CHINA-ASEAN REVIEW 2001
China-Brunei Relations ....................................................... 1
Sino-Cambodian Relations .................................................. 5
Sino-Indonesian Relations .................................................10
Sino-Lao Relations ...........................................................16
Sino-Myanmar Relations ..................................................25
Sino-Philippine Relations ..................................................34
Sino-Singaporean Relations ...............................................43
Sino-Thai Relations ..........................................................50
Sino-Vietnamese Relations ................................................65
Taiwan-Vietnam Relations ...............................................78
Taiwan-Cambodia Relations .............................................82
Taiwan-Indonesia Relations ..............................................85
Taiwan-Malaysia Relations ..............................................89
Taiwan-Philippine Relations .............................................94
Taiwan-Singapore Relations ..............................................99
Taiwan-Thailand Relations............................................ 102
CHINA-ASEAN GENERAL 2001
China is hoping to strengthen its coordination and cooperation with ASEAN in regional and international
affairs, according to a statement by Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan. At a dialogue meeting
between the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) and China (ASEAN 10+1) which opened in
Beijing, Tang said the developments of the last few years are indicative of the solid foundation and huge
potential of the friendly relations and cooperation between China and ASEAN.
The ASEAN 10+1 meeting followed a multilateral forum between ASEAN and its ten dialogue partners
(ASEAN 10+3) earlier in the day.
“The two sides should step up cooperation among the 10+3 mechanism to promote the steady growth of
cooperation in East Asia,” Tang said adding that, “China is ready to carry out cooperation of various
forms with ASEAN and make its positive contribution in non-traditional security sectors, such as the fight
against drug trafficking, smuggling, and illegal immigration.” In August, China, Laos, Myanmar, and
Thailand will meet in Beijing for a drug-control meeting at the ministerial level.
Meanwhile, Tang voiced China‟s support for ASEAN‟s policies of peace, freedom, and neutrality, and
takes a positive attitude towards accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia. He
said the Chinese side backs ASEAN‟s effort to build a Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone, and
hopes that ASEAN and the five nuclear powers reach agreement through early consultation, so that China
can sign the Protocol declaring such a zone as soon as possible.
Tang reaffirmed China‟s readiness to conduct all-round cooperation with ASEAN in agriculture, human
resources development, development of the Mekong River Basin, information technologies, and mutual
investment in the first few years of the new century.
Chronology of China-Brunei Relations 2001
15 May President Jiang Zemin met Sultan of Brunei Darussalam Haji Hassanal Bolkiah at the
APEC High Level Meeting on Human Capacity Building in Beijing.
21 May Li Peng, chairman of the Standing Committee of China‟s National People‟s
Congress, arrived in Brunei for an official goodwill visit.
22 May Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan held talks with visiting Brunei Foreign
Minister Pengiran Muda Mohamade Bolkiah, expressing satisfaction with the development of
23 May Chinese Vice-Premier Qian Qichen met with Prince Mohamad, foreign minister of
Brunei, who was on an official visit to China.
29 August - Princess Masma of Brunei visits Beijing.
20 October Chinese President Jiang Zemin met Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah of Brune in
Shanghai to attend the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting.
2 China-ASEAN Review 2001
This year saw the seventeenth anniversary of Brunei‟s independence and high level visits of both Chinese
and Brunei officials to each other‟s country. Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah had in-depth talks with
China‟s top legislator Li Peng during the latter‟s visit to his country, and the two leaders agreed to further
expand cooperation between the two countries. Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan held talks in China
with visiting Brunei Foreign Minister Pengiran Muda Mohamade Bolkiah, expressing satisfaction with the
development of Sino-Brunei relations.
President Jiang Zemin sent a congratulatory message to Brunei‟s head of state, Sultan Haji Hassanal
Bolkiah, on the seventeenth anniversary of its independence, and expressed confidence that bilateral
friendly relations and cooperation would be further strengthened in the coming years.
Marked progress has been achieved in the development of relations between the two countries in recent
years, Jiang said in his message. At the present time, bilateral cooperation in political, economic and other
fields is expanding, Jiang said. “I am deeply convinced that, through our joint efforts, China and Brunei
would see their good-neighbourly relations of cooperation further consolidated and strengthened in the
Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan also sent a congratulatory message to his Brunei counterpart,
Pengiran Muda Mohamad Bolkiah on the same occasion. Bilateral cooperation in various areas was
further strengthened after President Jiang‟s visit to Brunei in 2000, Tang said. He promised to continue to
work closely with his Brunei counterpart to implement their joint communiqué on bilateral relations,
signed in November 2000.
President Jiang Zemin met Sultan of Brunei Darussalam Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, while the Sultan was in
Beijing to attend the APEC High Level Meeting on Human Capacity Building.
“Relations between China and Brunei have been developing in political, economic, cultural, and other
sectors since the two countries established diplomatic relationship ten years ago,” Jiang said.
He said the two countries have carried out a number of projects, which have helped enhance mutual
understanding and friendship between the two countries. Brunei successfully hosted the eighth informal
leadership meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in 2000.
He said China and Brunei enjoyed traditional friendship and that their bilateral relationship had developed
smoothly over the past decade, with more cooperation in the fields of agriculture and education.
Li Peng, Chairman of the Standing Committee of China‟s National People‟s Congress (NPC), arrived for
an official goodwill visit to Brunei at the invitation of the Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah.
The visit was Li‟s first trip to Brunei and also the first visit by a chairman of the Standing Committee of
the NPC. Li was accompanied by his wife Zhu Lin and Vice Chairman of the NPC Standing Committee,
Tomur Dawamat and other senior officials.
At the airport, Li received a warm greeting by Brunei Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Mohamad
Bolkiah and his wife, and accompanying ministers, including the Minister of Communications Zakaria
Sulaiman, deputy ministers and permanent secretaries and their wives, as well as senior officials from the
Royal family and government. Chinese Ambassador to Brunei Qu Wenming was present to greet Li and
China-ASEAN Review 2001 3
Li‟s trip follows Chinese President Jiang Zemin‟s state visit to Brunei in November 2000 and is aimed to
enhance the “good-neighbourly and cooperative relations” between the two countries.
The visit came a week after Li had met with Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah in Beijing where the Sultan,
together with Chinese President Jiang Zemin, jointly officiated the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation
(APEC) High-Level Meeting on Human Capacity Building.
During the visit, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and Li Peng held in-depth talks and the two leaders agreed to
further expand cooperation between the two countries. During the talks, Li commented, “China attaches
great importance to the development of its ties with Brunei. I hope my current visit could further
strengthen the friendly cooperation, and deepen the traditional friendship between the two countries and
He said that all countries, big or small, are equal in the international community and China would enhance
its good-neighbourly, friendly and cooperative relations with Brunei and other members of the
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-
Li also promised to maintain high-level exchanges and expand economic and trade cooperation between
the two countries. Bolkiah said that the two countries should work together to consolidate existing
relations and make contributions to peace and development in the region.
In honour of the visit, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Her Majesty Saleha, and Her Royal Highness Mariam,
gave a banquet in the evening for the Li and his wife Zhu Lin. The two leaders had brief talks before the
start of the banquet that was attended by around 400 people.
During the banquet, the two leaders spoke highly of the traditional friendship and good-neighbourhood
between the Brunei and China, and expressed confidence that this relationship would develop further in
the new century.
Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan held talks with visiting Brunei Foreign Minister Pengiran Muda
Mohamade Bolkiah, expressing satisfaction with the development of Sino-Brunei relations.
While extending his appreciation to the success of the APEC High Level Meeting on Human Capacity
Building co-chaired by China and Brunei, Tang expressed his warm welcome to Mohamad, who served as
a founder of Brunei‟s diplomatic ties with China ten years ago.
China has always valued good neighbourly relations with the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian
Nations) countries including Brunei, said Tang, adding that China is willing to move forward with the all-
around cooperation on the basis of equality, mutual respect, and mutual benefit. Mohamad shared Tang‟s
view on bilateral ties, noting that the constant exchange of visits, by high-level leaders from each country,
has enhanced and would increase bilateral ties.
The two foreign ministers also exchanged views on bilateral trade and economic cooperation and on
international and regional issues of common concern. Mohamad would also attend the Third ASEM
(Asia-Europe Meeting) Foreign Ministers Meeting, on 24- 25 May.
Li Peng, chairman of the Standing Committee of China‟s National People‟s Congress, left for South
Korea after concluding a three-day visit to Brunei.
During his stay in Brunei, Li met and held official talks with Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah. The two
leaders exchanged views on bilateral relations between China and Brunei and other issues of common
concern. Brunei was the second leg of Li‟s three-nation Asian tour. He visited Cambodia before arriving
in Brunei and ended his tour in South Korea.
4 China-ASEAN Review 2001
Prince Mohamad, foreign minister of Brunei, made an official visit to China. Apart from talks with his
counterpart, Chinese Vice-Premier Qian Qichen, he also attend the Foreign Ministers‟ Meeting of the
ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting).
Recalling bilateral historical relations, Qian noted that 2001 sees the tenth anniversary of China-Brunei
diplomatic ties, and in the past ten years there have been many exchanges and contacts between leaders of
the two sides. Meanwhile, the development of bilateral relations has been smooth and bilateral, friendly
cooperation in various fields has been continuously expanded.
Qian expressed his appreciation for Mohamad‟s important contributions to the development of bilateral
relations in the past years, his admiration for Brunei‟s unique and constructive role in regional affairs, and
his thanks for Brunei‟s assistance and support for China.
Chinese Vice-Premier Qian Qichen said that China would, under the guidance of the China-Brunei joint
communiqué issued in 1999, strengthen cooperation with Brunei to make new progress in bilateral
relations. Qian made the remark in meeting with visiting Brunei Princess Masna who visited China as part
of the two countries‟ tenth anniversary of diplomatic ties.
Qian noted that in the past ten years, the two countries have had more high-level contacts and substantial
results in various fields such as politics, economy, trade and culture. New highs of bilateral cooperation
have emerged in recent years, added Qian. He spoke highly of the Brunei Royal Family‟s important
contribution in this area, commenting that China has always valued its friendship and cooperation with
Qian also expressed his appreciation for Brunei‟s achievements in economic and social development and
its positive role in promoting regional cooperation. Masna voiced her pleasure at visiting China again and
participating in commemorative activities marking the tenth anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties.
Chinese President Jiang Zemin met Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei, who travelled to Beijing to
attend the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting. .
Bolkiah spoke highly of the smooth development of relations between Brunei and China. Jiang said he
was satisfied with the expanding cooperation in all fields between the two countries and appreciated
Bolkiah‟s contribution to enhancing bilateral relations.
He congratulated Bolkiah on the honorary doctorate in International Relations awarded to him by the
Beijing Foreign Studies University. Jiang said he is confident that new progress would be made in China-
China and Brunei have worked together very well in dealing with APEC affairs, Jiang said, citing the
APEC High Level Meeting on Human Capacity Building jointly hosted by the two countries in Beijing in
May. By hosting that meeting, Jiang said the two countries have contributed to pushing forward the
The two leaders also exchanged views on global issues of common concern. Bolkiah expressed gratitude
for the honorary doctorate and said he is willing to further contribute to enhancing bilateral ties and
educational exchanges between the two countries.
China-ASEAN Review 2001 5
Chronology of Sino-Cambodian Relations 2001
10 January Cambodian Senate President Chea Sim Norodom Ranariddh and Prime Minister
Hun Sen met separately with the visiting delegation of the Chinese People‟s Political
14 February Hun Sen held talks with Chinese Defence Minister Chi Haotian.
26 March Chea Sim arrived in Beijing for a four-day visit.
31 March An Min, Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation of
China arrives in Cambodia for a five-day official visit.
21 April The Association for Promoting Peaceful Reunification of China is established in
18 May Li Peng begins official goodwill visit to Cambodia.
13 December Wei Jianxing, standing committee member of the Political Bureau of the
Chinese Communist Party Central Committee met with Hun Sen and Chea Sim in Cambodia.
Many high-level visits took place between Cambodian and Chinese dignitaries in 2001. In February,
Chinese Defence Minister Chi Haotian arrived in Phnom Penh on a five-day goodwill visit to Cambodia,
while in April King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia visited China. Cambodian Senate President Chea
Sim visited Beijing in March and met with Li Ruihuan, Chairman of the National Committee of the
Chinese People‟s Political Consultative Conference. An Min, Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Trade and
Economic Cooperation visited Cambodia in March at the invitation of the Cambodian Ministry of
Commerce. In addition, many economic exchanges took place, with China providing aid and technical
cooperation. For example, China and Cambodia signed an Exchange of Notes on the donation of goods
to the poverty eradication scheme, the “Krom Samdech Euv” of King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia
on 17 May.
A delegation of the Chinese People‟s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) visited Cambodia and
met separately with Chea Sim, president of the Senate, Norodom Ranariddh, President of National
Assembly, and Prime Minister, Hun Sen. The Cambodian leaders all expressed the hope that they would
further enhance and strengthen the ties of traditional friendship and cooperation between Cambodia and
Chea Sim expressed thanks to the Chinese government and the people for their support and assistance to
the Cambodian government, especially for the positive role it played in politically and peacefully resolving
the Cambodian issue.
Norodom Ranariddh briefed the Chinese guests on the Cambodian situation, saying that Cambodia
remains stable and has entered into an economic development period. The Cambodian people attributed
this to the role played by King Sihanouk and the unity and cooperation between the two major ruling
6 China-ASEAN Review 2001
parties — the Cambodian People‟s Party and the Funcinpec Party, he said. He stressed that Cambodia
supported the “One China” policy.
When meeting with the CPPCC delegation in the Council of Ministers, Prime Minister Hun Sen said that
economic cooperation has increasingly become an issue of common concern in the process of global
economic integration. The Cambodian premier stressed that the steady economic development in China
would play an increasingly bigger role in safeguarding legitimate rights of developing nations in the region.
Chinese Defence Minister Chi Haotian, who is also vice chairman of China‟s Central Military Commission
and state councillor, made an official visit to Cambodia. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said that the
friendly cooperative relations between Cambodia and China have been continuously developing in the
past years, especially after the historic visit by Chinese President Jiang Zemin November 2000 which
pushed the relationship to a new stage.
Hun Sen made the remarks during the talks with Chi. He congratulated China on achievements made in
economic construction, saying that China has played an important role in safeguarding peace and stability
in the region and the world.
During the talks, Chi praised the positive effort made by Hun Sen in developing the friendship between
Cambodia and China and said he also appreciated the Cambodian government for its valuable support for
China on the Taiwan issue and its human rights policy.
Chi said that China and Cambodia had reached consensus in opposing power politics and hegemony,
maintaining national stability and the development of the economy.
He affirmed that China would, as always, firmly support Cambodia in strengthening national
reconciliation and focusing on economic development.
