Resources for China-ASEAN relations.
CHINA-ASEAN RELATIONS, OCTOBER 2008 TO MARCH 2009: CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS
Kerry Asia Road Transport (KART) launches a service between China and Thailand and plans to carry freight to Vietnam later in 2009. The cross border trucking enterprise connects KART's Southeast Asian network with China for the first time. The initial lane is from Kunming, to Bangkok. In the fourth quarter, the Thailand-based Kerry Logistics subsidiary will add a route from Guangxi to Vietnam. KART already provides door-to-door service throughout Thailand and Malaysia and has been building a transport and logistics platform in China for more than 20 years.
Health Ministers of the ASEAN+3 agree that aspects of trade and commerce pose challenges to the health sector. The ministers met in Manila to discuss the progress of their collaboration on health matters which began in 2004.
The ministers task ASEAN+3 senior officials to gather information on the possible implications of international and regional trade and trade agreements for health policy.
Lee Boon Yang, Singapore's Information, Communications and the Arts Minister, lead a delegation to Nanning. Lee was visiting China at the invitation of Wang Chen, China's Minister of State in the Council Information Office, to attend the first Conference of ASEAN-China Ministers Responsible for Information.
An ASEAN-China Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Information and Media is held in Nanning in an effort to enhance cooperation in the field of information. The aim of the meeting is to step up information and media cooperation among ASEAN and China. Information cooperation schemes between ASEAN and China had been proceeding well and needed to be increased. An example was the opening of Indonesia's Antara news agency office in Beijing and of China's Xinhua in Jakarta.
The China-ASEAN Young Entrepreneurs Forum begins in Nanning. It is the first ever such activity held in China to enhance cooperation between young business people. More than 140 entrepreneurs from ASEAN countries take part in the event organised by the All-China Youth Federation (ACYF).
China-ASEAN Agricultural Means Chamber of Commerce, the nation's first regional multinational chamber of commerce that is under the title of "China-ASEAN", makes its debut in Nanning. The chamber plans to undertake the exhibition of agricultural means, agricultural products and foods at Guangxi Exhibition Hall from 2010 when the sixth China-ASEAN Expo will be held there. From 2009, the chamber will handle the China-ASEAN Small and Medium Enterprise Product Thematic Exhibition at Nanning International Conference and Exhibition Centre every March or April.
China proposes strengthening port cooperation with ASEAN at the China-ASEAN Port Cooperation Summit in Nanning. A senior official from China's Ministry of Communications, Ju Zhicheng, says that a port cooperation organisation consisting of port regulators or representatives from port enterprises from both China and ASEAN should be established to regulate the operations of port enterprises and facilitate bilateral investment relations.
Xu Ningning, Vice Secretary-General of China-ASEAN Business Council (CABC), says Construction of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (FTA) is progressing smoothly. From 1 January 2009, the China-ASEAN FTA had entered a third tariff lowering period, and by 1 January 2010, both regions will remove trade tariffs for over 90 per cent of their traded products.
Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan meets ASEAN leaders attending the fifth China-ASEAN Expo in Nanning. He exchanges views on bilateral relations and mutual concerns in his meeting with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Myanmar Prime Minister General Thein Sein, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai and Laos Vice President Boungnang Volachit.
Wang says that the friendly relations between China and ASEAN countries have been greatly developed with beneficial cooperation in economic, trade and investment. Wang says China will work together with ASEAN countries to advance bilateral cooperation and contribute to regional prosperity and stability, particularly in times of global financial fluctuations.
The China-ASEAN Chamber of Agricultural Commerce (CACAC), the first international chamber of commerce between China and Southeast Asia is set up. It aims to build an agricultural supplies market in the region with more benefits to the farmers, agricultural suppliers, trade companies and agricultural institutions in the China-ASEAN Free Trade Zone.
The 5th China-ASEAN Expo opens in Nanning to further cooperation in the region and propose measures to deal with the global financial crisis. Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan attends the opening ceremony with leaders, high ranking officials and businessmen from the ten ASEAN countries.
The first plenary session of the 2nd China-ASEAN High-Level Women's Forum opens in Nanning.
