Regional Overview

Chronology from Sep 2013 to Dec 2013

:   Japanese Prime Minister Abe visits Yasukuni Shrine, drawing immediate condemnation from China and South Korea. The US expresses disappointment with the visit.

: US Secretary of State Kerry visits Vietnam and the Philippines.

: The ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit and the fifth Mekong-Japan Summit are held in Tokyo. Japan announces $20 billion in loans and grants to ASEAN countries that will be disbursed over five years. It also announces an expansion of the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund aimed at economic integration of Southeast Asian countries.

: India’s Deputy Consul General in New York Devyani Khobragade is arrested for making false declarations on a visa application for her Indian domestic worker and breaking US law by paying her employee below the minimum wage.

: Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong visits South Korea and Japan. He meets President Park and Prime Minister Abe.

: Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) sign the power-sharing annex (the third of four) to the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro.

: Prime Minister Shinawatra dissolves Thailand’s Parliament and calls for new elections amid widespread antigovernment protests.

: Fourth China-Thailand antiterrorism military exercise Strike-2013 involving Special Forces from both countries is held in Thailand.

: South Korea, the US, and UK conduct a trilateral naval exercise off Busan.

: South Korea expands its KADIZ southward to include Mara-do, Hong-do, and Ieo-do to take effect Dec. 15. China “regrets” South Korea’s decision.

: Trade ministers from the 12 countries negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal meet in Singapore, but fail to reach agreement on several issues.

: Annual China-Australia Foreign and Strategic Dialogue is held in Beijing.

: North Korea releases US Korean War veteran Merrill Newman from custody.

: Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop visits Indonesia and China. Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa asks Australia to sign a “code of conduct” on intelligence practices. Bishop attends the China-Australia Foreign and Strategic Dialogue.

: USS Cowpens, a guided missile cruiser, is forced to maneuver to avoid collision with a Chinese PLA Navy ship in the South China Sea.

: Myanmar President Thein Sein visits the Philippines and meets President Aquino.

: Vice President Joe Biden visits Asia. He stops in Japan, China, and South Korea.

: Japan asks the International Civil Aviation Organization to investigate the impact of China’s East China Sea ADIZ on aviation safety.

: Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning accompanied by several escort ships conducts military exercises in the South China Sea.

: South Korea, China, and Japan hold third round of trilateral free trade agreement talks in Seoul.

: New Zealand’s Defense Minister Jonathan Coleman visits Vietnam and China to broaden and formalize bilateral defense cooperation.

: China announces establishment of its East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) that includes the Diaoyu (Japan: Senkaku) Islands and Suyan Rock (Socotra Rock; South Korea: Ieo-do). Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and US lodge protests.

: The 2013 Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) on strengthening bilateral defense and security cooperation is held in Washington.

: US Special Representative for North Korea Policy Glyn Davies visits China, South Korea, and Japan to discuss resumption of Six-Party Talks.

: Negotiators from 12 members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) meet in Salt Lake City.

:   Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj makes an extended visit to Southeast Asia with stops in Myanmar, Vietnam, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

: Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi visits South Korea and meets National Security Advisor Kim Jang-soo to discuss regional security. He also meets President Park and Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se.

: Japanese Prime Minister Abe visits Cambodia and Laos. He signs a military agreement with Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen to allow Japanese forces to train Cambodian personnel. He also meets Laos’s Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong.

: Myanmar releases 69 more political prisoners and promises the remainder of the estimated 80 such prisoners will be released by the end of the year.

: Caroline Kennedy begins her tenure as US ambassador to Japan.

: China-US humanitarian assistance and disaster relief military exercise is held in Oahu, Hawaii.

: Russian President Vladimir Putin visits Vietnam and South Korea and meets Presidents Truong Tan San and Park Geun-hye. South Korea agrees to participate in the joint-Rajin-Khasan railroad project with Russia and North Korea.

: China, Russia, and India Foreign Ministers Meeting is held in New Delhi.

: Typhoon Haiyan moves through the Philippines, Vietnam, and Southern China.

: Australia’s Defense Minister David Johnston visits Indonesia and meets Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro.

: Five Power Defense Arrangements’ Exercise Bersama Lima 2013 is held in Malaysia, involving air and maritime drills with participants from Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

: South Korea’s Deputy Minister for Political Affairs Lee Kyung-soo, China’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Liu Zhenmin, and Japan’s Asia Bureau Director General Sugiyama Shinsuke meet in Seoul to promote trilateral cooperation.

: China and India conduct bilateral Hand-in-Hand 2013 army exercise in China’s Sichuan Province.

: China-Indonesia bilateral military exercise Sharp Knife Airborne 2013 is held in Bandung.

: New Zealand hosts Exercise Southern Katipo involving air, maritime, and ground forces, from nine countries. The exercise includes the aerial-specific Exercise Kiwi Flag 2013 (Nov. 6-29) with air forces from Singapore, US, France, Australia, and New Zealand.

: China’s Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Affairs Wu Dawei visits North Korea to discuss possible resumption of Six-Party Talks.

: Russian and Japanese foreign and defense ministers meet in Tokyo. They agree to vice-ministerial talks on the South Kuril Island/Northern Territories in January 2014.

: China claims that a Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force vessel interfered with a Chinese Maneuver 5 naval exercise taking place in the West Pacific Ocean.

: Malaysia’s Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussien visits Vietnam and meets Defense Minister Phung Quang Thanh.

