Resources for China-ASEAN relations.
As a research institute based in Singapore, the EA1 monitors
developments in relations and interactions between China and
the individual countries of Southeast Asia as well as the
ASEAN grouping as a whole. This material is presented in the
form of: (1) a chronology of events, and (2) important documents
CHINA-ASEAN RELATIONS, APRIL 2008 TO SEPTEMBER 2008: CHRONOLOGY
Compiled by TENG Slow Song and LIM Chee Kia
1st Vietnam and China launch an international land cable
transmission system built jointly by the China Netcom
Group and Vietnam's Telecom International. It represents
a new information superhighway between China and ASEAN
and will promote co-operation within the China-ASEAN
Free Trade Area.
China and ASEAN jointly declare the opening of the China-ASEAN
Expo Marketing Summit in Nanning. The Expo aims to explore
effective ways to promote the China-ASEAN trade and bring
experts together to discuss major issues concerning development
of the Guangxi region.
4th Guo Shengkun, Secretary of the Party Committee of China's
Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region says that Ho Chi Minh (HCM)
City plays an important role in the implementation of the
Vietnam-China cooperation model of "Two corridors, one economic
belt". At the Guangxi economic and commercial cooperation forum
in HCM, he proposes boosting cooperation in implementation of
agreements reached during the China-ASEAN Seaport Development
Cooperation Forum in 2007.
8th A total of 47 delegates from the government and private sectors
in Guangxi visit Brunei Darussalam to explore business
opportunities. The Brunei-China Friendship Association (BCFA)
Deputy President Ang Swee Chuan, also plays host to the annual
China-ASEAN Expo and speaks of the solid foundation that the
Expo that has laid. He foresees that the Expo will be an ideal
platform for those who vie for comprehensive economic
opportunities among Brunei, China and other ASEAN countries.
The Taiwan Ministry of Finance announces that Taiwan's exports
in March grew 22.8 per cent year-on-year to an all-time high
of USD24.25 billion. Hsu Ray-lin, Deputy Statistics Director
at the Ministry, attributes the record exports to growth in
shipments to Hong Kong, China, ASEAN, South Korea and India.
24th Liu Yunshan, head of the Publicity Department of the Communist
Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, meets media
representatives from ASEAN nations. The representatives are
on a visit to China to attend the China-ASEAN Summit Forum
on Radio and Television.
28th The China-ASEAN Business Council (CABC)'s quarterly report
indicates that bilateral trade between China and ASEAN hit
USD202.5 billion in 2007, surpassing a target of USD200 billion
three years ahead of schedule. China-ASEAN bilateral trade
reached USD54.4 billion in the first quarter of the year, up
26.2 per cent from the same period last year. ASEAN countries
seem to be reaping slightly more benefits so far. China
imported USD28.8 billion worth of goods from ASEAN in the
first quarter. Its exports to the region, on the other hand,
accounted for the remaining USD25.61 billion, resulting in
a trade deficit of USD3.19 billion for China.
2nd Another CABC report states that Malaysia was China's main
trading partner among the ASEAN in the first quarter of the
year with trade up 24 per cent and reaching USD12.2 billion.
China-Malaysia trade accounted for 22 per cent of the overall
trade with the ten-member grouping which totalled USD54.4
billion, a rise of 26.2 per cent, between January and March.
China's exports to Malaysia rose 33.3 per cent to USD4.74
billion while imports increased 18.6 per cent to USD7.41
billion, creating a surplus of USD2.67 billion for Malaysia,
almost unchanged from the USD2.69 billion in same period in
2007. The CABC data show China-Singapore trade was next on
the list, growing by 11.8 per cent to USD11.4 billion with a
surplus of USD2.52 billion for China. During the first
quarter, China increased exports to ASEAN by 34.4 per cent
to USD25.61 billion while imports saw a rise of 19.8 per cent
to USD28.8 billion. China's top five ASEAN trading countries
in 2007 were Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and
6th The Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman tells the
leader of the Taiwanese military to halt a plan to visit the
Truong Sa (Spratlys) archipelago. The Philippines say it is a
provocative act on the part of Taiwan because it would violate
the 2002 China-ASEAN Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in
the South China Sea. Vietnam, Taiwan, China, the Philippines,
Malaysia and Brunei each claim all or part of the oil-rich
Spradys and the nearby Paracels, and all but Brunei have a
military presence on one or more of the otherwise uninhabited
atolls. In 2002, China signed a non-binding code of conduct
agreement in Phnom Penh with the ten-member ASEAN to help ease
the tension. They agreed to a ban on military activities in
the Spratlys. Taiwan was not a signatory because China has
insisted on a one- China policy.