Cambodia‟s King Norodom Sihanouk said that the visit of Chinese Defence Minister Chi Haotian would
enhance the friendship between Cambodia and China. The king made these remarks in his Royal audience
with Chi at the Royal Palace.
Sihanouk said that the Chinese leaders of three generations had made industrious efforts in developing the
friendship between the two countries. The king valued the visit of Chinese President Jiang Zemin in 2000,
saying that his historic visit to Cambodia had further enhanced the traditional friendship between the two
Chi said that King Sihanouk is an old and good friend of Chinese leaders and the Chinese people, who has
dedicated his life to the Sino-Cambodian relationship, and created, together with the Chinese leaders of
three generations, the profound friendship between the two countries. Chi also stated that Sihanouk also
has made a “splendid contribution” to strengthening and developing the “good neighbourly relationship”
between China and Cambodia.
He commented that the Chinese army would do its best to implement the consensus in the military field
reached by King Sihanouk and President Jiang Zemin during his visit, and promote the ongoing
relationship between the two armies.
Cambodian Senate President Chea Sim made an official four-day visit to China following an invitation
from Chairman Li Ruihuan of the CPPCC.
Li expressed gratification for the support to China on issues like Taiwan, Tibet, and human rights by King
Sihanouk and the Cambodian government, saying China is willing to further boost cooperation in all fields
through joint efforts. Li suggested that the CPPCC and the Cambodian Senate both play an important role
in the political life of their respective countries, and their friendship would stimulate overall cooperation in
China-ASEAN Review 2001 7
Chea Sim agreed with Li on his assessment over bilateral ties and thanked the Chinese government
supporting Cambodia‟s efforts in realising peace and national unity, and economic development. Chea
also met with Chinese President Jiang Zemin for talks during the visit.
The Association for Promoting Peaceful Reunification of China was established in Cambodia in April.
The association aims to unite overseas Chinese in Cambodia to oppose attempts to promote Taiwanese
independence, thereby contributing to China‟s national unity. The association‟s regulations state that,
“There is only one China in the world.”
King Norodom Sihanouk reaffirmed that Cambodia would firmly adhere to the “One-China” policy,
stressing that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China. The king made the remarks when meeting a
delegation from the China-Cambodia Friendship Association, headed by its president Gu Xiulan at the Royal
Palace on 23 April. Sihanouk expressed his welcome to the delegation, saying that the delegation‟s visit
would enhance the friendly relationship between Cambodia and China.
Li Peng, chairman of the Standing Committee of NPC, arrived for an official four-day visit to Cambodia
at the invitation of Cambodian President of National Assembly, Norodom Ranariddh and Prime Minister
Hun Sen. Li is the first chairman of the NPC Standing Committee to visit Cambodia since the
establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Cambodia in 1958.
During his stay, King Norodom Sihanouk granted a Royal audience to Li. He met with Senate President
Chea Sim, and separately held talks with Ranariddh and Hun Sen, in which they exchanged views on the
regional and international issues of common concern and apparently reached consensus on further
promoting traditional friendship between China and Cambodia.
Li Peng met Cambodian Senate President Chea Sim and the two sides agreed to increase contacts and
expand cooperation between China‟s NPC and the Cambodian parliament.
Chea said that Li‟s current visit would further promote the existing friendship and cooperation between
the two parliaments as well as the two countries.
Li Peng concluded his visit to Cambodia and left for Brunei, the second-leg of a three-nation trip to Asia.
Wei Jianxing, standing committee member of the Political Bureau of the CPCCC and a member of the
Secretariat of the CPCCC, visited Cambodia to hold talks with PM Hun Sen. Wei and his delegation
visited Cambodia on an official visit at the invitation of the Cambodian People‟s Party and Funcinpec
Party. He also met with senior officials of the two parties
Hun Sen and Wei Jianxing held talks of issues of mutual interest, exchanging the usual pleasantries;
Cambodia acknowleding the “One China” policy, China noting the value it places on the “traditional
friendship” between the two countries, and pledging to assist in its ongoing economic development.
Wei said that China was willing to work together with the Cambodia to promote the Sino-Cambodian
relationship, and to carry out the Joint Declaration on mutual cooperation signed by the two sides. Hun
Sen said that great progress has been made between the two countries and the ruling parties in recent
years, with both sharing “broad common views” not only on bilateral relations, but also on regional and
8 China-ASEAN Review 2001
Wei Jianxing later met with Chea Sim, Chairman of the Cambodian People‟s Party and President of the
Senate. The two sides exchanged views on the relationship between the two parties and two countries and
other issues of common concern. Wei expressed thanks to the People‟s Party for inviting him to lead the
CPC delegation to visit Cambodia, and conveyed greetings from the CPC General Secretary Jiang Zemin,
and CPPCC Chairman Li Ruihuan.
Prime Minister Meets Chinese Vice Minister of Trade
Prime Minister Hun Sen said that the government would continue promoting economic and trade
relations between Cambodia and China. Hun made the remark when meeting with An Min, vice minister
of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation of China, who arrived for a five-day official visit on 31
March at the invitation of the Ministry of Commerce of Cambodia.
Hun Sen stressed that this visit would build on the consensus reached in November 2000, during the visit
of Jiang Zemin, and encourgaged Chinese companies to invest in Cambodia.
Minutes of Economic and Trade Cooperation Meeting Signed
The Minutes of the First Meeting of the China-Cambodia Economic and Trade Cooperation Committee
(CCETCC) was signed by An Min, China‟s vice trade minister, and Sok Siphanan, secretary of state of the
Cambodian Commerce Ministry on 2 April. During the meeting, the Chinese and Cambodian sides
briefed each other on the economic situation of each country and reviewed the development of bilateral
trade and economic cooperation.
The two sides agreed: to enhance the exchange of visits and communications between the governments
and the business communities; and strengthen cooperation in the agricultural sector. China agreed to
encourage Chinese enterprises to invest in Cambodia, while the Cambodian side would provide
information on potential profitable projects.
Agreement of on Donation of Goods
China and Cambodia signed an Exchange of Notes on donation of goods to King Norodom Sihanouk‟s
poverty eradication programme, “Krom Samdech Euv” on 17 May.
Chinese Ambassador Ning Fukui signed the Exchange of Notes with Minister of the Royal Palace of the
Kingdom of Cambodia, Kong Som Ol at the Royal Palace.
According to the document, China would provide “Krom Samdech Euv” of King Sihanouk with goods
valued at one million Yuan (about US$122,000) and be responsible for shipping the goods to the port of
Chinese Provide Assembly Steel Bridges
The Chinese Government announced plans to provide Cambodia with highway assembly steel bridges
worth 50 million RMB (about US$6.04 million). Ouk Rabang, Secretary of State of the Finance Ministry,
and Peng Gang, Chinese commercial counsellor, signed the contract at the Ministry of Finance on 18 July.
The contract is part of the plan to implement the economic and technical agreements signed between
China and Cambodia during the state visit to Cambodia by Chinese President Jiang Zemin in November
in 2000. The China Xi‟an International Economic and Technical Trade Corporation is to provide the
assembly steel bridges.
China-ASEAN Review 2001 9
Chinese Help in Rural Water Supply Sector Development
Chinese Ambassador Ning Fukui handed over 500 tube wells to Ly Thuch, Cambodian Minister of the
Rural Development, in Kompong Speu, capital of Kompong Speu Province, on 7 September. It was the
second Chinese grant aid for rural water supply development in Cambodia, with the first awarded in April
The project worth around 16 million Yuan (about US$2 million) will help Cambodia construct 1,000 tube
wells to provide about 250,000 people in rural areas with clean drinking water.
Four buildings, including a library donated to the Cambodian Senate by China, were officially inaugurated
on 4 October. The construction of the facilities began on 15 November, 2000.
Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia, Ning Fukui said the China-donated library, office buildings, gates, and
roads were contribution to the improvement of working conditions and environment of the Senate of
Cambodia, and the development of Sino-Cambodian friendly relations.
Water Well Agreement Signed
An Exchange of Notes was signed by China and Cambodia on 16 November where China agreed to assist
Cambodia drill 500 water wells for civil use in rural areas. Secretary of State for Foreign Ministry, Uch
Kiman and Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Ning Fukui signed the agreement at the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
The Chinese government agreed to drill 500 water wells for the country. The expenses would be defrayed
from the remaining sum of the grant stipulated in the Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation signed
on 13 November. 2000 between the two governments.
China has already drilled 1,000 water wells for Cambodia for civil use in various provinces.
Congratulations on Winning Games Bid
The National Olympic Committee of Cambodia congratulated China for its successful bid to host the
2008 Olympic games. My Samedy, president of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC),
congratulated his Chineses counterpart and expressed that the two Olympic committees would strengthen
their mutual relationship through sport activities.
China Supplies Criminal Investigation Equipment
China has provided the Ministry of Interior of Cambodia with 30 sets of criminal investigation equipment
worth RMB 550,000 (US$67,400). Sar Kheng and You Hockry, Co-Ministers of the Ministry of Interior,
and Ning Fukui, Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia, signed the certificate on delivery of the equipment on
Hok Lundy, Cambodia‟s national police chief, told reporters after the signing ceremony that the
equipment was important for the Ministry of Interior to detect criminal cases, adding that in the past
criminal evidence had to be sent to neighbouring countries, such as Thailand. The new equipment would
reportedly allow more criminal evidence to be analysed in Cambodia.
10 China-ASEAN Review 2001
China to Provide Medicine
Under an agreement made in November 2000 between China and Cambodia, Chinese Ambassador Ning
Fukui and Cambodian Minister of Public Health, Hong Sunhuot signed an Exchange of Notes at the
Ministry of Public Health on 5 December, under which China would provide Cambodia with medicine
worth RMB 7 million (about US$843,000).
At the request of the Cambodian Health Ministry, China agreed to give Cambodia medicines instead of
relief materials originally agreed by both sides.
Chinese Defence Minister, Chi Haotian arrived in Phnom Penh on a five-day goodwill visit to Cambodia.
Chi, also vice chairman of China‟s Central Military Commission and a state councillor, came at the
invitation of Cambodia‟s Co-Defence Ministers, Tea Banh and Prince Sisowath Sereyrath.
In a written statement issued at the Phnom Penh Pochetong Airport, Chi said that his visit was aimed at
expanding military cooperation in various fields and implementing the agreement reached by the leaders
of China and Cambodia during Chinese President Jiang Zemin‟s visit to Cambodia in 2000.
“To further cement and promote Sino-Cambodia friendship in the new century not only serves the
fundamental interests of the two peoples, but also contributes to peace and stability in the region, “ Chi
Chea Sar Ren, Deputy Army Commander of the Cambodian armed forces, led a delegation to China to
hold talks with Chinese Defence Minister, Chi Haotian. Chi, also Vice-Chairman of the Central Military
Commission and a state councillor, said that the armed forces of the two countries “should promote
contacts, mutual understanding and trust to further the friendly relations in all fields”.
Chea Sar Ren commented that the delegation felt that the Chinese People‟s Liberation Army was
undertaking a modernisation programme, and was a model for the Cambodian armed forces.
Chronology of Sino-Indonesian Relations 2001
23 April Memorandum of Understanding on Agriculture and Fisheries signed between
Chinese Vice-Premier Wen Jiabao and Indonesian Minister of Maritime and Fisheries
24- 25 May Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan met with his Indonesian counterpart
Alwi Shihab at the ASEM Foreign Ministers‟ Meeting.
17 October Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan met with Indonesian Foreign Minister
Hasan Wirayuda in ?
19 October Chinese President Jiang Zemin met with Indonesian President Megawati
Sukarnoputri who was in Shanghai to attend the APEC Summit.
7 November Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji arrived in Jakarta for a five-day official visit.
China-ASEAN Review 2001 11
In 2001, the Indonesian government sought closer ties with China and was considering moving forward to
“a higher level of mutual and beneficial cooperation with the country,” according to Indonesian Foreign
Minister Alwi Shihab. Chinese President Jiang Zemin sent a congratulatory message to Megawati
Sukarnoputri on her election as the President of Indonesia in ?. In his message, Jiang said China and
Indonesia have made great progress in advancing their friendly exchange and cooperation in the fields of
politics, economy, trade, science, and technology in recent years. Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji arrived in
Jakarta in November on a five-day official visit to Indonesia. Economic cooperation continued apace,
with Indonesia agreeing to supply LPG gas to China amidst other trade activities.
The Indonesian government seeks closer ties with China and it is considering moving forward to a higher
level of mutual and beneficial cooperation with the country, Foreign Minister Alwi Shihab said.
“We have no diplomatic ties with Taiwan. And if you say that Taiwanese leaders would pay visits here, of
course, we would reject them. But if they are businessmen, or people who want to invest here, they are
free to come here,” he said.
In addition, outlining the country‟s foreign policy in 2001, Shihab said Indonesia has set four agendas in
connection with its diplomatic programs, namely (1) enhancing diplomatic relationships; (2) increasing
bilateral ties; (3) increasing extradition agreements with other countries; and (4) boosting socio-economic
and cultural cooperation with the international community. He said the Association of Southeast Asia
Nations would remain as the cornerstone of the country‟s foreign policy.
Indonesian Foreign Minister Alwi Shihab said China plays an important part internationally in the wake of
the Soviet Union‟s downfall.
“At the moment, China has a very important role in the constellation of international politics following
the downfall of the Soviet Union,” Shihab told the House of Representatives (DPR) Commission for
Security and Foreign Affairs in a hearing.
Emphasizing the importance of close relations with China, Shihab said: “Indonesia should also be able to
use (the position of China) to improve our foreign relations as well as our diplomacy. Moreover, in the
United Nations (UN), China always backs our position in dealing with East Timor and human rights
issues,” Shihab said.
“Economically, China is also a good partner for Indonesia in particular for the developing of tourism
industry,” he added, citing the government has adopted an open door policy to Chinese citizens.
It also eased procedures for visa permits and revoking a clearinghouse that was aimed at boosting Chinese
arriving in the country. The clearinghouse process was installed by former president Soeharto in a bid to
prevent the spread of communism in Indonesia.
“There is no discrimination against Chinese citizens. We treat all foreigners without discrimination,”
The Chinese side would make concerted efforts with all ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting) members for the
success of the third ASEM Foreign Ministers‟ Meeting scheduled for 24 and 25 May. Chinese Foreign
Minister Tang Jiaxuan made the remark in a meeting with his Indonesian counterpart Alwi Shihab.
Tang spoke highly of the development of Sino-Indonesian friendship and cooperation in various fields in
recent years, saying that China would, in the spirit of bilateral cooperative documents, continuously push
12 China-ASEAN Review 2001
forward the development of bilateral friendship and cooperation, and economic and trade cooperation in
Tang expressed his thanks for Indonesia‟s understanding and support in the past years on the issues of
Taiwan, Tibet, and human rights. Shihab said China is a close friend of Indonesia and the current bilateral
ties are the best in history.
