Columbia International Affairs Online: Journals

CIAO DATE: 12/2010

U.S.-China Relations Chronology

Comparative Connections

A publication of:
Center for Strategic and International Studies

Volume: 11, Issue: 1 (April 2009)


Full Text

Jan. 4, 2009: Chinese President Hu Jintao speaks by telephone with President George W. Bush about bilateral relations and major international issues of common concern. Jan. 7, 2009: To mark the 30th anniversary of US-China diplomatic relations, ping-pong diplomacy is commemorated by a “Friendship Ping Pong Rematch” in Beijing. ∗ Chronology by CSIS intern Gao Dexiang U.S.-China Relations 32 April 2009 Jan. 7, 2009: Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi meets Deputy Secretary of State John D. Negroponte, who comes to mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of Sino-U.S. diplomatic relations. Jan. 8, 2009: Ma Xiaotian, deputy chief of general staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, meets with Secretary Negroponte and urges the U.S. to take actions to repair military ties seriously damaged by U.S. arms sales to Taiwan. Jan. 12, 2009: President Hu meets former President Jimmy Carter as the two nations mark the 30th anniversary of diplomatic ties. The U.S. delegation to the Beijing celebrations includes key figures in forging relations such as former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, National Security Advisors Brent Scowcroft and Zbigniew Brzezinski, and former U.S. ambassadors. Jan. 13, 2009: A Chinese-born businessman William Tsu Cha-Wai is arrested in California on charges of illegally exporting sensitive technology for military radar systems to China. Jan. 13, 2009: The U.S. Commerce Department announces a U.S.-China trade agreement that will allow U.S. officials to conduct inspections of facilities of pre-approved Chinese companies, paving the way for those companies to receive U.S. exports of dual-use technology. Jan. 13, 2009: China joins the Inter-American Development Bank Group (IDB), the most important regional development institution in Latin America and the Caribbean. Jan. 16, 2009: The American Chamber of Commerce in China (AmCham-China) announces three goals to strengthen Sino-U.S. economic ties to be met by 2039. John Watkins, chairman of AmCham-China, says the goals each set at $1 trillion a year are: U.S. exports to China, sales of U.S. companies in China, and investment of Chinese companies in the U.S. Jan. 18, 2009: China and the U.S. sign a memorandum of understanding restricting the U.S. import of archeological items originating in China. Jan. 20, 2009: The World Trade Organization (WTO) establishes an expert panel to investigate the legitimacy of U.S. antidumping and countervailing duties on Chinese exports. Jan. 20, 2009: At a press conference in Beijing marking the release of China’s White Paper on National Defense, Defense Ministry spokesman Hu Changming urges the new U.S. administration to remove barriers to bilateral military relations. Jan. 21, 2009: An official “full text” Chinese language translation of President Barack Obama's Jan. 20 inauguration speech is published in major state-controlled Chinese news media omits two paragraphs including references to “communism” and “dissidents.” Jan. 24, 2009: In written comments submitted to the Senate Finance Committee for his confirmation hearings, Treasury Secretary-designate Timothy Geithner says that President Obama believes that China is “manipulating” its currency. U.S.-China Relations 33 April 2009 Jan. 25, 2009: Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hold a telephone conversation on bilateral relations and major international issues of common concern. Jan. 27, 2009: Zhang Yesui, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations, meets Susan Rice, the new U.S. ambassador to the UN, and exchanges views on Sino-U.S. relations and other world and regional issues of common concern. Jan. 28, 2009: Sens. Bob Casey (D-PA) and Sam Brownback (R-KS) introduce a resolution to Congress that calls on China to honor its international human rights commitments, commends the Chinese citizens who have signed the recently issued Charter 08 petition, and urges the new administration to maintain a strong human rights dialogue with China. Jan. 29, 2009: At the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao blames the U.S.-led financial system for the world’s deepening economic slump. Jan. 30, 2009: President Hu has a telephone conversation with President Obama. The two leaders agree to meet in conjunction with the Group of 20 (G20) summit in London. Feb. 3, 2009: Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu expresses opposition to the U.S. decision to impose sanctions on two Chinese companies that allegedly violate U.S. anti-proliferation laws. According to the U.S. Federal Register, the two Chinese companies, Dalian Sunny Industries and Bellamax, allegedly engaged in activities that breach the Arms Export Control Act and the Export Administration Act of 1979. Feb. 6, 2009: The Chinese General Administration of Customs announces that China-U.S. bilateral trade expanded 10.5 percent last year to $ 333.74 billion, the smallest increase since China joined the World Trade Organization seven years ago. Feb. 13, 2009: Secretary Clinton delivers her first major policy speech as secretary of state on U.S. relations with Asia to the Asia Society in New York. Feb. 17, 2009: The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission holds its first public hearing for the 2009 reporting cycle on “China’s Role in the Origins of and Response to the Global Recession.” Feb. 21-22, 2009: Secretary Clinton visits China, her last stop on a four-nation tour. Feb. 25, 2009: China lodges protest to the U.S. in response to the introduction of a resolution by 17 members of Congress marking the 30th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act. Feb. 26, 2009: State Department releases its annual human rights report, which harshly criticizes China for human rights abuses last year. Feb. 26, 2009: Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu refutes the U.S. human rights report and urges the U.S. to stop interfering in the domestic affairs of other countries through such reports. U.S.-China Relations 34 April 2009 Feb. 27-28, 2009: Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense David Sedney holds annual Defense Policy Coordination Talks in Beijing with Maj. Gen. Qian Lihua, director of the Foreign Affairs Office of the Ministry of Defense. March 3, 2009: U.S. special representative for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea Stephen Bosworth arrives in Beijing. March 4, 2009: The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission holds a hearing on “China’s Military and Security Activities Abroad.” March 9, 2009: Pentagon releases a statement that Chinese ships harassed a U.S. surveillance vessel in international waters, using measures described as illegal, unprofessional and dangerous. In turn, China accuses the U.S. of conducting illegal surveying in its Exclusive Economic Zone. March 9-13, 2009: Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi visits the U.S. as a guest of Secretary Clinton. March 10, 2009: The State Department issues a statement marking the 50th anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan uprising that respects China’s territorial integrity, but expresses concerns about the human rights situation in Tibetan areas. March 11, 2009: Congress passes H. Res. 226 by a vote of 422-1 calling on China to cease its repression of the Tibetan people and to lift the harsh policies imposed on Tibetans who have been wrongfully detained and abused for expressing political views. March 13, 2009: At the close of the National People’s Congress, Premier Wen Jiabo demands that the Obama administration “guarantee the safety” of its $1 trillion in U.S. bonds. March 20, 2009: Zhou Xiaochuan, head of the People’s Bank of China, proposes the creation a new international reserve currency in an essay published on the central bank’s website. March 20, 2009: Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and a visiting delegation of China's National People's Congress (NPC), headed by Li Zhaoxing, chairman of the NPC Foreign Affairs Committee, agree to expand bilateral parliamentary exchanges. March 24, 2009: The House of Representatives votes unanimously to adopt a resolution recognizing the 30th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act. March 24, 2009: The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission holds a hearing on “China’s Industrial Policy and its Pillar Industries.” March 25, 2009: The Pentagon releases its annual report on Chinese military power. April 1, 2009: Presidents Obama and Hu meet on the margins of the G20 summit in London.