9th Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd calls Myanmar junta's
obstruction of international efforts aimed at helping the
country's hundreds of thousands of cyclone victims "obscene"
and says he will urge China, ASEAN and others with leverage
over the junta to apply more pressure on it.
Guangxi and Thailand hold an economy and trade fair to further
expand and deepen the cooperation activities between the two
sides, as well as to offer services to business partners and
further enhance the actual benefits from trade. Various
high-level forums and meetings on Sino-ASEAN telecommunications
cooperation are also concurrently held during the Fair; seven
investment agreements worth USD120 million are expected to be
signed, including the 5th China-ASEAN Expo cooperation agreement
between Guangxi's Regional Expo Bureau and the Department of
Export Promotion under Thailand's Ministry of Commerce.
12th Laos and China agree to further their co-operation in radio and
television. According to the agreement, the Lao side will allow
China to build the Chinese Central Television (CCTV) network,
channels 4 and 9 in the Lao PDR before the Olympic Games 2008,
while the Chinese side will receive information from Laos for
broadcasting on CCTV. The Chinese side will also help Laos
improve its TV system.
16th Vietnamese State President Nguyen Minh Triet receives 50 Chinese
visitors for a Vietnamese-Chinese friendship get-together. The
Chinese delegation comprises former Chinese ambassadors to
Vietnam, those who directly served the late President Ho Chi
Minh when he lived and worked in China and officials who have
worked at President Ho Chi Minh memorial sites.
22nd A Vietnamese business mission takes part in the fifth
China-ASEAN Trade Fair in Nanning City (Guangxi) to boost
trade and investment relations with China and the bloc.
Participating Vietnamese enterprises introduce domestic key
exports, seek business partners, access channels of
distribution, investment, joint ventures and to take advantage
of the benefits of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area. ASEAN and
China are hoping to build the world's largest free trade area,
and Vietnam is greatly supportive of expanding the bilateral
trade between the bloc and China.
26th ASEAN Secretary-General Dr Surin Pitsuwan hosts the ASEAN-China
Shaanxi Day in Indonesia. The event is to foster closer trade
and business relations between ASEAN and China as part of the
on-going efforts to realise the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area by
2010. This event presents an opportunity for the business
communities from ASEAN and China as well as others to
appreciate the trade and investment prospects that the two
regions offer. In particular, it showcases Shaanxi province,
which is becoming an attractive investment location as Chinese
authorities place more emphasis on the development of
China-ASEAN Resources announces the resignation of Li Wo Hing
as chief executive officer, and deputy chairman of the company
with effect from 23 May 2008. He remains as an executive
director, compliance officer and member of the remuneration
committee. Zhang Zhenzhong is appointed as executive director,
chief executive officer, and deputy chairman, while Alan Leung
is appointed as executive director with effect from
23 May 2008.
31st Chinese President Hu Jintao meets Nong Duc Manh, General
Secretary of the CPV Central Committee at the Great Hall of
the People. The two sides appraise the progress made in the
relations between the two parties and two countries and
unanimously agree to work together to fully develop the
Sino-Vietnamese strategic cooperative partnership under the
16-character guiding principle of "long-term stability,
orientation towards the future, good-neighbourliness and
friendship, and all-round cooperation" as well as in the
spirit of "being good neighbours, good friends, good
comrades, and good partners".
2nd Vietnam and China agree to intensify the efforts of the
Vietnam-China Bilateral Co-operation Steering Committee and
to build an exchange and co-operation mechanism between
concerned agencies of the two parties. They agree to solve
outstanding matters, accelerate work to complete planting on
the two countries' borderline and sign a new document on
border-management regulations in order to build a border
of peace, friendship and co-operation. The two sides pledge
to continue implementing agreements on co-operation in the
Bac Bo (Tonkin) Gulf, the area off the Bac Bo Gulf and
the East Sea.