He voiced appreciation for the Chinese government‟s consistent support for Indonesia‟s unremitting
efforts to safeguard sovereignty, territorial integrity, and national unity.
Shihab also briefed Tang on the political situation in Indonesia. Tang said that China is greatly concerned
over the development of the current situation in Indonesia and sincerely hopes that Indonesia remains
stable politically and can make progress in economic construction.
Chinese President Jiang Zemin sent a congratulatory message to Megawati Sukarnoputri on her election as
the president of the Republic of Indonesia.
China and Indonesia have made great progress in advancing their friendly exchange and cooperation in
the fields of politics, economy, trade, science, and technology in recent years, said Jiang in his message.
He recalled that the two countries issued last year a joint statement outlining the direction for future
bilateral cooperation. Jiang pledged to make continuous efforts for the establishment and development of
lasting and stable neighbourly ties with Indonesia based on mutual trust and mutual cooperation.
Top Chinese leaders sent congratulatory messages to Indonesian leaders on the occasion of the 56th
Anniversary of the Independence Day of the Republic of Indonesia. In a message to his Indonesian
counterpart Megawati Soekarnoputri, Chinese President Jiang Zemin said China and Indonesia are
friendly neighbouring countries and the friendship between the two peoples dates back to ancient times.
Jiang said during recent years, friendly exchanges and cooperation in political, economic, trade, and other
fields between the two countries have continued to grow. He recalled that at the turn of the century,
China and Indonesia signed the Joint Statement on the Future Directions of Bilateral Cooperation, which
shows how longstanding the relationship between the two countries is.
Jiang also expressed his willingness to join hands with Megawati in exerting unremitting efforts for the
continuous promotion of the mutual trust and mutual cooperation between China and Indonesia.
Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji said made similar comments in his correspondence with the new president.
The friendly exchange and cooperation in political, economic, trade and other fields between China and
Indonesia have been taking on a good momentum of development over the recent years, said Premier
Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan agreed with his Indonesian counterpart Hasan Wirayuda that the
two countries would further cement their ties by expanding cooperation in international and regional
In a meeting with Hasan, Tang said it is the established policy of the Chinese government to develop
long-term and stable cooperative relations with Indonesia on the basis of friendship and mutual trust.
China is willing to make concerted efforts with Indonesia to implement their joint statement on bilateral
cooperation, he said.
Tang said China firmly supports Indonesia‟s sustained efforts to maintain national unity and restore
economic development, adding that China would enhance cooperation with Indonesia in international and
regional affairs. Indonesia hopes to further expand bilateral friendly cooperation, said Hasan. Hasan, who
China-ASEAN Review 2001 13
is in Shanghai to attend ministerial meetings of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, spoke
highly of China‟s efforts in hosting the meetings, which he said would be successful.
Chinese President Jiang Zemin met with Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri in Shanghai, who
will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders Meeting due to open on 20 October
in that city.
Megawati said that she has long wished to visit China, since the two countries have established a good
relationship. She also expressed the hope that bilateral ties between Indonesia and China would further
Jiang said, Megawati reminded him of her father Sukarno, who was one of the founders of friendly
relations between the two countries. Jiang expressed confidence that these relations would grow even
further during Megawati‟s term of office. As two friendly neighbours, Jiang said, China would as always
support the Indonesian government‟s efforts to safeguard Indonesia‟s territorial integrity, national unity,
and harmony among all its ethnic groups.
Jiang said he was happy to see that situation in Indonesia had stablized recently and that the Indonesian
economy is recovering gradually. President Jiang recalled his participation in the APEC meeting held in
Indonesia in 1994.
Jiang invited Megawati to visit China next year at her convenience, and Megawati accepted Jiang „s
invitation with pleasure. The two leaders also exchanged views on the anti-terrorism issue, maintenance of
regional peace and peace in the world, and other issues.
Indonesian People‟s Consultative Assembly (MPR) Chairman Amien Rais said Chinese Premier Zhu
Rongji‟s upcoming visit to Indonesia would strengthen relations between the two countries. “Our past
experience with China, when diplomatic ties between Beijing and Jakarta were severed, have been buried
at the historical cemetery, let‟s forget about it. The most important thing now is to look at the future for
the needs of both countries, “ Rais told Xinhua.
Rais, who is also General Chairman of the National Mandate Party, said the Chinese Premier‟s upcoming
visit has a great influence on the sector of economy such as international trade. As two big countries,
Indonesia and China may discuss a lot of issues on economy, he said, adding that China‟s economy is the
healthiest in Asia.
Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji arrived in Jakarta noon on a five-day official visit to Indonesia, with an aim
to further the good-neighbourly cooperative relations between the two countries in a long-term and steady
manner, at the invitation of the Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri.
Upon his arrival at the Halim Military Airport, the Chinese Premier and his wife Lao An were warmly
greeted by a number of Indonesian high-ranking officials including Foreign Minister Hasan Wirayuda,
State Minister for Culture and Tourism I Gde Ardika and various Indonesian-based Chinese diplomats.
In a written statement issued upon his arrival, Zhu said: “China and Indonesia are friendly neighbours.
And our two peoples have profound traditional friendship. In recent years, with the concerted efforts of
the two sides, the bilateral relations have been further consolidated and developed and the mutually
beneficial cooperation in various fields has produced great results, bringing tangible benefits to the two
peoples and contributing significantly to the regional stability and development.”
Zhu Said he would exchange views with Megawati on bilateral relations and international and regional
issues of mutual interest, and meet Indonesians from all walks of life.
14 China-ASEAN Review 2001
“I hope this visit would enhance mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples and
promote the healthy development of Sino-Indonesian good-neighbourly relations of mutual trust and all-
round cooperation,” the Chinese premier noted.
During the visit, Zhu is expected to hold talks with Megawati, meet a number of Indonesian leaders
including the People‟s Consultative Assembly Chairman Amien Rais and the House of Representative
Speaker Akbar Tandjung, and attend a cooperation-agreement signing ceremony and to make an
important speech before the Indonesian business circle.
This is the second leg of Zhu‟s current Southeast Asian trip. He came here from Brunei, where he took
part in the fifth leaders meeting between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China,
Japan and the Republic of Korea. At the meetings Zhu proposed to make common efforts to boost the
economic development and enforce the stability in East Asia and build a China-ASEAN free trade zone.
Visiting Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji stressed the need for China and Indonesia to boost mutually
beneficial cooperation in various spheres.
China would continue to support Indonesia‟s unremitting efforts in safeguarding territorial integrity,
national unity, and the coexistence of its ethnic groups, Zhu said in his talks with Indonesian President
It is China‟s firm policy to consolidate and develop the traditional friendly bilateral relations fostered by
the leaders of the old generation, Zhu said. He proposed to the Indonesian president that the two nations
enhance mutual understanding and cooperation between their government departments, political parties,
and congresses through various channels, in addition to keeping the frequent exchange of visits and
contacts at the high level. Zhu said the two nations should cooperate in trade on the basis of equality,
mutual benefit, long-term cooperation and mutual development. He also called for more cultural and
educational bilateral exchanges and cooperation, which have played a positive role in promoting common
understanding and friendship between the two peoples.
Megawati said Indonesia is looking forward to the support and help of China in both its national
economic development and regional affairs. According to official statistics, the bilateral trade volume
amounted to US$7.5 billion last year, and the figure reached five billion dollars in the first nine months of
this year, despite a global economic downturn. Both Zhu and Megawati agreed that priority should be
given to agriculture, energy, resources development, and infrastructure construction.
Following their talks, the two leaders signed a number of accords including the agreement on cultural
cooperation and the agreement on avoiding dual taxation and preventing tax dodging and tax evasion.
The two countries also signed four memoranda of understanding on encouraging more Chinese travellers
to Indonesia, agricultural cooperation, and China‟s free economic and technical assistance to Indonesia, as
well as on the possibility for the Bank of China to open a branch in Indonesia.
Memorandum of Understanding on Agriculture and Fisheries
Chinese Vice-Premier Wen Jiabao said that China expects to strengthen its friendly cooperation with
Indonesia in agriculture and fisheries. Wen made the remarks in a meeting with Indonesian Minister of
Maritime and Fisheries Sarwono Kusumaatmaja and his party on 23 April.
The two countries are both big countries in agriculture and fisheries, Wen said, adding that they should
further their cooperation in these fields. He said that the memorandum of understanding on fishery
cooperation signed by the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and the Indonesian Ministry of Maritime and
Fisheries shows the expectation of the Indonesian government to enhance the friendly cooperation with
China-ASEAN Review 2001 15
China in various areas. China is also willing to further enhance its political and economic cooperation with
Indonesia, Wen added.
China’s Exports to Indonesia
Facts and figures about China‟s exports to Indonesia in the first four months of 2001, released by the
General Administration of Customs:
Overall exports: US$927.372 million, up 7.0 percent year on year.
Machinery and electronic products and audio and video equipment: US$290.494 million.
Textile raw materials and products: US$81.129 million.
Chemical products: US$111.152 million.
Base metals and products: US$72.934 million
Plant products: US$42.046 million.
Minerals: US$147.461 million
Indonesia to Supply LP Gas to China
Indonesia is willing to supply liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) on a long-term basis to China‟s first LPG
project in Guangdong Province, said a high-ranking official from the Indonesian government on 19 July.
According to Purnomo Ysgiantoro, the minister of Energy and Mineral Resources of Indonesia, Indonesia
owns two LPG plants with a combined yearly production capacity of over 34.3 million tons. The
Indonesia State Oil & Gas Mining Company (PERTAMINA) plans to construct a third LPG centre in
Tangguh district in eastern Indonesia and ship the Tangguh gas to south China‟s Guangdong Province. As
the world‟s largest LPG provider, PERTAMINA operates 14 LPG trains in Indonesia.
Tangguh district has proven gas reserves of 14.4 trillion cubic feet and probable gas reserves of 3.9 trillion
cubic feet. PERTAMINA hopes to bring on stream four new LPG trains in Tangguh and build up a
combined production capacity of 14 million tons.
PERTAMINA believes that the low development costs in Tangguh and the short transportation distance
between Tangguh and Guangdong would place the project at a very favourable position for beating other
competitors in seeking the supply contract for the Guangdong LPG project.
The Guangdong LPG project, sponsored by the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, is to be
situated at Chentoujiao in Dapeng Bay, Shenzhen. The project‟s first phase would incorporate a 3 million
tons /year LPG receiving terminal and a 300 km natural gas trunk line sprawling across the Pearl River
Delta. Operation of the terminal is scheduled for 2006. In 2008, when the second phase of the
Guangdong project is put into operation, its receiving capacity would be increased to 5 million tons and
the pipeline grid length extended by over 180 km.
Business Community of Indonesia
Visiting Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji said on 8 November that the economic cooperation and trade
between China and Indonesia as well as other ASEAN countries should be constantly upgraded.
Speaking at the dinner hosted by the Business Community of Indonesia in his honour, Zhu said China
and Indonesia, with a long-standing friendship and as big developing countries with huge markets, enjoy
an immense potential for cooperation.
“Last year, Sino-Indonesian trade amounted to US$7.46 billion, seven times that of 1990 when we
restored diplomatic ties. China has become the fifth largest trading partner of Indonesia. Chinese
investment in Indonesia has been growing year by year,” Zhu stated.
He continued, “Last year, the two-way trade topped US$39.5 billion. In the first three quarters of this year,
such trade registered a total of US$30.3 billion, representing a 6.8 percent increase over the same period of
16 China-ASEAN Review 2001
the previous year. The results are by no means easy given the remarkable slowdown in world economy
Zhu note that in the new century, the economic cooperation and trade between China and Indonesia as
well as other ASEAN countries should be constantly upgraded.
To this end, Zhu proposed the following several suggestions: expanding the trade ties between China and
Indonesia in diverse forms; strengthening cooperation in agriculture, energy, resources development, and
infrastructure sectors; and jointly promoting China-ASEAN economic cooperation and trade. China
stands ready to work together with Indonesia and all other ASEAN countries to further improve
cooperation mechanisms, constantly broaden the dimensions of cooperation and foster greater
development of China-ASEAN trade and economic relations, the Chinese premier noted.
Chronology of Sino-Lao Relations 2001
11 March Khamtay Siphandone, president of the Lao People‟s Revolutionary Party
and the Lao People‟s Democratic Republic, met with a visiting delegation of the
Communist Party of China.
17 April Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan held talks with visiting Lao Deputy
Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Somsavat Lengsavad, celebrating fortieth
anniversary between both countries.
11 March Khamtay Siphandone, president of the Lao People‟s Revolutionary Party
and the Lao People‟s Democratic Republic, met visiting Chinese Communist Party
delegation led by Luo Gan, member of the Political Bureau of the fifteenth CPC Central
Committee, to attend the seventh congress of the Lao People‟s Revolutionary Party.
18 April Chinese Vice-president Hu Jintao met in Hanoi with Khamtay Siphandone,
President of Laos and the Lao People‟s Revolutionary Party.
18 April Wei Jianxing, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of
the Communist Party of China Central Committee, met with Osakan Thammathewa, a
member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Lao People‟s
5 February Chinese Defence Minister Chi Haotian arrived in Vientiane at the start of
a four-day official goodwill visit to Laos.
7 February Lao Prime Minister Sisavath Keobounphanh met with visiting Chinese
Defence Minister Chi Haotian.
6 December Chinese Defence Minister Chi Haotian met with visiting Ay
Souliyaseng, vice-defence minister of Laos and his party.
Boungnang Vorachith and Choummali Sayasone were elected prime minister and vice president of Laos in
March, drawing congratulations from Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji and Vice President Hu Jintao. A
reception was held at the Great Hall of the People in April, to mark the fortieth anniversary of the
establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the Laos and attended by Deputy Prime Minister
China-ASEAN Review 2001 17
and Foreign Minister Somsawat Lengsavad who was on an official state visit to China. There were also
extensive high-level governmental, party, and defence exchanges. On the economic front, the Lancang-
Mekong River, the first international waterway linking China with southeast Asia, opened to commercial
navigation in June; the Chinese government also announced that it would invest more than US$5.06
million to help Myanmar and Laos dredge a section on the Mekong River.
Acknowledging the need for further cooperation in the stamping out of drug trafficking, Ministers in
charge of drug control from Laos, Myanmar and Thailand arrived for the China, Laos, Myanmar and
Thailand Ministers‟ Meeting on Drug Control Meeting in August.
Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji and Vice President Hu Jintao respectively greeted their newly elected Lao
counterparts, Prime Minister Boungnang Vorachith and Vice President Choummali Sayasone.
In a message sent to Vorachith, the Chinese premier, on behalf of the Chinese government and himself,
congratulated him on his election as the prime minister of the Lao People‟s Democratic Republic. The
Chinese government attaches importance to the traditional friendship between China and Laos and would
continue, as always, to develop good-neighbourly relations between the two countries, Zhu said. He
believed that during Vorachith‟s premiership, Laos would make even greater achievements in its opening
drive and economic development. In a separate message to Sayasone, Hu said China and Laos had long
enjoyed a traditional friendship.
