US - China

Chronology from Jan 2006 to Mar 2006

: White House issues a statement expressing grave concern about Beijing’s repatriation of a North Korean refugee, Kim Chun-hee. It urged China not to return refugees without allowing the UN High Commission for Refugees access to them.

: U.S. and the EU request WTO dispute settlement consultations with China in response to its alleged unfair treatment of imported auto parts.

: Chinese delegation headed by Jiang Enzhu, chairman of the NPC’s Foreign Affairs Committee, leads delegation to Washington and holds eighth round of formal meetings with the House of Representatives under the Inter-Parliamentary exchange mechanism.

: Under Secretary for International Affairs Tim Adams testifies at a Senate Finance Committee hearing on “U.S.-China Economic Relations Revisited.”

: USTR Rob Portman names Stephen Kho, acting chief counsel for China enforcement, and Terry McCartin, deputy assistant U.S. trade representative for China enforcement, as co-chairs of the USTR’s new China Trade Enforcement Task Force, which will oversee China’s trading practices.

: Commerce Secretary Gutierrez arrives in Beijing for meetings with senior Chinese economic officials to finalize the agenda for the meeting of the Sino-U.S. Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade to be held in Washington April 11.

: Sens. Schumer (D-NY), Graham (R-SC) and Coburn (R-OK) travel to China to discuss China’s currency valuation, IPR protection, and Chinese barriers to foreign investment. They meet FM Li Zhaoxing, Commerce Minister Bo Xilai, Central Bank Gov. Zhou Xiaochuan and Vice Premier Wu Yi, and engage with students at Qinghua University.

: Assistant Secretary of Defense Peter Rodman delivers remarks before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission on “China’s Military Modernization and Export Controls.”

: Sen. Lugar (R-IN) introduces legislation calling for “a formal coordination agreement with China and India as they develop strategic petroleum reserves.”

: The White House releases National Security Strategy of the United States of America that reasserts the administration’s belief in the doctrine of preemption and encourages China to act as “a responsible stakeholder.”

: Secretary Rice travels to Indonesia and Australia, where she calls on China to open its economy and be more transparent about its military buildup.

: In remarks to the Asia Society in Washington, Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez calls on China to reduce its trade surplus with the U.S. and improve protection of IPR.

: U.S. Pacific Command delegation visits China as part of a program for bilateral military exchanges agreed during Secretary Rumsfeld’s October visit to China.

: U.S. Coordinator for International Intellectual Property Enforcement Chris Israel, testifying in before a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation subcommittee, says China has made limited progress toward improving its IPR situation, and those efforts are undermined by lack of political will and corruption.

: State Department releases annual report detailing human rights abuses in China. China’s State Council responds, accusing the U.S. of human rights abuses.

: At a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Chairman John Warner questions whether the U.S. would come to Taiwan’s defense if the island’s leaders precipitated an incident by changing the status quo.

: Chinese FM Li Zhaoxing, speaking on the sidelines of the NPC, calls on the U.S. to work with China to maintain peace in the Taiwan Strait. Li also suggested that the U.S. remove restraints on high-technology exports to China to improve the trade imbalance between the two countries.

: China holds annual session of the National People’s Congress (NPC).

: John Negroponte, director of National Intelligence, presents the “Annual Threat Assessment” to the Senate Armed Services Committee. China is described as “a rapidly rising power with steadily expanding global reach that may become a peer competitor to the United States at some point.”

: Chen Shui-bian announces that Taiwan’s National Unification Council will “cease to function.” Hu calls the move “a dangerous step on the road toward ‘Taiwan Independence.’” State Department spokesman says “It’s our understanding that President Chen did not abolish it, and he reaffirmed Taiwan’s commitment to the status quo.”

: Chinese VM of Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi visits Washington and meets Deputy Secretary Zoellick, National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, and Assistant Secretary Christopher Hill to discuss President Hu Jintao’s upcoming visit to U.S. and concerns about Taiwan.

: Rep. Rob Simmons (R-CT) travels to Taiwan. He calls for Taiwan to approve the purchase of the U.S.-offered arms package and meets with Chen Shui-bian.

: House holds hearing on “The Internet in China: A Tool for Freedom or Suppression.”

: USTR releases a report to Congress on U.S.-China trade calling for the more stringent application of trade laws, the creation of “a China Enforcement Task Force,” and more bilateral dialogue.

: NSC Acting Senior Director for Asian Affairs Dennis Wilder and Clifford Hart, director of the State Department’s Taiwan Desk, reportedly travel secretly to Taiwan to try to dissuade Chen Shui-bian from abolishing the National Unification Council.

: Sens. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) introduce legislation to withdraw normal trade relations treatment for China.

: Department of Defense releases its Quadrennial Defense Review.

: Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte testifies to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Current and Projected National Security Threats to the U.S.  China is identified as “a rapidly rising power with steadily expanding global reach that may become a peer competitor to the United States at some point.”

: The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission holds hearings on “Major Challenges Facing the Chinese Leadership.”

: Congressmen accuse U.S. companies Microsoft, Yahoo!, Google, and Cisco of helping the Chinese government enforce censorship and track down “dissidents.” The companies call on the U.S. to engage the Chinese government to affect change in China.

: Officials from the U.S., China, Britain, France, Germany, and Russia meet in London to discuss the Iran nuclear issue.

: U.S. reaffirms the “one China” policy in response to Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian’s Lunar New Year’s address calling for the abolition of Taiwan’s National Unification Guidelines and National Unification Council.

: Senate refers a resolution to the Committee on Foreign Relations that calls on the international community to condemn the laogai, the system of forced labor prison camps in China.

: At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says that the U.S. should engage China and encourage it to become a responsible stakeholder in the international community. China also has the responsibility to reform its economic system to conform with international standards.

: The U.S.-China Business Council reports that trade with China is “clearly beneficial” for the U.S. as the U.S. experiences higher GDP, increased efficiency, and lower prices as a result of trading with China.

: Deputy U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Karan Bhatia calls for China to be more responsible and take more of leadership role in global trading, even extending beyond its WTO requirements.

: Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick visits Beijing and Chengdu.

: China’s legislator Wu Bangguo calls for the legislative bodies of China and the U.S. to have closer ties when meeting Lisa Murkowski, chairwoman of the Asia-Pacific group of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

: Cao Gangchuan, China’s minister of national defense, expresses readiness to expand military relations with the U.S. on the basis of mutual benefit and equal consultation during his meeting with a delegation from the U.S.-China Working Group.

: U.S. Reps. Mark Kirk and Rick Larsen, founders of the House of Representatives’ China Working Group, visit China for the first time since the establishment of the group last June.

: The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006 is approved by the president and both houses of Congress. The Act prohibits the secretary of defense from procuring goods and services from China except under a waiver that deems a purchase necessary for national security purposes.

: President Bush names Commander of U.S. Pacific Command Adm. Fallon as the next commander of Central Command, which covers the war efforts in Iraq.

: Chinese Vice FM Yang Jiechi meets Secretaries Rice and Paulson as part of his trip to Washington.

: Sheng Huaren, vice chairman and secretary general of the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress (NPC), exchanges views with U.S. Senate President pro tempore Ted Stevens on relations and parliamentary exchanges between the two countries in Hawaii.

: Sens. Norm Coleman (R-MN) and Barack Obama (D-IL) establish Senate China Working Group to look more closely at China’s growing economic, political, and military influence and its implications for American interests.

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