the 2007 Diversity Visa Lottery.

: Stuart Levey, U.S. undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, briefs officials in Hanoi on illicit North Korean banking activities in Vietnam.

: China, Russia, and India hold summit in St. Petersburg.

: U.S. Pacific Commander Adm. William Fallon pays introductory visit to Cambodia.

: PRC, Russia, India, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico, and the Republic of Congo meet along G-8 sidelines to discuss energy security, epidemic diseases, education, African development, etc.

: UN Security Council unanimously adopts Resolution 1695 to impose limited sanctions on North Korea. North Korea rejects resolution 45 minutes after vote.

: Group of Eight (G-8) summit held in St. Petersburg, Russia. The U.S. and China have side-meetings to discuss the North Korea nuclear crisis.

: U.S. Pacific Commander Adm. William Fallon begins a four-day visit to Vietnam for military and security discussions, his first in his current post.

: South Korea and the U.S. hold ninth Security Policy Initiative talks.

: Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Hor Namhong pays official visit to China.

: Chief Cabinet Secretary Abe clarifies his comment on a preemptive strike, saying that he was thinking about a scenario in which missiles had already been fired at Japan.

: During Japan visit, Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou urges Koizumi to take a broader view of history and reconsider visits to Yasukuni.

: China and Russia introduce UN resolution that condemns the missile tests and calls for a moratorium on missile testing and a return to the Six-Party Talks, but does not call for binding sanctions.

: The 19th Inter-Korean Ministerial talks held in Busan, South Korea.

: DPRK delegation led by Supreme People’s Assembly Vice Chairman Yang Hyong-sop arrives in Beijing for friendship treaty celebrations.

: Indonesian and U.S. Navies began their annual CARAT exercises to enhance bilateral cooperation. The 2006 CARAT exercises began in Singapore in June and were followed by Thailand and then Indonesia.  Brunei, Malaysia, and the Philippines will follow before the exercises conclude in August.

: Chief Cabinet Secretary Abe says Japan should consider whether Japan’s constitution allows Japan to attack North Korea missile bases as an act of self-defense.

: Second round of Korea-U.S. FTA negotiations held in Seoul. The meeting ends a day early after the parties are unable to come to an agreement over pharmaceutical sector.

: PRC Vice Premier Hui Liangyu visits North Korea as head of the goodwill delegation commemorating 45th anniversary of the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance. Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei is one of the delegates.

: Sixth round of China-Japan consultation on the East China Sea is held in Beijing.

: U.S. and Japan submit a resolution for binding sanctions against North Korea for its missile tests, along with a moratorium on missile tests and a return to Six-Party Talks.

: Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs Christopher Hill travels to the region to consult with Six-Party Talk negotiators in Beijing, Seoul, and Tokyo.

: President Bush consults with Japanese PM Koizumi and Chinese President Hu regarding North Korea missile tests.

: China and India reopen Nathu La Pass, which has been closed for 44 years, as part of their Expanding Border Trade Agreement from 2003.

: North Korea launches seven ballistic missiles – six Nodong and Scud missiles tests were successful; the one Taepodong-2 missile launch failed.

: President Ozawa Ichiro leads a Democratic Party of Japan delegation to China at the invitation of the Communist Party of China. On July 4, Ozawa meets Chinese President Hu Jintao.

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