He expressed the belief that under the guidance of the joint declaration on the bilateral cooperation
between China and Laos, which was signed during Chinese President Jiang Zemin‟s visit to Laos in
November 2000, the cooperative relations between the two countries, characterized by long-term stability
and mutual trust, would develop further in the new century.
A reception was held at the Great Hall of the People to mark the fortieth anniversary of the establishment
of diplomatic relations between China and the Laos. Vice-Chairman Buhe of the Standing Committee of
China‟s National People‟s Congress (NPC) and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Somsawat
Lengsavad of the Lao People‟s Democratic Republic, who is currently on an official visit to China,
attended the reception.
The Chinese People‟s Association sponsored the reception for Friendship with Foreign Countries
(CPAFFC) and the Sino-Lao Friendship Association. Addressing the reception, CPAFFC President Chen
Haosu reviewed the traditional friendship between the two peoples.
During the past 40 years since the forging of diplomatic ties, Sino-Lao relations have developed into a
relationship characterized by mutual reliance and support, equality, non-interference, and sincere
cooperation, which is in the fundamental interest of the two peoples and conducive to the peace, stability,
and development of the region, he said.
During his official visit to the Laos in 2000, President Jiang Zemin and President Khamtay reached
consensus on bilateral ties and signed a joint statement on bilateral cooperation, which defined the
development orientation of relationship, he said. Chen believes that the Sino-Lao relations would achieve
new development in the new century.
Lao Ambassador Soukthavone Keola said that the Laos and China, as close neighbours, have cooperated
in all fields on the basis of mutual respect, equality, and mutual benefit. The Lao government highly
appreciates its friendship with China and is grateful for China‟s long-term support to the Laos, he said,
adding the Laos would continue its efforts to develop a strong, stable, and long-term relationship between
the two countries.
18 China-ASEAN Review 2001
Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan held talks with visiting Lao Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign
Minister Somsavat Lengsavad.
Tang said that the development of bilateral relations between the two countries over the past four decades
has been marked by the warm friendship and cooperation.
Somsavat is visiting China on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic
relationship between the two countries. In recent years, Tang said, exchanges of high-level visits have
been frequent and cooperation in various fields has deepened, Tang said.
During Chinese President Jiang Zemin‟s successful state visit to Laos in November 2000, a joint
declaration on bilateral cooperation was signed by the two sides, which clearly defined the bilateral
relationship in the new century, the Chinese foreign minister added.
Tang said China is willing to work with Laos to enhance friendly cooperation with Laos in various fields
and make unremitting efforts to establish a long-term, stable, and all-round cooperative relationship of
mutual trust between the two countries.
Somsavat spoke highly of Laos-China relations and expressed thanks for the help and support given by
the Chinese government to Laos over the years. He said the exchange of visits by top-leaders in 2000
opened a new chapter in their bilateral relationship.
Khamtay Siphandone, president of the Lao People‟s Revolutionary Party and the Lao People‟s
Democratic Republic, met the visiting delegation of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
He said he is very glad to see the delegation, led by Luo Gan, Member of the Political Bureau of the
fifteenth CPC Central Committee, to attend the seventh congress of the Lao People‟s Revolutionary Party.
“This would certainly strengthen the friendly relations and cooperation between the two rulings parties,
two countries and two people of Laos and China,” he said.
Luo Gan on behalf of the CPC Central Committee, expressed congratulations for the Lao party congress.
Luo said the two rulings parties of China and Laos share common goals and ideals, and have been
expanding relations in an all-round way during recent years.
“China always attaches great importance to the traditional Sino-Lao friendship of bilateral good-
neighbourliness and cooperation. We should continue to learn from each other and support each other,”
he said. At the invitation of the central committee of the Lao People‟s Revolutionary Party, Luo and his
delegation arrived to pay a seven-day visit to the country. The delegation would attend the seventh Lao
party congress, which is to be held here between 12 and 14 March.
Jiang Zemin, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), sent a
telegram to congratulate Khamtay Siphandone on his re-election as the President of the Lao People‟s
Revolutionary Party at the seventh congress of the party.
In the telegram, which was presented after the closing session of the congress by Luo Gan, leader of the
visiting CPC delegation, and Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, Jiang said he
sincerely and ardently congratulates Khamtay in the name of the CPC Central Committee and himself.
Jiang said that he is very glad to witness the new achievements and victories gained by Lao people during
their renovation, opening-up and state-construction course under the leadership of the Lao party, since
the Sixth Congress of the Lao party in 1996.
China-ASEAN Review 2001 19
He noted that during the same period, the two parties and two peoples of China and Laos also have
brought their relations into a new era. The CPC would continue to strengthen exchanges and cooperation
with the Lao People‟s Revolutionary Party, and work persistently for developing closer and more intimate
Sino-Lao ties in the future, said the top Chinese leader.
Chinese Vice-president Hu Jintao met in Hanoi with Khamtay Siphandone, President of Laos and
President of the Lao People‟s Revolutionary Party.
Hu, also Standing Committee member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC)
Central Committee, is heading a CPC delegation for the ninth National Congress of the Communist Party
of Vietnam (CPV).
Conveying best wishes from General-Secretary Jiang Zemin to the Lao president, Hu congratulated him
on the success of the seventh national congress of the Lao People‟s Revolutionary Party in March 2000
and on his re-election as the party‟s president.
Hu said he is convinced that under his firm leadership of Khamtay Siphandone, the Lao people are sure to
achieve their social and economic goals in the new century. Hu also noted that China is satisfied with the
increasingly frequent friendly contacts, the continuous expansion of bilateral mutual beneficial
cooperation, and the all-round development of relations between the two parties and countries.
Wei Jianxing, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of
China (CPC) Central Committee, met with Osakan Thammathewa, a member of the Political Bureau of
the Central Committee of the Lao People‟s Revolutionary Party (PRP), and his party.
Wei, who is also a member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee, said China and Laos, two
close neighbours with a traditional friendship, have conducted fruitful cooperation in political, economic,
and cultural fields. He added that President Jiang Zemin and President Khamtay Siphandone‟s historical
exchange of visits last year has defined the orientation of bilateral relations for years to come.
China and Laos are both developing countries, and the CPC and PRP are faced with many common tasks
and challenges in governing their respective countries and promoting their own reforms, Wei said, adding
that the CPC is willing to work together with the PRP to jointly lift bilateral ties to a new level. He
expressed the conviction that under the leadership of the PRP, the Lao people would make even greater
Lancang-Mekong River Opening
The Lancang-Mekong River, the first international waterway linking China with southeast Asia, opened to
commercial navigation in China, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand on 27 June. “The operation of the
watercourse is an important part of sub-regional economic cooperation and is expected to boost
economic and trade growth and benefit people in countries the river runs through,” said Huang
Zhendong, minister of Communications at the opening ceremony held today at the Jinghong Port in
southwest China‟s Yunnan Province.
Shipping vehicles would navigate unrestricted from Simao Port in Yunnan Province to Louang Prabang
Port in Laos, a total length of 886 km, the journey now taking 32 hours. Operation of the multinational
watercourse would cut the distance from Yunnan to other Southeast Asian countries by 3,000 km and cut
freight costs by 60 percent. The 14 ports along the river would offer preferential terms in customs and
harbor formalities to ensure that all runs smoothly.
20 China-ASEAN Review 2001
The transportation departments of the four countries have worked out rules on navigation safety,
transport management, maintenance, traffic accident handling, salvage, and vessel inspections, providing
legal guarantees for easy navigation.
The trial operation in the section between China and Laos commenced in 1990. The freight volume on
the river subsequently increased from 45 tons in 1990 to 200,000 tons in 2000. China has allocated ten
million yuan for this project.
Mekong River Dredging Project
The Chinese government would invest more than 42 million yuan (USD5.06 million) to help Myanmar
and Laos dredge a section on the Mekong River, sources from the Yunnan Provincial Navigation
The 331-kilometre-long section to be dredged runs from the No. 243 demarcation stone between China
and Myanmar to Houayxay in Laos. The project is expected to start in December 2001 after approval by
the governments of China, Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand, according to sources.
The section to be dredged, a border river between Myanmar and Laos, is part of the Lancang-Mekong
River course which opened to commercial navigation in China, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand on 27 June.
Shipping vehicles now can navigate unrestricted on the waterway from Simao Port in Yunnan Province,
southwest China, to Louang Prabang Port in Laos, a total length of 886 kilometres. Experts from the four
countries have carried out a series of on-the-spot investigations at the Myanmar-Laos border river and the
river course is expected to allow passage of ten-ton ships all the year round upon completion of the
dredging project, said Liu Daqing, a leading technician in charge of the project.
Drug Control Meeting
Ministers in charge of drug control from Laos, Myanmar and Thailand arrived for the China, Laos,
Myanmar and Thailand Ministers‟ Meeting on Drug Control Meeting on 28 August.
The ministers are Soubanh Srithirath, minister to the president‟s office of Laos, Tin Hlaing, Mynmar
minister of home affairs, and Thamarak Issarangkura, Thai minister of prime minister‟s office of Thailand.
Informal Meeting on Drugs
Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan said that China would continue its cooperation with other nations
in combating drugs. Tang made the remarks here at the informal meeting among the foreign ministers of
China, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand held on 6 November.
During the meeting, the four foreign ministers agreed on the proposal Thailand has made to hold a
leaders meeting on fighting drugs. They held that the four countries should first set the goals of the
meeting, and then negotiate on the timing of the meeting. Tang accompanied Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji
to attend the leaders meeting between ASEAN and China, Japan and South Korea.
Chinese Defence Minister Chi Haotian arrived in Vientiane at the start of a four-day official goodwill visit
to Laos. Chi, also vice chairman of China‟s Central Military Commission and a state councillor, came here
at the invitation of his Lao counterpart Choummali Sayasone.
In a written statement issued at the airport, Chi said that over a long period of time, exchanges and
cooperation between China and Laos in various fields have yielded satisfying results and friendly
China-ASEAN Review 2001 21
cooperation between the armed forces of the two countries have expanded significantly, thanks to joint
efforts of both sides.
To consolidate and develop friendly relations between China and Laos and the armed forces of the two
countries is in keeping with the fundamental interests of the two peoples and is conducive to peace,
stability, and development in the region.
Chi said his visit would give fresh impetus to the development of such relations in the new century.
Lao Prime Minister Sisavath Keobounphanh met with visiting Chinese Defence Minister Chi Haotian. At
the meeting, Sisavath spoke highly of Chi‟s visit, saying it would give fresh impetus to the development of
relations between Laos and China. He also reaffirmed Laos‟ “One China” policy, stressing that Taiwan is
an inseparable part of China.
Chi told Sisavath that China has always supported the Lao government in its efforts to modernize its
military and maintain state security and social stability.
Chi, also vice chairman of China‟s Central Military Commission and a state councillor, arrived in Vientiane
for a four-day official goodwill visit.
Chinese Defence Minister Chi Haotian met with Ay Souliyaseng, vice-defence minister of Laos and his
Chi recalled his visit to Laos in February, and said that China and Laos are good neighbours and the
people of the two countries have enjoyed a long-term friendship.
He said that Sino-Lao relations have developed well in recent years, and state and military leaders of the
two countries have kept frequent contact. Chi hoped that the military of China and Lao would continue
their cooperation and build up a long-term relationship of mutual trust. Ay Souliyaseng said that through
the visit he and his party have learned how the People‟s Liberation Army develops itself, and would
promote friendship between the two armed forces.
Chronology of Sino- Malaysian Relations 2001
25 April Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji met with Malaysian supreme head of state Sultan
Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah in Beijing.
27 April Shanghai Mayor Xu Kuangdi met visiting Malaysian supreme head of state Sultan
Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah.
8 May Malaysian Vice Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi met members of a delegation of
the Communist Party of China, which was Li Changchun.
24 May Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan met with his Malaysian counterpart Syed
Hamid Albar just prior to the third ASEM Foreign Ministers Meeting.
15 November Chinese trade delegation led by Vice Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic
Cooperation Zhang Xiang visits Malaysia.
22 China-ASEAN Review 2001
Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji met with Malaysian supreme head of state Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz
Shah in Beijing in April, with both sides expressing wishes to strengthen ties between the two countries.
Buhe, vice chairman of the Standing Committee of China‟s National People‟s Congress, expressed his
deep condolences for the passing of Malaysian Supreme Head of State Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz
Shah. He conveyed China‟s condolences to the Malaysian government. Concerning China‟s entry to
WTO, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir said, “When China joins the WTO, it has an obligation and
privileges, its privileges are access to markets throughout the world including markets of rich countries.
But it has also an obligation to open up its markets for other countries.” Though there would be some
competition between China and Malaysia, the two countries could cooperate in various fields for mutual
benefit, he added. The volume of bilateral trade between the two countries amounts to US$8 billion.
Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji met with Malaysian supreme head of state Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz
Shah in Beijing, with both sides expressing wishes to strengthen ties between the two countries.
In recent years, China and Malaysia have conducted exchanges of high-level visits and cooperated closely
in regional and international affairs, Zhu said. The two Asian countries have also expanded economic and
business links and the trade volume between the two countries reached US$8 billion in 2000, he
Malaysia has become the largest trading partner with China in ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian
Nations). Under the current world economic situation, China and Malaysia should strengthen economic
cooperation, which would help both economies. Zhu praised Malaysia‟s efforts to counter the Asian
financial crisis and its achievements in economic recovery and development.
During the meeting, Zhu also invited Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to attend the eighth
informal leadership meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in China in
The Malaysian supreme head of state is on a six-day state visit to China as President Jiang Zemin‟s guest.
Salahuddin said he is glad to see the new progress made in agricultural cooperation between the two
countries, and expressed the belief that the two countries would enhance ties in other fields.
The Chinese side would make concerted efforts with all ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting) members for the
success of the third ASEM Foreign Ministers‟ Meeting scheduled for 24 and 25 May. Chinese Foreign
Minister Tang Jiaxuan made the remark in a meeting with his Malaysian counterpart Syed Hamid Albar.
Extending a welcome, Tang briefed Syed on the preparations for the meeting and voiced his appreciation
for Malaysia‟s support for China as a host of the meeting. Tang said that the Chinese government attaches
importance to this meeting, and Chinese President Jiang Zemin, Premier Zhu Rongji, and Vice-Premier
Qian Qichen would attend relevant activities.
Syed expressed his appreciation for China‟s efforts for this meeting, and said that Malaysia would make
every effort to assist China in this process, so as to further promote mutual understanding and
cooperation between Asia and Europe. Tang spoke highly of the development of Sino-Malaysian
friendship and cooperation in various fields in recent years; saying that China would, continuously push
forward the development of their mutual cooperation, especially economic and trade cooperation.