5th Construction work begins on the second and third phase of the
China-ASEAN Free Trade Zone's RMB1.14 billion Pingxiang
Logistics Park. It will cover 133.33 hectares (2,000 mu) upon
completion in 2010. It will become China's largest logistics
park with the best infrastructure, combining storage,
distribution, transportation, packaging, assembly and
processing, as well as information services.
12th Vietnam was again Guangxi's largest trade partner in the first
quarter of 2008. The bilateral trade value between the region
and Vietnam more than doubled to USD890 million, accounting
for 82.4 per cent of the region's foreign trade value. As a
pioneer of the China-ASEAN cooperation, Guangxi has been
cooperating with Vietnam in the last 20 years in planting,
agricultural product processing, agricultural machinery
manufacturing, power generation and sugar production.
17th According to Guangxi's Ministry of Commerce, the total value
of cargos that were declared qualified by Nanning Customs for
import tariff relief or exemption surged by 93.68 per cent
year-on-year to USD1.226 billion in the first four months of
2008, with the tariff reduction rising by 22.42 per cent to
478 million RMB. More specifically, the import tariff reduction
for cargos under the coverage of conventional tariffs, mainly
the China-ASEAN FTA conventional tariff, stood at 82.24
million RMB in the period.
25th China and ASEAN announce the establishment of a cultural and
artistic exchange centre between China and ASEAN in Nanning.
The ceremony draws more than 100 young artists from the ten
ASEAN member countries that are joining the China-ASEAN Youth
Camp 2008. The centre will become a common stage for young
artists from China and the ASEAN countries and will contribute
to the training and education of young artists
from the two sides.
30th Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao says he hoped China and Thailand
will promote friendly exchanges and pragmatic cooperation
during talks with Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej who
is on a four-day official visit to China. Wen says China and
Thailand have always supported each other and safeguarded
their common interests since forging diplomatic ties
33 years ago.
2nd Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej visiting Guangzhou
endorses a number of contracts with China worth USD400
million. They include deals for two Chinese enterprises to
import USD280 million worth of rubber and USD140 million
worth of fruit from Thailand. Samak says that the
China-ASEAN trade agreements had played a great role in
Thailand-China economic and trade relations.
10th Chairman of the Straits Exchange Foundation Chiang Pin-Kung
says at a seminar hosted by the Bureau of Trade that as Taiwan
explores the possibility of free trade agreements (FTAs) with
China, ASEAN and other major economies around the world, one
of its priorities should be to pay attention to politically
sensitive issues. Under President Ma Ying-jeou's cross-strait
policy, the "common market" could be achieved by first promoting
cross-strait economic and trade liberalization before developing
an economic coordination system, and finally implementing
total economic integration.
A cross-strait common market arrangement could help Taiwan
negotiate an FTA with ASEAN countries. Taiwan has tried in
recent years to establish FTAs with major economies such the
US, Japan, Singapore, Korea and ASEAN, but to no avail, due
to political obstacles. Political and business leaders are
concerned that Taiwan's exclusion from FTAs or regional
economic and trade mechanisms could render it marginalised
in the international community.
Chiang says that Taiwan could follow Hong Kong's lead and sign
a similar agreement with China to better promote Taiwan business
on the Mainland. However, in a bid to alleviate fears that
Taiwan's status would be denigrated in the negotiations with
China, President Ma Ying-jeou has proposed that instead of
the word "partnership" in the pact, Taiwan should aim for
a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA)
23rd Foreign ministers from ASEAN meet to discuss further
cooperation in integrated markets, climate change and regional
security. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qn Gang says that
ASEAN and China have agreed to enhance their cooperation in
order to meet serious challenges posed by rising oil and food
prices, the slowdown of the world economy, depreciation of
the US dollar, rising trade protectionism and natural
disasters. During the meeting, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang
Jiechi says that China is willing to hold high-level dialogues
with ASEAN member countries and exchange views on bilateral
and major international issues. Yang says China will work
closely with ASEAN to speed up the establishment of the
ASEAN-China Free Trade Area as China attaches great importance
to its ties with ASEAN and highly values ASEAN's role in
contributing significantly to peace, stability and prosperity
in the region and the promotion of common development.