: India’s Army Chief General Bikram Singh visits Myanmar and meets President Thein Sein. They discuss border security and bilateral military cooperation.

: Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein visits China and meets Defense Minister Chang Wanquan. They vow to increase military ties.

: New Zealand Defense Minister Jonathan Coleman meets Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in Washington. They agree to resume bilateral military cooperation, which has been suspended for nearly three decades.

: US Korean War veteran Merrill Edward Newman is arrested in North Korea for being a “war criminal” and “infringing upon the dignity and sovereignty of the DPRK and slandering its socialist system.”

: Mongolian Prime Minister Norov Altankhuyag visits China and meets President Xi and Premier Li. They agree to advance their strategic partnership.

: Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev visits China and meets President Xi and Premier Li. They sign 21 bilateral cooperation agreements.

: Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa visits North Korea and meets Foreign Minister Pak Ui Chun. They agree to expand trade ties.

: India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visits Russia and China. He meets President Vladimir Putin and Premier Li. He signs nine bilateral agreements with China including the Border Defense Cooperation Agreement, which pledges neither side will use military means to attack patrols along the border.

: Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy conducts Maneuver 5 maritime exercise involving all three PLAN fleets in the Western Pacific.

: Two Japanese Cabinet members visit Yasukuni Shrine during the Annual Autumn Festival. China and South Korea condemn the visits.

: Philippine President Benigno Aquino visits South Korea and meets President Park. The defense ministers sign a Memorandum of Understanding on bilateral defense.

: ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh visits China and meets Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

: Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop visits Japan, South Korea, and Hong Kong. She meets Foreign Ministers Kishida Fumio and Yun Byung-se.

: South Korean President Park visits Indonesia and meets President Yudhoyono. They agree to establish a special economic zone for South Korean firms.

: China’s Premier Li visits Brunei, Thailand, and Vietnam.

: ASEAN-related meetings including the 23rd ASEAN Summit, the 16th ASEAN+3 Summit, and the 8th East Asia Summit are held in Brunei.

: US, South Korea, and Japan conduct a trilateral naval search and rescue exercise near the southern coast of Korea. North Korea condemns the exercise.

: South Korea’s National Intelligence Service releases report stating North Korea’s Yongbyon nuclear reactor was restarted in August 2013.

: China’s President Xi Jinping visits Southeast Asia for the first time since assuming office in March 2013, with stops in Malaysia for bilateral talks and Indonesia for the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting.

: US-Japan Security Consultative Meeting (2+2) is held in Tokyo.

: US Secretary of State John Kerry visits Japan to participate in the US-Japan Security Consultative Meeting. He also visits Indonesia to attend APEC meetings and Brunei to attend ASEAN-related meetings, filling in at both stops for President Obama. He also visits Malaysia where he addresses the Global Entrepreneur Summit in place of Obama.

: US and Philippines conduct fourth round of talks on increased rotational presence of the US military in the Philippines.

: Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)-related meetings including the Ministerial Meeting and Economic Leaders Meeting are held in Bali.

: Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott visits Indonesia and meets President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. They agree to set up a bilateral framework to address the issue of asylum seekers.

: US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel visits South Korea and Japan.

: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visits the US. He meets President Obama in Washington and addresses the UN General Assembly in New York.

: Taiwan receives the first of 12 refurbished P-3C Orion anti-submarine aircraft from the US based on a 2007 agreement. The remaining aircraft will be delivered by 2015.

: Hun Sen is sworn in as Cambodia’s prime minister for five more years despite opposition party boycott.

: Annual general debate of the UN General Assembly is held in New York.

: Japan’s Prime Minister Abe Shinzo visits Canada and the US. He meets Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper and attends the UN General Assembly.

: North Korea indefinitely postpones planned family reunions for those separated during the Korean War until “a normal atmosphere is created for dialogue and negotiations.”

: China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi visits the US and meets Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, and other senior US officials.

: US and Philippines conduct the annual Bilateral Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) in and around the Philippines.

: Tony Abbott is sworn in as Australia’s 28th prime minister.

: Singapore’s President Tony Tan Keng Yam visits Malaysia and meets Prime Minister Najib Razak and Sultan Abdul Halim.

: Japanese Defense Minister Onodera Itsunori visits Vietnam and Thailand to discuss bilateral maritime security. He meets Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen and Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

: China and ASEAN hold Sixth Senior Officials Meeting on Implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and discuss establishment of a formal code of conduct.

: Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong visits Vietnam and meets Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and President Truong Tan Sang. They advance bilateral relations to a strategic partnership.

: The ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting Plus Counter-Terrorism Exercise is held in Indonesia, involving 10 ASEAN members and eight partner nations.

: US Special Representative for North Korea Policy Glyn Davies visits South Korea, China, and Japan to discuss China’s proposal to restart Six-Party Talks.

: South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye visits Vietnam and meets President Truong Tan Sang. They sign seven cooperation agreements strengthening bilateral trade.

: G20 Leaders Summit is held in St. Petersburg.

: The Philippines accuses China of constructing concrete structures within its territory in the Scarborough Shoal (Philippines: Panatag Shoal; Chinese: Huangyan Island).

: Tenth China-ASEAN Expo is held in Nanning. China’s Premier Li Keqiang proposes an expanded version of the China-ASEAN FTA to enhance regional economic ties.

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