Tang expressed his thanks for Malaysia‟s understanding and support in 2000 on the issues of Taiwan,
Tibet, and human rights. Voicing satisfaction with the development of Malaysia-China relations, Syed
noted that Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir places great importance on relations with China and the
China-ASEAN Review 2001 23
Malaysian government would make joint efforts with the Chinese side to enhance the overall relationship
between the two countries.
Sino-Malaysia relations would become even better in future, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad
said in Kuala Lumpur.
Concerning China‟s entry to WTO, Mahathir said, “When China joins the WTO, it has an obligation and
privileges, its privileges are access to markets throughout the world including markets of rich countries.
But it has also an obligation to open up its markets for other countries.”
Though there would be some competition between China and Malaysia, the two countries could
cooperate in various fields for mutual benefit, he added. The volume of bilateral trade between the two
countries amounts to US$8 billion.
Buhe, vice chairman of the Standing Committee of China‟s National People‟s Congress (NPC), expressed
his deep condolences for the passing of Malaysian Supreme Head of State Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz
Shah during a visit to the Malaysian embassy in Beijing. He conveyed China‟s condolences to the
Malaysian government and Sultan Salahuddin‟s family to Dato‟ Abdul Majid Bin Ahmad Khan, Malaysia‟s
ambassador to China.
Buhe said as an old friend of the Chinese people, the late Sultan Salahuddin had made a great contribution
to the promotion of the friendship between China and Malaysia.
Chinese President Jiang Zemin sent a telegram of condolence to Acting Supreme Head of State Sultan
Mizan Zainal Abidin on the day of Sultan Salahuddin‟s death.
Chinese President Jiang Zemin extended his congratulations to Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin for his
assumption of the post of Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia after the late monarch Sultan Salahuddin
Abdul Aziz, passed away in November.
In the telegram, Jiang said that on the happy occasion, “I wish to extend, on the behalf of the Chinese
people and in my own name, our warmest congratulations and best wishes to Your Majesty.”
He noted that the peoples of China and Malaysia had enjoyed a long friendship, and with the concerted
efforts from both sides, friendly exchanges and cooperation between the two countries have grown
remarkably in the fields of politics, economy, trade, and culture in recent years.
Jiang pledged to make unremitting efforts with the new highest ruler of Malaysia for the continuous
development of the bilateral friendly relations of cooperation and good-neighbourliness.
Chinese Vice President Hu Jintao also sent his congratulations to Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin for his re-
election as the Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia.
Shanghai Mayor Xu Kuangdi met visiting Malaysian supreme head of state Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz
Shah and his party on 27 April.
Xu briefed the guests on economic and social development in Shanghai, and expressed his hope to further
the bilateral cooperation between Shanghai and Malaysia in economic, cultural, and other fields.
Salahuddin said that Malaysia and China have enjoyed a long-lasting friendship, adding that he hoped that
his visit would promote cooperation between the two sides.
24 China-ASEAN Review 2001
PARTY- TO-PARTY RELATIONS
Malaysian Vice Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi met leading members of a delegation of the
Communist Party of China, and discussed ways to further promote bilateral relations.
The CPC delegation, headed by Li Changchun, a member of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau
and Secretary of CPC Committee of Guangdong Province, arrived on 6 May for a five-day visit to
Badawi observed the bilateral relations were characterized by the mutual understanding and mutual
support politically, cooperation in many international issues as well as growing economic and trade ties.
He added to further promote economic and trade cooperation with China is an established policy of
Malaysia. In reply, Li highly appraised the friendship and cooperation between China and Malaysia.
While appreciating Malaysia‟s constant policy of “One China”, Li also expressed thanks to the Malaysian
government and people for their precious support rendered to China on issues related to human rights.
Finally, Li expressed hope that the bilateral cooperation, especially economic and trade ties would be
Chinese Trade Delegation to Malaysia
Malaysia sees increased opportunities in attracting investors from China following its accession into the
World Trade Organization (WTO), a senior Malaysian official said.
“We would like to encourage more investors from China to come to Malaysia as we are the second largest
investor from ASEAN in China after Singapore,” Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry
Kerk Choo Ting told reporters here after he met a Chinese trade delegation led by Vice Minister of
Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation Zhang Xiang on 15 November.
On the benefits to Malaysia from China‟s accession to the WTO, Kerk said one possible area is an
increase in China‟s import quota for palm oil. For the first year, China‟s import quota of palm oil would
go up to 1.5 million tons, and the figure would steadily increase to 3.168 million tons in the fifth year,
according to Kerk.
On the same occasion, Zhang Xiang said China would look for cooperation in science and technology,
manufacturing, tourism, oil and gas, and service sector with Malaysia.
“As Malaysia has expertise in manufacturing and in the oil and gas industry, we hope that these would
benefit our country, too,” he said. Between January and June, Malaysia invested in 88 projects worth
US$142 million in China. In 2000 Malaysia‟s total investment in China amounted to US$389 million, while
China‟s total investment in Malaysia amount to around ten million dollars
Chinese Tourism to Malaysia
Malaysia is seeking to attract more Chinese tourists to the Southeast Asian country by staging a series of
tourism promotion exhibitions in cities in central and west China.
In 2000, Malaysia received 430,000 Chinese visitors, while the numbers for its neighbouring countries of
Thailand and Singapore were 750,000 and 500,000, respectively, according to Ng Yen Yen, Malaysia‟s
deputy minister of culture, arts, and tourism said on 21 November
This indicates that Malaysia needs to do more work to tap China‟s booming outbound tourism market
now that Chinese people have more holidays, she added. The Malaysian government has intensified its
China-ASEAN Review 2001 25
promotion efforts since the beginning of this year, setting up tourism offices in Beijing and Shanghai,
simplifying visa formalities, opening more charter flights, and staging promotion exhibitions.
Recently a promotion commercial has been broadcast daily on CCTV (China Central Television) to invite
Chinese to tour Malaysia, with the image of the actress who starred in the 2001 Academy Award Winner,
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
Malaysia has put great efforts into developing tourism, which has become the second-largest source of the
country‟s foreign exchange, earning it US$4.5 billion, according to the deputy minister. Her 19-member
Malaysian tourism delegation would continue its promotion exhibitions in Chinese cities following a tour
of Chengdu, Chongqing and this capital of southwest China‟ Guizhou Province.
China-Malaysia Economic and Trade Relations
China-Malaysia economic and trade relations have been developing smoothly, and Malaysia is China‟s
second largest trade partner in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), said a senior trade
Shi Guangsheng, minister of foreign trade and economic cooperation (MOFTEC), made the remarks
when talking with Paduka Rafidah Aziz, Malaysian minister of international trade and industry, at the fifth
meeting of the China-Malaysia Joint Committee on Economic and Trade Relations on 26 November.
In 2000, Sino-Malaysian bilateral trade volume reached US$8 billion, and mutual investment also made
considerable progress, Shi said. The bilateral economic cooperation has shown good momentum.
The China-Malaysia Joint Committee on Economic and Trade Relations has become an important
institution for researching and promoting bilateral economic and trade relations, as well as for solving
trade issues, Shi said. Shi expressed the hope that the fifth meeting would bring substantive discussion for
issues of common concern, and that solutions to these issues could be found. The two sides also briefed
each other on their domestic economic situations, exchanging views on detailed trade and economic issues
such as trade balance and palm oil trade.
Chronology of Sino-Myanmar Relations 2001
3 February First Secretary of the Myanmar State Peace and Development Council Lieutenant-
General Khin Nyunt met with visiting Xu Dunxin, vice-chairman of the Chinese National
People‟s Congress Foreign Affairs Committee .
12 March Vice Chairman of the Myanmar State Peace and Development Council General
Maung Aye met with visiting Executive Vice Chairman of the Chinese Association for
International Understanding Li Chengren and his entourage.
17 July First Secretary of the Myanmar State Peace and Development Council Lieutenant-
General Khin Nyunt met with visiting Chinese Minister of Land and Resources Tian Fengshan.
25 August First Secretary of the Myanmar State Peace and Development Council Lieutenant-
General Khin Nyunt met with visiting Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
12 December Chinese President Jiang Zemin met with Khin Nyunt, first secretary of the State
Peace and Development Council of Myanmar and Than Shwe, chairman of the State Peace and
Development Council of Myanmar during his visit to Myanmar.
26 China-ASEAN Review 2001
High-level visits to Myanmar of senior Chinese officials took place this year, with Vice-Chairman of the
Chinese National People‟s Congress Foreign Affairs Committee China Xu Dunxin in February, while
Chinese President Jiang Zemin on 12-15 December. China and Myanmar continue develop their
economic and technical cooperation, with China helping to build up the south-east Asian nation after its
long civil war. Cross-border trade, in particular matters concerning the Jiegao Border Trade Zone featured
prominently. The importance of trans-national river networks and coastal routes was highlighted with a
forum on the Lancang-Mekong River Region in June and the delivery of a coastal passenger ship,
purchased by the Myanmar transport authorities from a Chinese company in Yunnan, was formally
handed over on 25 June to Myanmar for services. Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Myanmar
Deputy Minister of Rail Transportation U Thaung Lwin signed an agreement on economic and technical
cooperation on 26 August.
First Secretary of the Myanmar State Peace and Development Council Lieutenant-General Khin Nyunt
met with visiting Vice-Chairman of the National People‟s Congress (NPC) Foreign Affairs Committee of
China Xu Dunxin. Also present at the meeting were Chinese ambassador to Myanmar Liang Dong and
Myanmar Foreign Minister U Win Aung.
Khin Nyunt said Myanmar and China enjoy a traditional fraternal friendship with the two countries. He
reiterated that Myanmar adheres to the “One-China” policy, expressing his belief that the friendly ties
between Myanmar and China would be carried from generation to generation.
At the meeting, Xu Dunxin said, “In recent years, Myanmar made some achievements in the sector of
economic development. As a neighbour, we are delighted with this.” Xu added that China and Myanmar
that friendly ties forged on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence would further
Before the meeting, Xu exchanged views with Myanmar Foreign Minister U Win Aung and Deputy
Foreign Minister U Khin Maung Win on bilateral relations, regional and international issues.
Vice Chairman of the Myanmar State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) General Maung Aye met
with visiting Executive Vice Chairman of the Chinese Association for International Understanding Li
Chengren and his entourage. Present at the meeting were Chinese Ambassador to Myanmar Li Jinjun,
Myanmar SPDC First Secretary Lieutenant-General Khin Nyunt, SPDC Third Secretary Lieutenant-
General Win Myint, and Deputy Prime Minister Lieutenant-General Tin Hla.
At the meeting, Maung Aye spoke highly of the longstanding Myanmar-China friendship. In recent years,
he pointed out, leaders of the two countries have had frequent exchange of visits and the friendly and
cooperative bilateral relations have continuously expanded.
Li Chengren said China and Myanmar are friendly neighbours linked by mountains and rivers. There have
not only been ever increasing exchanges between the two governments but also continuous expansion of
the exchange between the two peoples.
He pointed out that no matter the international climate, Sino-Myanmar relations have consistently
maintained a steady pace of development. Li Chengren arrived on 7 March for a weeklong goodwill visit
to Myanmar at the invitation of Win Myint who is also member of Panel of Patrons of the Union
Solidarity and Development Association.
China-ASEAN Review 2001 27
First Secretary of the Myanmar State Peace and Development Council Lieutenant-General Khin Nyunt
met with visiting Chinese Minister of Land and Resources Tian Fengshan. Khin Nyunt said Myanmar-
China friendship is long-standing and the frequent exchange of visits at high level between the two
countries has promoted the development of bilateral friendly relations.
At the meeting, Shao noted that China and Myanmar have great potential in economy and trade, and are a
strong position to complement each other. He looks forward to continuous exploration of new channels
and methods of cooperation by the two sides in future, saying that the Chinese side would build the
Paunglaung station as a demonstration of project in economic and technical cooperation.
The economic and trade delegation of Yunnan provincial government led by Shao arrived on a five-day
visit to Myanmar at the invitation of Tin Htut.
First Secretary of the Myanmar State Peace and Development Council Lieutenant-General Khin Nyunt
met with visiting Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Khin Nyunt said Myanmar-China paukphaw
(fraternal) friendship was fostered personally by the older generation of leaders adding that under the new
circumstances, the two sides should carry on the friendly tradition and further strengthen the cooperation
in respective fields.
Khin Nyunt expressed that Myanmar supports China‟s stance held in international and regional affairs and
would continue to adopt the one-China policy.
Wang arrived at the invitation of the Myanmar Foreign Ministry to attend a diplomatic consultation
between the two countries. During the consultation, the two sides reached agreement on all sectors in
After the event, Myanmar Foreign Minister U Win Aung met with Wang.
Chinese President Jiang Zemin would pay a state visit to Myanmar from 12 to 15 December at the
invitation of Senior General Than Shwe, chairman of the State Peace and Development Council of the
Union of Myanmar, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said. This is a return visit to Than
Shwe‟s China trip, according to Zhang.
Jiang‟s visit is aimed at enhancing understanding, friendship, and cooperation between the two countries,
she said, adding that the two state leaders would exchange views on bilateral relations and issues of
common concern. The two would also sign relevant documents of bilateral cooperation, according to the
Chinese President Jiang Zemin commenced a four-day state visit to Myanmar at the invitation of Than
Shwe, chairman of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) of Myanmar.
Than Shwe greeted Jiang at the airport. Jiang‟s entourage included Jiang‟s wife Wang Yeping, Vice-
Premier Qian Qichen and his wife Zhou Hanqiong, and other senior Chinese officials.
In a written statement given on his arrival at Yangoon Airport, Jiang said that he is very glad to have the
opportunity of coming to the Union of Myanmar for a state visit at the invitation of Senior General Than
Shwe, chairman of the SPDC, and he would like to take this opportunity to convey the cordial greetings
and good wishes of the Chinese people to the people of Myanmar.
Jiang pointed out that China and Myanmar are “good neighbours with a profound „pawkphaw‟ (fraternal)
friendship fostered in the long-term and close contacts between the two peoples.”
28 China-ASEAN Review 2001
In the years since the establishment of diplomatic ties, the two countries have followed the Five Principles
of Peaceful Coexistence for state-to-state relations and friendly bilateral relations have consolidated and
developed, noted Jiang.
He stressed that, “this is in the interest of the two peoples as well as peace and stability in the region.” He
said he hopes to enhance mutual understanding, deepen friendship and expand cooperation through
exchange of views on bilateral relations and other issues of common interest with leaders of Myanmar
during the visit. He said he also hopes to learn more about the economic and social development of the
country, adding that he is confident that with the host‟s thoughtful arrangements, his current visit would
achieve positive results. He hoped that the Union of Myanmar enjoys prosperity and its people happiness.
Chinese President Jiang Zemin met with Khin Nyunt, first secretary of the State Peace and Development
Council of Myanmar.