30th China plans to appoint its first ambassador to ASEAN to further
strengthen bilateral strategic ties. China is satisfied with
the bilateral ties with ASEAN and has great expectations.
ASEAN also announces that five nations--Australia, China,
Japan, New Zealand and Russia--are appointing ambassadors
to the grouping.
4th ASEAN officials and experts attending a recent 2008 Pan-Beibu
Gulf (PBG) Economic Cooperation Forum agree to accelerate PBG
economic cooperation fusing into China-ASEAN collaboration to
promote the regional economy. They conclude a package of
contracts on cooperation in new energy exploration, tourism,
air transportation, trade and investment. In 2007, China's
trading volume with all Pan-Beibu Gulf nations reached
USD199.27 billion, accounting for 98.4 per cent of China's
total trade volume with ASEAN, totalling USD202.55 billion.
7th ASEAN Ministers meet in Bangkok for the 26th ASEAN Ministers
of Energy Meeting to discuss issues regarding energy
stability, security and sustainability. They also adopt
a roadmap for oil stockpiling.
10th Khun Myint Tun, an exiled Myanmar lawmaker calls on
President Arroyo to lead the ASEAN in taking a more prominent
role with regards to his country. He says the Philippines must
convince ASEAN to reject the Myanmar junta's
roadmap to democracy.
20th Visiting Senior Chinese legislator Zha Peixin calls for further
cooperation between China's top legislature and the parliaments
of ASEAN. Speaking at the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly's
meeting, Zha, head of the Chinese parliamentarian delegation,
says that the National People's Congress of China is willing
to expand exchange and cooperation with the parliaments of
ASEAN members in order to create a mutual beneficial
and win-win situation.
29th Officials of the ASEAN bloc say that ASEAN will try again to
spark investor interest in a much-delayed railway link from
Singapore to Kunming. ASEAN economic ministers say they will
convene a conference and exhibition in early 2009 to
publicise, promote and attract investment for the
Singapore-Kunming Railway Link.
1st ASEAN and dialogue partners China, South Korea and Japan plan
to implement two new projects in 2008 under the ASEAN+3
framework, covering small- and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs)
and e-commerce. China briefs ASEAN economic ministers and their
dialogue partners on the status of the two projects during the
ASEAN Economic Ministers meeting.
5th Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng and Chinese
Vice-Premier Wang Qshan announce the successful conclusion to
two years of FTA negotiations during the 5th meeting of the
Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation. The FTA will boost
economic and trade ties between the two countries even further.
A Memorandum of Cooperation was signed by Nicholas Tandi
Dammen, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN and Wan Qngliang,
Vice Governor of Guangdong at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta.
Under the Memorandum, the ASEAN Secretariat and Guangdong
Province will explore and facilitate cooperation activities
in various areas including agriculture, information and
communications technology, trade and investment, tourism
promotion, energy and environment, education and public
health. To implement these activities, both sides will
undertake regular consultations to promote dialogue and
12th Vietnam and China agree to set up a cooperation mechanism for
ensuring food hygiene in trade, and exchange information and
technicians in this field. An agreement to this effect was
signed in Hanoi by Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Agriculture
and Rural Development Luong Le Phuong and Chinese Deputy
Director of the General Administration of Quality
Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, Wei Chuanzhong.
24th Thailand's Department of Foreign Trade reports that the Dumping
and Subsidy Review Committee chaired by Commerce Minister
Chaiya Sasomsab on 2 September 2008 resolved to impose
anti-dumping (AD) measures on cotton and polyester woven
textiles imported from China. These imports will be subject
to either acceptance of punitive AD duties or collateral
requirement on payment of tariff duties for a period of four
months, effective after the announcement is published in the
Government Gazette. The committee also extended the dumping
investigation until 3 January 2009.
This chronology of events in ASEAN-China relations was sourced mainly
from the ASEAN Secretariat web <http://www.ASEANsec.org/>; The Straits
Times; Bangkok Post; Bernama (Barisan National News Agency);
Comparative Connections: An E-journal on EastAsian 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; The Jakarta
Post; Borneo Bulletin; Associate Press Newswire and Xinhuanet