Brunei Darussalam's Ministry of Communications signs an MOU "with China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (ICT). The agreement is aimed at strengthening exchanges in the ICT sector, and is consistent with the basic principles of establishing closer relations between Brunei Darussalam and China. The MOU also covers cooperation between the two parties in activities such as human resource development and training, network and information security, software and hardware technological development, and CT development and cooperation.
China and Singapore sign a free trade agreement. According to the agreement, all Chinese goods exported to Singapore will be tariff-free from 2010. Tariffs on 87.5 per cent of Singapore exports to China will be exempted and the percentage will increase to 97.1 per cent from 2012.
The Seventh Session of the 45-member Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) opens in Beijing. Influenced by the Asian initiative of 1955, ASEM was established 12 years ago in 1996 with the sole objective of strengthening relations between the gigantic and multi-cultural Asia continent and Europe. Since 1996, ASEM has held seven meetings every two years.
Brunei Darussalam businessman, Haji Ismail Haji Damit is appointed an Executive Director of the China-Asean Agriculture Chamber of Commerce (CACAC) at the chamber's first inaugural conference. CACAC, the first international chamber of commerce between China and Southeast Asia, was set up in Nanning on 20 October ahead of the 5th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO 2008) to build a common agricultural supplies market in the region.
The 2nd China-ASEAN Social Development and Poverty Reduction Forum, organised by the International Poverty Reduction Centre in China and Poverty Reduction Office of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, with the theme "Food, Disasters and Poverty Reduction" opens in Nanning. Around 100 policy makers, researchers and practitioners in the field of poverty reduction from Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and China participate in the forum. Representatives from the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, World Food Programme and Asian Disaster Reduction Centre were also present.
The ASEAN Secretariat hosts a delegation from Hubei Province led by Hubei Governor Li Hongzhong. An ASEAN Secretariat-Hubei Forum is held in conjunction with the Governor's visit. The forum is attended by trade representatives from the ASEAN embassies and the business community in Jakarta.
China's Vice Minister for Transport, Gao Hongfeng, makes a courtesy call to Brunei's Minister of Communications Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Awang Haji Abu Bakar bin Hj Apong for a two-day visit to Brunei Darussalam. He says that China would like to share its experience in transport and infrastructure and build bilateral cooperation in the transport sector with Brunei Darussalam.
The chief prosecutors of the 11 nations of Southeast Asia agree to further strengthen legal cooperation in their common fight against transnational crimes during the Fifth China-ASEAN Prosecutors General Conference and sign a joint declaration bearing the commitment. In the joint declaration, the chief prosecutors adopt the six-point recommendations to strengthen and reinforce mutual cooperation and communication among prosecution offices of ASEAN countries and China.
The Shaanxi-ASEAN Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum is held in Jakarta. The Forum is jointly organised by the Shaanxi Provincial People's Government and the ASEAN Secretariat. The aim is to bring together business communities and government officials from ASEAN and China to assess the trade and investment prospects that the two regions have to offer.
Chairman Ma Biao, an official from Guangxi pledges to upgrade cooperation between the region and neighbouring Vietnam by building an economic zone in the next five years. Ma Biao says that his regional government will gradually turn Beibu Bay Economic Zone into a business base as well as the centre for cooperation with ASEAN.
According to Vietnam's Ministry of Finance, Vietnam will apply a new level of special preferential import tax for goods imported from the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA) from 1 January 2009. Most food will be duty-free while coffee and tea will be levied a 25 per cent tax which will be gradually lowered to 15 and 10 per cent, respectively.
China appoints Xue Hanqin as its first ambassador to ASEAN. China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs' spokesperson Qin Gang says that as a nonresident ambassador, Xue will play an important part in boosting China-ASEAN exchanges and cooperation.
A team of Chinese soldiers is close to completing its third landmine sweeping mission on the Sino-Vietnamese border in order to meet the 2008 deadline for border demarcation. When the mission is completed, China and Vietnam will also complete their final land border demarcation.
China implements the China-ASEAN free trade conventional tariffs on some commodities under tariff lines originating from the ASEAN countries and the third-step normal tariff reduction. Thereafter, the number of conventional tariffs will be about 6,750. Compared with MFN rates, the margin of preference is about 80 per cent. In 2009, China's general tariff level is still 9.8 per cent, while the average tariff for ASEAN has been reduced to 2.8 per cent.
The Nanning China-ASEAN Commodity Exchange starts spot trading of urea, diammonium phosphate, calcium magnesium phosphate, domestically made potassium chloride and compound fertilisers.