Khin Nyunt extended a welcome on behalf of the Myanmar government and said he is convinced that this
visit is bound to promote the continuous development of bilateral friendship.
Jiang said this is his first visit to Myanmar and he has experienced bilateral “pawkphaw” (fraternal)
friendship. Jiang noted that since the two countries set up diplomatic ties, bilateral friendship and
cooperation fostered by previous leaders have witnessed continuous development with constant high-level
exchanges of visits, more cooperation and support for each other in international and regional affairs.
China would make concerted efforts with Myanmar to comprehensively implement the joint statement on
bilateral cooperation so as to enable the two peoples to be good neighbours and partners forever and
make their friendship last from generation to generation. Chinese President Jiang Zemin in his talks with
Than Shwe, chairman of the State Peace and Development Council of Myanmar.
Than Shwe welcomed Jiang, saying Jiang has brought the Chinese people‟s friendship to Myanmar and
helped deepen the “pawkphaw” (fraternal) friendship between the two peoples, and this visit would be
recorded in the history of bilateral friendly contacts.
He attributed it to the two countries‟ adherence to the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence, good-
neighbourly friendship, non-interference in each other‟s internal affairs, mutual respect and equal
treatment, saying this has laid a firm foundation for the continuous progress of bilateral relations. Citing
the two countries‟ similar historical experience, Jiang pointed to the consolidation of bilateral relations
during their struggles for independence and liberation, safeguarding sovereignty and territorial integrity,
and building their countries.
He noted that the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence have become an important norm guiding
international relations. He reiterated that Myanmar would continue to follow the “One China” policy and
would never develop any official contacts with Taiwan.
Than Shwe also spoke highly of China‟s rapid development, saying that Beijing‟s successful bid to host the
2008 Olympic Games and China‟s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) indicate that China
would make new and important contributions to world peace and development in the new century. He
said he hoped China, under the current international situations, would play a bigger role in safeguarding
the just rights and interests of developing countries.
Jiang said that both sides could strengthen their coordination in the United Nations, the WTO, East Asian
cooperation and the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) regional forum so as to contribute
to international and regional stability and development. On bilateral economic and trade cooperation,
Jiang said China would continue to encourage Chinese business people to invest in Myanmar and would
continue to offer possible assistance.
China-ASEAN Review 2001 29
China would work with Myanmar to explore bilateral cooperation, said Jiang, suggesting that the two sides
take agriculture, development of human and natural resources, and infrastructure construction as their
Than Shwe agreed with Jiang, and went on to discuss Myanmar‟s domestic situation, saying that his
country is enjoying social stability and economic development, and that his government are making efforts
to build a peaceful and prosperous country. Jiang expressed his pleasure with the Myanmar government‟s
recent achievements, and said that China holds that the world is colourful, and every country is entitled to
choose a development path suited to its own conditions. China would, as always, continue to support
Myanmar government‟s efforts for safeguarding social stability and promoting economic progress, added
After the talks, the two leaders signed bilateral cooperative documents which covered frontier defence,
economic, and technological cooperation; the encouragement, promotion, and protection of investment;
plant quarantine; animal quarantine and hygiene; fishery; and petroleum.
China‟s Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan said that President Jiang Zemin‟s four-day state visit to Myanmar
Tang noted that this visit is an important event in the history of China-Myanmar bilateral relations and is
of significance for pushing forward the overall development of the bilateral good-neighbourly friendship
and cooperation in the new century. It would also exert positive impact on the cooperation between China
and members of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), as well as on the region‟s peace
and development, added Tang.
Jiegao Border Trade Zone
The import and export value of Jiegao Border Trade Zone surged 50 percent to reach 1.47 billion yuan in
2000 since it was set up in August 1999 it was reported on 25 January.
Jiegao covers 2.4 sq. km in Ruili City of the Dai-Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture of Dehong in southwest
China‟s Yunnan Province. As an important trading port on the China-Myanmar border, it handles 30
percent of the trade volume in Yunnan annually.
Since the trade zone was set up, China moved the border customs inspection checkpoint back two km to
make Jiegao a special trade zone. A series of preferential policies concerning taxation, finance, industry,
and commerce have also been implemented in the zone. There are three processing areas to attract
domestic and foreign investors in the zone. Consequently, over 10,000 people pass in and out of Jiegao
Border Trade Zone each day.
Forum on Lancang-Mekong River Region
China would hold a special forum on economic development and cooperation for the Lancang-Mekong
River region during the 2001 Kunming Export Commodities Fair in Kunming, capital of southwest
China‟s Yunnan Province, 6-10 June in 2001. The Chinese government is taking active measures to
develop the Lancang-Mekong River, a promising route for linking west China with Southeast Asian
The Mekong River, dubbed “the Danube of the East”, runs through China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand,
Cambodia, and Vietnam, a total distance of 4,661 km. The 2,160 km upstream section in China is known
as the Lancang River, which traverses southwest China‟s Yunnan Province for more than 1,000
30 China-ASEAN Review 2001
Officials and business people from the countries along the Lancang-Mekong River would attend the
forum and an exhibition on the area‟s development during the fair.
Coastal Passenger Ship Delivered
A coastal passenger ship, purchased by the Myanmar transport authorities from a Chinese company in
Yunnan, was formally handed over on 25 June to the Myanmar side for services. The Yunnan Machinery
Import and Export Corporation (YMC) delivered the ship to the Myanmar Five Star Line (MFSL) under
the Ministry of Transport who would be using the ship to reinforce the country‟s water transport
especially between port cities along the Tanintharyi and Rakhine coasts.
The delivery ceremony, held at Yangon‟s Nanthida Jetty, was attended by First Secretary of the Myanmar
State Peace and Development Council Lieutenant-General Khin Nyunt, Transport Minister Major-
General Hla Myint Swe, and Chinese Ambassador to Myanmar Li Jinjun.
Named “mv Chindwin”, the ship was built by China‟s Wu Song Shipyard in Shanghai at a cost of US$7.75
million in accordance with Lloyd Standards with advanced technology and equipment. In addition, the
Myanmar Inland Water Transport Department under the Ministry of Transport had also imported a total
of 72 inland water passenger and cargo ships from the YMC.
Chinese Help with Dredging System
The Chinese government would invest more than 42 million yuan (US$5.06 million) to help Myanmar and
Laos dredge a navigation section on the Mekong River, sources with the Yunnan Provincial Navigation
Administration said on 28 June.
The 331-kilometre-long section to be dredged runs from the No. 243 demarcation stone between China
and Myanmar to Houayxay in Laos. The project is expected to start in December this year after approval
by the governments of China, Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand, according to sources.
The section to be dredged, a border river between Myanmar and Laos, is part of the Lancang-Mekong
River course which opened to commercial navigation in China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand 27 June.
Shipping vehicles now can navigate unrestricted on the waterway from Simao Port in Yunnan Province,
southwest China, to Louang Prabang Port in Laos, a total length of 886 kilometres. Experts from the four
countries have carried out a series of on-the-spot investigations at the Myanmar-Laos border river and the
river course is expected to allow passage of 10-ton ships all the year round upon completion of the
dredging project, said Liu Daqing, a leading technician in charge of the project.
By 2007, 300-ton ships are expected to pass through the section even in dry seasons with further
improvement to the course of the river in the coming years. Currently, the annual navigation capacity of
the Lancang-Mekong River is four million tons and it is expected to reach ten million tons by 2007.
Agricultural Machinery Factory Project
China and Myanmar signed an agreement on China‟s assistance to an agricultural machinery factory
project in Mandalay on 17 August. According to the agreement, the factory, to be built in Ingon; Kyaukse
township would produce annually 10,000 walking tractors and 5,000 reapers.
Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement
Representing their respective governments, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Myanmar Deputy
Minister of Rail Transportation U Thaung Lwin signed an agreement on economic and technical
cooperation on 26 August.
U Thaung Lwin said expressed thanks for the aid China provided to Myanmar and expressed the
confidence that Myanmar-China friendly and cooperative ties would be more strengthened and
China-ASEAN Review 2001 31
everlasting. Wang Yi attended a diplomacy consultation between the two countries at the invitation of the
Myanmar Foreign Ministry. The signing was witnessed by the Myanmar Minister of Rail Transportation U
Pan Aung and Chinese Ambassador to Myanmar Li Jinjun.
Digital High-resolution Satellite Ground Station
The Chinese Embassy in Myanmar formally delivered a digital high-resolution satellite ground station to
the Myanmar Ministry of Transport (MMT) under the WMO/VCP Program on 4 December. The new
satellite ground station was manufactured by China for the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology
(DMH) under the MMT.
Speaking at the ceremony, Myanmar Deputy Ministers of Transport U Pe Than said, “today is a
remarkable milestone in the history of meteorology in Myanmar” and the ground station presented by
China to Myanmar is one of the good examples of the cooperation between the two nations. The ground
station will benefit Myanmar, which currently striving to become a modern developed nation, he stressed,
adding that the DMH has been using the low-resolution satellite imageries since 1973. In 1994, China
presented Automatic Forecasting and Data Operating System-AFDOS, which provided additional
information for weather forecasting. In 2000, China presented an electrolytic hydrogen generator and
1,000 pilot balloons to the DMH of Myanmar.
Bilateral Trade Growth
Bilateral trade between China and Myanmar has kept growing this year, with China becoming Myanmar‟s
third largest trade partner, after Singapore and Thailand, according to Myanmar statistics.
During the first ten months of 2001, the bilateral trade volume amounted US$499 million, registering 3.1
percent year-on-year growth, said sources with the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation
China‟s exports to Myanmar from January to October in 2001 reached US$385 million, surging 1.9
percent; and imports reached US$113 million, up 6.7 percent.
The major products China exported to Myanmar include electrical and mechanical goods, textile and hi-
With the friendly relations between China and Myanmar, China has signed an increasing number of
contracts for projects in Myanmar. By the end of 2000, there were 752 contract agreements between
Chinese and Myanmar companies, with a value of US$1.786 billion. In the first ten months of 2001,
Chinese companies signed 87 project deals, totalling US$186 million.
China-Myanmar Frontier Trade Fair
The first China-Myanmar frontier trade fair opened at the Jiegao Border Trade Zone in Yunnan Province,
southwest China on 18 December.
More than 350 enterprises from Myanmar and China are taking part in the fair, hoping to seek buyers for
their more than 1,000 varieties of commodities including metals, electric appliances, chemicals, jewellery
and jade, wood products, aquatic products, and mineral products.
Neighbouring Myanmar in the east, south and north, the 2.4-square-kilometer Jiegao Border Trade Zone
was approved by the State Council last year as a special trade zone, which enjoys preferential treatment in
terms of inflow of people and cargo. The zone is located in Ruili City of Dai-Jingpo Autonomous
Prefecture of Dehong, which was made an open border trade zone in 1985.
32 China-ASEAN Review 2001
Buddha Image Given to China
The Myanmar Ministry of Religious Affairs has donated an image of the Buddha, named Bhumi Phassa
Mudra, to the Buddhist Association of China. It is being delivered to China by car through the land route
A consecration ceremony was held in Mandalay, Myanmar‟s second largest city was held on 14 January,
and attended by Third Secretary of the Myanmar State Peace and Development Council Lieutenant
General Win Myint and five other ministers including the Minister of Religious Affairs U Aung Khin. The
image, 1.35 metres high with a 225-centimetre pedestal, weighs one-and-half tons.
During the past five decades, tooth from a Chinese Buddha was brought three times to Myanmar for
public worship under a religious cooperation program between the two countries.
New Teaching Block Delivered
The Chinese Embassy in Myanmar formally delivered a new teaching building to the Myanmar Ministry of
Education on 15 January. The building is for No. 2 Primary School of Yankin Township in Yangon
Chinese ambassador to Myanmar Liang Dong and Myanmar Education Minister U Than Aung
inaugurated the building by cutting a ribbon, and First Secretary of the Myanmar State Peace and
Development Council and Chairman of the Myanmar Education Committee Lieutenant-General Khin
Nyunt, unveiled the building‟s foundation stone.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Liang said the donation of the building marked a good beginning
between China and Myanmar in the new century in the sector of educational cooperation. Khin Nyunt
and U Than Aung also delivered speeches at the ceremony. They expressed thanks to the Chinese side for
the donation of the China-Myanmar Friendship School, wishing continuous development of the
The building was built by China‟s Transtech Engineering Corporation to mark the fiftieth anniversary of
the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Myanmar on 8 June 2000.
The cornerstone of the two-storey building, which costs US$150,000 was laid on 26 June 2000 and took
five months to complete. The building, which has ten classrooms, can accommodate 500 pupils at one
Myanmar Poet Honoured
The Chinese Writers Association honoured Myanmar Deputy Culture Minister and noted poet U Soe
Nyunt, with the title of “Friendly Literature Envoy”. Representing the Chinese Writers Association,
Chinese Ambassador to Myanmar Li Jinjun presented the title to U Soe Nyunt in the presence of
Myanmar Culture Minister U Win Sein and over 300 other guests on 11 April.
Culture is an important content in the friendly exchanges and cooperation between the two countries. In
recent five decades under the drive of leaders of the two countries, China and Myanmar have achieved
unprecedented development in exchange and cooperation in the sector of culture, he noted.
He concluded that the works of U Soe Nyunt, “Ayeyarwaddy-Yangtze Friendly Appraisal” is the outcome
of impression of his visit to China for five occasions.
U Soe Nyunt pledged to make his best efforts to continue to contribute to the friendly cause of the two
countries. The poem series, “Ayeyarwaddy-Yangtze Friendly Appraisal” contains over 40 poems such as
“The Great Wall” and “The Friendship Song of the Heart”.
China-ASEAN Review 2001 33
Jade Buddha Consecrated
The Chinese Buddhist Association in Beijing‟s Lingguang Temple held a consecration ceremony for a jade
Buddha presented by the Myanmar government on 7 May.
When visiting China last June 2000, General Maung Aye, vice-chairman of the Myanmar State Peace and
Development Council, said that he would present a jade Buddha to China on behalf of the Myanmar
government to commemorate China‟s sending the tooth relic of Sakyamuni to Myanmar for
The tooth relic has been to Myanmar three times to be worshipped at the request of Myanmar.
On a nine-inch pedestal, the 54-inch-tall jade Buddha was formally handed over to China early 2001, and
would be enshrined in the Jade Buddha Hall of Lingguang Temple.
The Chinese Buddhist Association made considerable preparations to welcome the jade Buddha. For
instance, it rebuilt and refurbished the old Buddhist hall to enshrine the Buddha.
Photo and Film Show Highlights Chinese Development (insert the date)
A photo and film show, aimed at introducing to the Myanmar people the exploitation potential and
development of China‟s western part and the development and change of Tibet over the past fifty years
since its peaceful liberation, opened at the National Museum.
The Chinese Embassy in Yangon and the Myanmar Ministry of Culture jointly sponsored the weeklong
Chinese photo and film show on West China and Tibet.
