Columbia International Affairs Online: Journals

CIAO DATE: 12/2010

China-Southeast Asia Relations Chronology

Comparative Connections

A publication of:
Center for Strategic and International Studies

Volume: 11, Issue: 1 (April 2009)


Full Text

Jan. 6-9, 2009: Zhou Tienong, vice chairperson of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, arrives in Brunei for an official visit and meets Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah to discuss closer collaboration between the two countries on regional and international affairs. Zhou then makes a follow-on visit to Singapore, meeting Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to exchange views on the current state of bilateral political and economic ties as well as on cross-Strait relations. Jan. 11-15, 2009: Zhou Tienong leads a delegation of Chinese legislators for the 17th annual conference of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum in Laos. Jan. 12, 2009: President Hu Jintao issues a formal message to his Indonesian counterpart, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, to express his condolences to the victims of a capsized Indonesian passenger ferry carrying more than 250 people. Jan. 15, 2009: In her first, exclusive interview with Xinhua, newly appointed Chinese Ambassador to ASEAN Xue Hanqin explains her role and vision in this new post. Jan. 20, 2009: Jia Qinglin, chairperson of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), meets Ong Tee Keat, Malaysian minister of transport and head of the Malaysian Chinese Association to discuss areas for further cooperation. Jan. 24, 2009: According to Chinese media reports, 10 kidnapping victims, formerly held for ransom in Myanmar, were released and have returned safely to Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province. The provincial public security department official indicates that the Chinese civilians were illegally detained, and that since 2005, there has been a rise in such kidnapping incidents. Feb. 17, 2009: On the 30th anniversary of the Chinese invasion of Vietnam, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu makes a brief comment: “History has already made its conclusions, we hope we will put behind the past and face the future.” According to an AFP news report, Chinese authorities did not mark the event in any official way and no public commentary or article was aired or published in the Chinese media. Feb. 19, 2009: Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wang Guangya issues a formal protest to the charge d’affaires of the Philippine Embassy in Beijing in response to the passage of a bill by the Philippine Congress indicating that the Scarborough Reef and parts of the disputed Spratly Islands belong to the Philippines. Feb. 20, 2009: Jia Qinglin meets King Norodom Sihamoni of Cambodia in Beijing. The two leaders agree to improve and expand high-level exchanges and promote further bilateral political and economic cooperation. Sihamoni acknowledges China’s longstanding support and continued assistance for Cambodia. China-Southeast Asia Relations 69 April 2009 Feb. 20, 2009: Ye Dabo, the newly appointed Chinese ambassador to Myanmar, meets Prime Minister Gen. Thein Sein and Deputy Foreign Minister U Maung Myint. According to official Chinese statistics, bilateral trade amounted to $2.6 billion in 2008, a 26 percent increase from 2007. Chinese exports to Myanmar accounted for close to $2 billion, an increase of 16.4 percent from the previous year, and China’s imports from Myanmar reached nearly $650 million, an increase of 71 percent. Feb. 23, 2009: Minister of Defense Liang Guanglie meets Royal Thai Army Commander-in-Chief Anupong Paochinda in Beijing. They agree to enhance bilateral relations and build greater trust through an increase in exchanges between their military forces. Feb. 23, 2009: Chinese and Vietnamese officials gather to celebrate the completion of land border demarcation and lay down the boundary markers. More than 100 officials from both sides participate in the ceremony at the border gate in Pingxiang City of Guangxi Province. Feb. 25, 2009: Chinese State Councilor and Minister of Public Security Meng Jianzhu meets senior officials from Cambodia, including Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sar Kheng in Shanghai to discuss bilateral cooperation to clamp down on cross-border narcotics trade and transnational crimes. Feb. 27-March 1, 2009: Chinese Ambassador to ASEAN Xue Hanqin attends the 14th ASEAN Summit in Hua Hin, Thailand. March 6, 2009: Ma Xiaotian, deputy chief of general staff of the PLA, visits Singapore and meets Defense Minister Teo Chee-hean for the second China-Singapore Defense Policy Dialogue. March 6, 2009: Chinese Ambassador to Indonesia Zhang Qiyue announces the donation of $100,000 from Beijing to the ASEAN Fund to support its socio-economic development projects throughout the region. March 15, 2009: China dispatches Yuzheng 311, a decommissioned vessel in the South China Sea Fleet of the PLA Navy, to patrol the South China Sea, monitor the Gulf of Tonkin, offer rescue operations and protection for fishery accidents, conduct escort missions around the Spratly and Paracel Islands, and demonstrate China’s sovereignty over the disputed islands. March 18, 2009: Chen Bingde, chief of the general staff of the PLA, visits Nay Pyi Taw and meets with the head of Myanmar’s State Peace and Development Council Gen. Than Shwe. The two leaders review the state of bilateral relations, emphasizing that the good, neighborly relations between China and Myanmar are established under the principles of friendship, collaboration, and noninterference in each other’s internal affairs. March 19, 2009: Vice Premier Li Keqiang meets Indonesia’s acting Coordinating Minister for Economy Sri Muyani Inrawati in Beijing to discuss stepping up bilateral economic activities and exchanges. Li announces that China is willing to help develop Indonesia’s infrastructure and agrees to provide financial assistance for a new 10,000 megawatt power plant in Indonesia. China-Southeast Asia Relations 70 April 2009 March 19-20, 2009: State Councilor Dai Bingguo visits Hanoi and meets Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Gia Khiem for the third meeting of the China-Vietnam Steering Committee on Cooperation. They agree to launch the “China-Vietnam Friendship Year” in 2010 to mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two sides. March 23, 2009: Li Jianguo, vice chairman and general secretary of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, visits Kuala Lumpur and meets Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to discuss relations between China and Malaysia. March 24-26, 2009: Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi visits Bangkok and meets his Thai counterpart Kasit Piromya to exchange ideas for furthering bilateral relations. China