China's ASEAN envoy Xue Hanqin says that the ACFTA will be completed in 2010 as scheduled. It will establish a huge market covering 1.9 billion people. ACFTA is the first free trade area agreement signed by China. China and ASEAN have defined 11 major fields for future cooperation, including agriculture, information and telecommunications, transport, tourism, Mekong River exploitation, energy, culture, human resources and environment.
The "two conferences" of Guangxi conclude that China and ASEAN were likely to take the lead in promoting settlements in RMB on a trial basis in the first half of 2009. According to the agreement between China and ASEAN, the two parties will reduce their product trade tariffs from more than 90 per cent to zero by 1 January 2010.
Malaysia's Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) says that ASEAN needs to reduce or eliminate other forms of non-tariff barriers to retain its attractiveness to major trading partners and investor nations, particularly the three East Asian countries. The ministry also said that non-tariff barriers or obstacles to trade are marginalising ASEAN gains in duty elimination and incentives offered to investors.
Vietnamese Ambassador to China Nguyen Van Tho meets with Guo Shengkun, Communist Party chief of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous region, in Nanning, capital of Guangxi. He says that he will work to advance the Vietnam-China all-round strategic partnership to a higher level. He indicates that the two country's trade volumes hit US$3.12 billion in 2008, up 31.4 per cent year-on-year. Vietnam has been the largest trade partner of Guangxi for 10 years.
Guangxi launches online trading of its agricultural products at <http://www.ncce.biz>. This is the first time that fertiliser products are traded on a spot market via a commodity exchange in China, significantly shortening the time required for distribution, lowering trading costs and improving farmers' incomes. It is an attempt to speed up the pricing of fertilisers to market-oriented levels and relax control on the distribution sector.
China summons the Philippine Ambassador to China to lodge a stern protest against the Philippine's intention to adopt a bill claiming the Philippine's sovereignty over the disputed South China Sea islands.
Philippine President Arroyo signs a baseline bill into law despite protests from China, claiming parts of the Spratly Islands as Philippine territory. The government is likely to summon the Chinese Ambassador to Manila to explain that the bill did not violate the Code of Conduct on the South China Sea.
Vietnam signs a cooperation deal with the China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (CABIS) Secretariat as part of efforts to expand trade and investment between ASEAN and China. Under the deal, the two sides will enhance cooperation in market information and fieldtrip exchanges as well as build an information portal.
Indonesian Industry Minister Farhmi Idris says that China's Jilin province will soon give technological training to Indonesian workers under the two countries' cooperation agreement in the industrial sector.
Singapore signs an MOU with Guangdong to boost economic ties. At the same time, Singapore's Senior Minister, Goh Chok Tong calls for Guangdong to engage ASEAN. Goh believes there will be many opportunities for bilateral cooperation once the China-ASEAN free trade pact comes into effect in 2010.
Cambodian Commerce Minister Chom Prasit says that Guangxi's Nanning City will be a main bridge linking economic cooperation between China and ASEAN countries.
China asks Indonesia to step up joint security in the ASEAN region, especially during the global financial crisis which is significantly affecting security and defence. Chinese Military and Science Academy (AMS) spokesman Lt Gn Liu Chengjun says that the global financial crisis is having a negative impact on a number of countries, including those in East Asia, and has changed the security situation in East Asia and ASEAN. Several terrorist activities, separatism and cross border crimes such as piracy and human trafficking would probably escalate. A joint security system is thus needed by China and Indonesia, including ASEAN.
This chronology of events in ASEAN-China relations was sourced mainly from the ASEAN Secretariat web <http://wvww.ASEANsec.org/>; The Straits Times; Bangkok Post; Bernama (Barisan National News Agency); Comparative Connections: An E-Journal on East Asian Bilateral Relations <http://csis.org/pacfor/cc/>; Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs <http:www.fmprc.gov.cn>; Far East Economic Review; Peoples' Daily; South China Morning Post; Manila Standard; BBC; Jakarta Post; Borneo Bulletin; Associate Press Newswire and Xinhuanet <http://www.xinhuanet.com>.
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|Author:||Kia, Lim Chee|
|Publication:||China: An International Journal|
|Date:||Sep 1, 2009|
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