Chinese Ambassador to Myanmar Li Jinjun and Myanmar Deputy Minister of Culture U Soe Nyunt
inaugurated the show by cutting the ribbon. Attending the opening ceremony of the show were Third
Secretary of the Myanmar State Peace and Development Council Lieutenant-General Win Myint, Five
Myanmar Ministers including Minister of Information Major-General Kyi Aung and Minister of Progress
of Border Areas and National Races and Development Affairs Colonel Thein Nyunt, three deputy
ministers as well as over 300 people, including foreign diplomats.
The photos on display in the show total 217 sheets and are made up of three parts: “West China — A
Land Of Hope”, “Tibet „s Yesterday and Today” and “A Day in Lhasa” (introducing a life scene of the
autonomous region capital of Lhasa on 27 February 2001).
During the show, seven Chinese feature films would also be screened including “The Emperor of Tibet”,
“The Chinese King Flower” and “The Artillery of Qing Dynasty” as well as seven other Chinese
documentary films including “The Wonder Of The Yellow River”, “Get To Know Tibet”, and “The
Heilongjiang Art Troupe of China in Myanmar
The Heilongjiang Art Troupe of China staged its first performance at the National Theatre winning a
Artists of the troupe performed 15 acts including dance, acrobatic, and magic displays as well as female
vocal solos and an instrumental music ensemble. Some 1,500 people watched the performance including
high-ranking Myanmar and Chinese officials.
During its stay, the troupe would give six performances — four in the capital of Yangon and two in the
country‟s second largest city of Mandalay.
34 China-ASEAN Review 2001
Chronology of Sino –Philippine Relations 2001
29 March Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji met with Alfonso Yuchengco, the Philippine
President‟s special envoy in Beijing.
4 April Third China-Philippines Experts‟ Group Meeting on Confidence-Building Measures
held in Beijing.
24 May Chinese Vice-president Hu Jintao met with Teofisto Guingona, vice-president and
secretary of foreign affairs of the Philippines, who is in Beijing to attend the Asia-Europe
Foreign Ministers meeting.
27 August Chinese Vice-Premier Li Lanqing met with former Philippine President Fidel
Ramos in Beijing.
29-31 October Arroyo held talks with Tung Chee-Hwa, chief executive of the Hong Kong
Special Administrative Region, and deliver a keynote speech at the tenth East Asia Economic
Summit held under the auspices of the World Economic Forum in Hong Kong.
30 October Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Chinese President met with Jiang
Zemin and Li Peng; a Sino-Philippine treaty on extradition and other seven documents of
cooperation were signed on this day.
29 November Wei Jianxing, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of
the Communist Party of China Central Committee, met with a delegation from the Philippine
ruling party headed by Jose Ma A. Rufino, the national executive director of the party in Beijing.
New Filipino president, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo assumed office after Joseph Estrada was forced to step
down from office. Continuing differences in the South China Sea remain, but relations between China and
the Philippines seemed to have made progress. Chinese President Jiang Zemin and Foreign Minister Tang
Jiaxuan sent messages to Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Vice President and Foreign
Secretary Teofisto Guingona to mark the 103rd anniversary of the independence of the Philippines. In
October, the president visited the Hong Kong SAR and China. In Hong Kong, President Arroyo held
talks with Chief Executive Tung Chee-Hwa and deliver a keynote speech at the tenth East Asia Economic
Summit held under the auspices of the World Economic Forum. She also addressed a gathering of
overseas Filipino workers in Hong Kong, the largest labour market of Filipino workers in Asia.
China would make joint efforts as always with the government and people of the Philippines in enhancing
mutual trust and reciprocal cooperation in all sectors, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu
Bangzao. Zhu made the remark in response to a question raised by a journalist on the inauguration of new
Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
The spokesman said that China has been informed of Arroyo‟s assumption of the presidency by the
Philippine embassy here. He said Arroyo is a friend of the Chinese people and she paid a successful visit
to China last year. China and the Philippines, as close neighbours, and have long enjoyed a traditional
China-ASEAN Review 2001 35
friendship, Zhu said, adding that it is the established policy of the Chinese government to develop friendly
cooperation with the Philippines.
Chinese President Jiang Zemin greeted his Philippine counterpart, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, on the
occasion of the latter‟s assumption of the presidency.
In a message of congratulation to Arroyo, Jiang, on behalf of the People‟s Republic of China, the Chinese
people, and in his own name, sent his “heartfelt congratulations and best wishes” to the new Philippine
Jiang said that since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1975, the two sides have made
great progress in exchanges and cooperation in the fields of politics, economy and trade, and culture. He
added that the joint statement on the framework of cooperation signed between the two countries at the
turn of the century defined the orientation and aims of the development of relations between the two
countries in the twenty-first century.
“I am will work, in close cooperation with your excellency, to further enhance the good-neighbourly
mutual trust and mutually beneficial cooperation between China and the Philippines, and to consolidate
and develop the traditional friendship between the two peoples,” he said. Macapagal-Arroyo was sworn in
as the fourteenth president of the Philippines at noon after former president Joseph Estrada was forced to
step down from office.
The new Philippine government would continue to honour the country‟s “One-China” policy, a senior
official said here, stressing that the changing of the guard at the Manila Economic and Cultural Office
(MECO) in Taipei would not, in any way, affect that policy. In a radio interview, Presidential Spokesman
Renato Corona said the appointment of former Appointments Secretary Isabel Golamco as acting
chairperson of MECO, replacing former Senator Eva Estrada, Kalaw, is only administrative in nature and
has nothing to do with the One-China policy of the Philippines.
Corona said the Philippines has no diplomatic relations with Taiwan and would continue to recognize the
People‟s Republic of China as the sole representative of the Chinese people.
He also explained that MECO handles only economic and cultural affairs, foremost of which is to attend
to the welfare of thousands of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) now in Taiwan.
China urged the Philippines to respect its territorial integrity and abide by the consensus reached by both
sides so as to maintain stability in the South China Sea and friendship between the two countries.
The Philippine navy recently forcefully boarded Chinese fishing boats in the South China Sea, confiscated
all the catch and forced the boats to leave the area. China has made solemn representations with the
Philippines over this issue, foreign ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi said at a regular news conference in
response to a question concerning the issue.
He stressed that Huangyan Island in the South China Sea has always been part of the Chinese territory —
a fact that has been universally respected by the international community.
Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo reiterated here that her administration would continue to
follow the “One China” policy, describing it as the political basis of the Philippines-China relations.
During a courtesy call by Chinese Ambassador Wang Chungui in the presidential palace, Arroyo said the
new government of the Philippines attaches great importance to developing relations with China and is
36 China-ASEAN Review 2001
willing to work together with the Chinese government to further strengthen political and economic ties
between the two countries.
The Philippine president called for the strengthening of the bilateral cooperation between the two
countries, particularly in the fields of agriculture, trade, and investment.
This would help her administration‟s goal of rebuilding the southern island of Mindanao, which was badly
damaged through military action by the previous administration of former President Joseph Estrada, she
added. Arroyo assumed presidency in January in a “People Power” uprising that toppled her corruption-
Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji said that the Chinese government is willing to work with the new Philippine
government to strengthen bilateral cooperation in various areas.
Zhu made the remarks in a meeting with Alfonso Yuchengco, the Philippine President‟s special envoy
who was visiting Beijing.
He said that the visit by Yuchengco, soon after President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was sworn in,
demonstrates the importance the Philippine government attaches to its relations with China.
Zhu noted that Sino-Philippine relations have maintained a good development momentum, saying that
China expects to push forward long-term and stable bilateral ties. In particular, the Chinese government
wishes to increase its cooperation with the Philippines in trade and agriculture, he said.
On the issue of the South China Sea, Zhu said that the heads of state of the two countries have reached
an important consensus on solving the existing differences.
Yuchengco delivered a letter from Arroyo to Chinese President Jiang Zemin. He noted that the purpose
of his visit is to express the wish of Arroyo and the new Philippine government to strengthen the
friendship with China. Yuchengco said that the Philippines is thankful for China‟s support and assistance
in its economic development. He added that his country is willing to further deepen bilateral exchanges in
various areas in accordance with the joint declaration on bilateral cooperation in the twenty-first century.
The Philippine government would continue to stick to the one-China policy and support China‟s
accession to the World Trade Organization, he said, adding that the Philippines appreciates China‟s active
role in regional dialogue and cooperation.
China and the Philippines agreed to continue with their commitment not to allow their differences over
the issue of the South China Sea to affect the overall development of their bilateral ties.
In a joint press statement issued at the end of the third China-Philippines Experts‟ Group Meeting on
Confidence-Building Measures in Beijing, the two sides said developing friendship and cooperation
between the two countries conform with the basic interests of the two peoples.
It said the two sides expressed satisfaction that the two-day meeting manifested the determination of both
countries to “preserve and advance the excellent relations between them.”
They agreed that the two countries should establish “a long-term and stable relationship” on the basis of
good neighbourliness, cooperation, and mutual trust and benefit in accordance with the China-Philippines
Joint Statement on the Framework of Bilateral Cooperation in the twenty-first Century, which was issued
2000 in Beijing.
The two sides reviewed the situation in the South China Sea, and agreed to continue with the commitment
not to allow bilateral differences to affect the overall development of the relations between the two
countries, the enormous potentials of which remain un-exploited.
China-ASEAN Review 2001 37
They exchanged views on the incidents around Huangyan Island/Scarborough Shoal, and agreed that,
“neither side shall take any action that might complicate and escalate the situation in this area,” it said. The
series of understanding and consensus reached by the two sides have played a constructive role in
maintaining the sound development of China-Philippines relations and peace and stability of the South
China Sea area. During the meeting, the two sides reviewed previous agreements and understanding on
principles provided under August 1995 Joint Statement on China-Philippines Consultations on the South
China Sea and on other areas of cooperation, and those achieved during the previous two meetings on
Chinese Vice-president Hu Jintao said here that China is ready to work constantly with the Philippine side
to develop long-term, stable, and friendly bilateral relations. Hu made the remarks during a meeting with
Teofisto Guingona, vice-president and secretary of foreign affairs of the Philippines, who is here to attend
the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Foreign Ministers‟ Meeting.
Hu congratulated Guingona on his new post as vice-president. He said the frequent contacts and
exchange of visits between the leaders of the two countries have brought benefits for the people of the
two countries. Bilateral trade has been growing vigorously and the cooperation in agriculture has born
preliminary results, Hu noted.
Hu told Guingona that China appreciates the fact that President Gloria Arroyo and the vice-president
himself value the development of relations with China and that the Philippine Government uphold the
one-China policy. “As two developing nations in Asia, China and the Philippines share vast common
ground and benefits in international and regional affairs,” Hu said.
“At a time when the process of economic globalisation and regional cooperation is moving fast, the
expanding and deepening of cooperation would serve the fundamental interests of the two peoples and
contribute to regional peace, stability and prosperity.”
Guingona said he was satisfied with the growth of bilateral relations and the development of economic
cooperation and trade in particular. He added that the Philippines is grateful for China‟s assistance in the
agricultural area and hopes that China can increase its number of investment and cooperative projects in
The vice-president stressed that the Philippine government would continue to observe the one-China
policy. The Philippine side also appreciates the support of China regarding the ASEAN (Association of
Southeast Asian Nations) plus three (China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea).
Chinese President Jiang Zemin and Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan sent messages to Philippine President
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Vice President and Foreign Secretary Teofisto Guingona to mark the 103rd
anniversary of the independence of the Philippines. In his message, President Jiang expressed great
appreciation for the unremitting efforts and remarkable achievements made by the Philippine people over
the past century and more in safeguarding national independence, promoting social progress, and
invigorating the national economy.
Jiang said bilateral ties between China and the Philippines have witnessed great development since the two
countries established diplomatic relations 26 years ago, with friendship and exchanges between the two
peoples growing day by day. The Chinese president said that he firmly believes the development of Sino-
Philippine friendship has broad prospects.
Tang, in a separate message, said he hoped to work with his Philippine counterpart Guingona for the
fulfilment of the tasks set forth in the Joint Statement on the Framework for Cooperation.
Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo defined foreign policies of the country, highlighting closer
ties with the United States, China, Japan, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the
38 China-ASEAN Review 2001
International Islamic Community. In her foreign policy speech at the 103rd founding anniversary of the
Department of Foreign Affairs, Arroyo pointed out that China, Japan, and the United States would be the
determining influence in the security situation and economic evolution of East Asia.
Arroyo cited the historic ties between the Philippines and the United States but stressed that this alliance
should be responsive to the new realities of globalisation and the relationship between democracy and the
market. With China, the Philippines desires “a healthy, comprehensive, long-term relationship that
transcends the specific matters at issue between us,” Arroyo said. She also said that more and more
foreign policy decisions should be made in the context of the ASEAN.
The International Islamic Community would continue to be important for the Philippines. The
Philippines would continue to forge “closer and stronger” bilateral relations with members of the
powerful Organization of Islamic Conference in its quest of seeking a permanent peace and development
of Southern Philippines, where most of the four million Muslims of the country are living, the President
Arroyo also stressed that the country‟s economic growth would continue to be heavily dependent on
direct foreign investment, and overseas Filipinos would continue to play an important role in the country‟s
economic and social stability.
Chinese Vice-Premier Li Lanqing met in Bejing with former Philippine President Fidel Ramos. Li said that
he appreciated Ramos‟ efforts in promoting exchanges and cooperation in various fields between the two
The development of friendly relations between the two countries is in the interest of the two peoples, Li
said, noting that both sides should make substantial efforts in advancing the long-term stability of the
bilateral relations and become “good neighbours, good friends, and good partners.”
Ramos said that he would continue to promote relations between the Philippines and China. Ramos is
here as guest of the China Association for International Friendly Contacts.
Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo left for a two-day visit to Hong Kong and the subsequent
state visit to the People‟s Republic of China from 29 to 31 October to boost the bilateral relations
between the Philippines and China. Before departure at the international airport, President Arroyo said,
“at no other time has our relationship with China been more important than today” because the rapid
pace of events has placed China at the centre of world attention.
She said the visit “would reaffirm the historic ties between the Filipino and the Chinese people, ready to
share history and seek to build a future of global friendship between brothers.”
During her state visit to China, she would convey to Chinese President Jiang Zemin and the Chinese
people “our desire for closer relations on the basis of a shared vision of peace, harmony and common
prosperity,” she said. She said she would discuss with Chinese leaders important matters of common
concern, including agricultural cooperation, trade, and investments and fighting trans-national crimes.
During the state visit, she said, the two countries would sign several documents on bilateral cooperation.
During her visit to Hong Kong, President Arroyo would hold talks with Tung Chee-Hwa, chief executive
of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and deliver a keynote speech at the tenth East Asia
Economic Summit held under the auspices of the World Economic Forum.
She would also address a gathering of overseas Filipino workers in Hong Kong, the largest labour market
of Filipino workers in Asia. There are now about 180,000 Filipino household workers in Hong Kong.
China-ASEAN Review 2001 39
Visiting Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo received an honorary doctorate from Tsinghua
University. The doctorate was awarded in honour of the President‟s contribution to a better relationship
between China and Philippines, as well as for her academic achievements and contribution to public
service, said the University President Wang Dazhong.
After the ceremony, Arroyo spoke on the Philippines‟ foreign policy and Philippines-China relations,
saying, “the Philippines desires a healthy, comprehensive, long-term relationship with China”, and
opportunities for cooperation between the two countries are “virtually limitless”. Arroyo began her state
visit to China on 29 October as guest of Chinese President Jiang Zemin.
China and the Philippines here today agreed to make concerted efforts for advancing the formulation of
the code of behaviour on the South China Sea in a bid to safeguard the stability in the region.
Chinese President Jiang Zemin and the visiting Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo held
lengthy official talks at the Great Hall of the People, where the two heads of state exchanged views on
issues of common concerned, including the issue of the South China Sea.
Both believed that existing differences between the two countries should not affect the overall situation of
bilateral relations. Both agreed to seek ways for resolving the problem by peaceful negotiations through
the current bilateral channels.
The two leaders in the talks also agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation in non-traditional security areas
and striking against trans-national crimes. Arroyo was currently on a three-day state visit to China as guest
With China‟s impending entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), both the Philippines and China
would further their cooperation and exchanges in agriculture, electronics and manufacturing as well as in
the service industry, said Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Arroyo, who arrived in Beijing for a three-day state visit to China, made the remarks at a China-
Philippines business forum. The Philippines and China began their ties including close business links
during the Song dynasty (960-1279), Arroyo said. She hopes that more Chinese corporations would set up
business in the Philippines, and called on Philippine enterprises to enter the Chinese market.
China has drawn much worldwide attention because of the momentum of its economic development and
is playing an active role in the process of economic globalisation, she said. In an effort to draw more
foreign investors including the Chinese, the Philippine government is now making regulations and taking
measures to improve its infrastructure, she said.
As a country with a large rural population, she said, the Philippines received much help from China for its
agricultural modernization. China has provided the Philippines with advanced agricultural machinery and
its own hybrid rice technology, she said, adding that the Philippines wishes to strengthen cooperation with
China in water treatment systems and rural road construction. Yu Xiaosong, president of the China
Council for the Promotion of International Trade, also addressed the forum. “Sino-Philippine economic
and trade relations have been developing steadily since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1975,”
Yu said. “The bilateral trade volume reached US$3.1 billion in 2000, an increase of 37 percent from 1999,”
He also mentioned a business council between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations
(ASEAN), whose first meeting is to be held in Indonesia next month. “I believe this institution would
bring cooperation between China and ASEAN as well as China and the Philippines to a new level,” he
40 China-ASEAN Review 2001
The exchanges between the parliaments of China and the Philippines have become an important part of
bilateral relations, said Chinese top lawmaker Li Peng. In a meeting with visiting Philippine President
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Li Peng, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People‟s
Congress, said such exchanges have and made positive contributions to enhancing mutual understanding
and trust and promoting sound and stable development of bilateral relations.
Li noted that in recent years, Chinese and Philippine parliaments have maintained close exchanges, as they
have established friendship groups and the two parliaments have maintained close cooperation in the
international parliamentary organization.
Li welcomed more Philippine parliament members to visit China. “They should see China with their own
eyes, experience the friendly feelings of the Chinese people and strengthen exchanges in legislation and
supervision,” he said. Li said China cherishes the friendship between China and the Philippines and
sincerely hopes that both sides develop long-term and stable relations and expand exchanges and
cooperation in all fields.
Li expressed happiness at the safe return of a Chinese citizen, Zhang Zhongyi, who was held hostage in
the Philippines, and appreciation for President Arroyo‟s personal care and effort to save the Chinese
hostage. On the situation in China, Li said China has a large population and a weak economic foundation,
and its development is unbalanced. To develop and unleash social productive forces is the central task in
China and China needs a peaceful international environment, and stable neighbouring environments in
particular, he said.
Therefore, China holds to a policy of good-neighbourliness and friendship, and sincerely hopes to develop
all-round friendly relations and cooperation with Southeast Asian countries including the Philippines, Li
said. Li said the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Shanghai was a complete success. It is the
results of joint efforts by all the participating members, and China thanks President Arroyo for her
Arroyo said she believes that exchanges between the Philippine parliament and China‟s National People‟s
Congress would enhance friendly relations between the two countries.
Arroyo said the friendship between the Philippines and China dates back a long time and
nongovernmental exchanges were widespread before the establishment of diplomatic relations. She said
she is proud of being active in promoting friendship between the Philippines and China as an initiator of
Philippine-China Council of Understanding in the past.
Arroyo said the Philippines welcomes China‟s admission to the World Trade Organization, adding that the
move would place China in the centre of the world economy and help it to assume an increasingly
important role in regional and world economic development.
China and the Philippines signed a Sino-Philippine treaty on extradition and other seven documents of
cooperation in Beijing.
Chinese President Jiang Zemin and the visiting Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo oversaw the
signing after official talks held at the Great Hall of the People.
The governments between the two countries signed two memorandum of understanding (MOU) on
striking against trans-national crimes and on combating illegal drug trafficking, the random use of
narcotics and strengthening supervision on chemicals which may allow easy drug making. Chinese and
Philippine sports authorities signed a MOU for promoting sports exchanges.
The foreign ministries between the two countries exchanged notes on the establishment of a Philippine
consulate-general in Shanghai. Trade promotion departments between the two countries signed two
agreements for boosting two-way trade.
China-ASEAN Review 2001 41
A Chinese company signed an agreement on offering loans for the construction of a pumping station in
Both developing countries, China and the Philippines extensively share common interests in international
and regional affairs, Jiang said in a meeting with Philippine President Arroyo.
Under the current world situation, the two sides should strengthen communication and cooperation in
international organizations such as the United Nations (UN), the World Trade Organization (WTO) and
the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), he said.
After it entering the WTO, China would further open its domestic market to worldwide competitors.
China would like to see Philippine enterprises invest in China, especially in the western region, Jiang said.
At the same time, Jiang said, the Chinese government would encourage Chinese enterprises to invest in
Southeast Asian countries, including the Philippines. Arroyo said she agrees with Jiang‟s proposal on
enhancing the bilateral relations. She said the Philippines is willing to develop a long-term, healthy, and
extensive friendship with China.
Arroyo said the bilateral cooperation has great potential and prospects. The Philippines wants to intensify
mutual trust between the two countries. The Philippine president highly values the modernization drive
made by the Chinese people.
Wei Jianxing, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of
China (CPC) Central Committee, met here with a delegation from the Philippine ruling party headed by
Jose Ma A. Rufino, the national executive director of the party.
Wei, who is also a member of the CPC Central Committee Secretariat, told the delegation of Lakas-
National Union of Christian Democrats-United Muslim Democrats of the Philippines, that China and the
Philippines, two neighbouring countries, have witnessed long-standing friendship and expanded
exchanges and cooperation in all areas since the two countries forged diplomatic ties 26 years ago.
He said that Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, during her recent China tour, exchanged
views with Chinese President Jiang Zemin on further developing bilateral ties. The important consensus
reached by the two top leaders has invigorated the growth of bilateral ties between the two countries, he
On party-to-party relations, Wei said the visit marked the beginning of exchanges between the two ruling
parties of the two countries in the new century. He believed that the visit would enhance mutual
understanding and friendship between the two sides and contribute to the healthy growth of good-
neighbourly and cooperative ties between the two countries. Rufino, who is also the presidential advisor
for political affairs, said the delegation has witnessed the achievements made by the Chinese people under
the leadership of the CPC during the reform and opening-up drive.
Vice Premier Meets Trade Chairman
Chinese Vice-Premier Wu Bangguo met with Harry Angping, chairman of the Committee for Trade and
Industry of the House of Representatives of the Philippines. During the meeting, the two sides exchanged
views on strengthening economic and trade ties and agriculture cooperation between China and the
42 China-ASEAN Review 2001
Chinese Premier in Talks on Trade Cooperation
Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji that the economic and trade cooperation between China and the Philippines
can focus on agriculture, infrastructure and information industry. Zhu made the remarks in his meeting in
Beijing with visiting Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
In the field of agricultural cooperation, Zhu said that China‟s accumulated experience in agricultural
development was adaptable in the Philippines. Citing a successful example, Zhu said that China‟s quality
hybrid rice seeds have begun to be sown across the Philippines after trial planting. Construction of the
China-Philippines agro-technical centre, which was proposed by Zhu during his 1999 Philippine visit, has
started. The further enhancement of cooperation in the agricultural field can bring economic benefits to
the Philippine people, Zhu said.
China can, and is willing, to help the Philippines build up its infrastructure, thanks to China‟s technical
know-how and competitive edge in project contracting, Zhu said.
China is also capable of assisting the Philippines in the development of its information industry and
related businesses, which are an important component of the structural adjustment of the Philippine
economy, Zhu said. In response, Arroyo said she agrees with Zhu‟s suggestions, noting that the three
areas are also high priorities for the Philippine government. Thanking China for its assistance to the
Philippine economic development, she said that the two countries still have plenty of potential to tap.
Zhu regarded the economic cooperation between China and the Philippines as an important part of the
bilateral relations. Even under the tough trade situation in Asia, Zhu said, the bilateral trade has seen
notable growth and the trade deficits of the Philippines have been rectified. He said that Arroyo‟s China
tour would definitely lift the bilateral ties to a new level.
Days before the formalization of China‟s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) later this
month, a newly published book titled Inside Chinese Business — A Guide for Managers Worldwide” became a
best seller in the largest book chain store in the Philippines. “The book is...enriched by productive
consulting work with global firms reaping success in China,” said an article on a prominent page of the
country‟s leading newspaper the Philippine Daily Inquirer recently, “it may not transform you to „becoming‟
Chinese, but it would give you the right „Chinese mindset‟.”
China‟s economy has managed to grow fairly rapidly in recent years and is targeting an annual growth rate
of seven percent for the next five years. But most of the Philippine companies, especially those in export
sectors, are facing lay-offs, plunging profits, and expansion cutbacks caused by the global economic
Thus, the 1.2 billion-population market which would be opened up to the world after China‟s entry into
the WTO, its fast-growing incomes and a high savings rate of nearly 40 percent make their biggest
neighbour become so attractive to Philippine businessmen.
Some companies run by Filipino-Chinese have started cashing in on the opportunities. Owners of the
snack food and chocolate manufacturing giant Universal Robina Corp. (URC), the popular local fast food
chain Jollibee, the successful shopping mall SM and some others have tested the water in China‟s market
and intended to invest more. The URC Executive Assistant Joan Cosico said, China has always been
considered as a profitable area for expansion.
Meanwhile, as some financial analysts predicted that the sheer size of the Chinese capital market and the
deep pool of savings would force Chinese to go beyond the nation‟s borders in searching for investment
opportunities, the Philippines awaits more investment from China.
Inflows from China jumped 58 percent than a year ago, reaching 328 million pesos (US$6.3 million) and
turning China the second biggest capital investors during the period.
China-ASEAN Review 2001 43
Chinese Minister of National Defence Chi Haotian held talks here with Orlando Mercado, secretary of
defence of the Philippines. Chi, also vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission and a state
councillor, said that China and the Philippines have enjoyed a long-term traditional friendship.
In the new century, the two states and armed forces should further promote mutual understanding and
trust and strengthen cooperation so as to safeguard the peace and stability of the South China Sea, he
added. Chi also briefed the guests on the Chinese government‟s views on the international and regional
issues, China‟s domestic situation and army development.
Mercado said that the Philippines is ready to promote good-neighbourly relations with China and deepen
the friendship between the two armed forces and peoples. Prior to the talks, a ceremony was held to
welcome the Philippine guests.
Chronology of Sino-Singapore 2001
22 February Fu Quanyou, chief of the General Staff of the People‟s Liberation Army, met
with Second Minister for Defence Teo Chee Hean of Singapore; he also met with Lim Chuan
Poh, Chief of the Defence Force of Singapore.
9 June Lee Kuan Yew, senior minister in the Prime Minister‟s Office of Singapore, visited
Shanghai. Lee also attended the seventh anniversary of the establishment of the Suzhou
Industrial Park funded by Singapore.
8 August Chinese President Jiang Zemin and Premier Zhu Rongji sent their congratulatory
message to Singaporean leaders on the occasion of the 36th anniversary of the founding of the
Republic of Singapore.
12-22 September Singaporean President S.R. Nathan pays a state visit to China.
19 October Goh Chok Tong, prime minister of Singapore met with Jiang Zemin in Shanghai
during the APEC Economic Leaders‟ Meeting.
20 November Li Ruihuan, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People‟s
Political Consultative Conference met with Tan Soo Khoon, speaker of the Singaporean
Parliament in Singapore.
Chinese President Jiang Zemin and Premier Zhu Rongji sent their congratulatory message to Singaporean
leaders on the occasion of the 36th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Singapore. Singaporean
President Nathan paid a state visit to China from 12-22 September. Li Ruihuan, chairman of the National
Committee of the Chinese People‟s Political Consultative Conference met with Tan Soo Khoon, speaker
of the Singaporean Parliament in Singapore on 20 November. The relationship between the two states has
been on many levels, in particular trade and economic cooperation. In particular, the Suzhou Industrial
Park, the biggest such project between China and Singapore, expanded and was doing increased business.
Singapore Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew visited the Park to witness progress.
44 China-ASEAN Review 2001
Chinese President Jiang Zemin said here that he hopes the Sino-Singaporean cooperation would be
upgraded to a new high in the new century. In a meeting with Singapore Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew,
Jiang said that the relations between China and Singapore are good and the bilateral cooperation in various
areas has been fruitful.
Jiang, who is on an inspection tour of Jiangsu Province, invited Lee to attend the seventh anniversary of
the establishment of the Suzhou Industrial Park and expressed appreciation of Lee‟s contribution to the
development of the park.
Jiang said that during the past seven years, with concerted efforts of both sides, the park, while learning
from the management expertise of Singapore, has made great achievements in its development and in
attracting overseas investment. Jiang said that he hopes the two sides would work closely to make the
industrial park even more competitive in international business. Lee said that the Singaporean side expects
to strengthen cooperation with China to push forward the development of the park.
Chinese President Jiang Zemin and Premier Zhu Rongji sent their congratulatory message to Singaporean
leaders on the occasion of the 36th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Singapore.
President Jiang, in his message to Singaporean President Nathan, said that in the 11 years since the
establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Singapore, bilateral relations have achieved a smooth
development, and that the two countries have deepened mutually beneficial cooperation, and coordinated
well in international and regional affairs.
Strengthening the friendly Sino-Singaporean cooperation is in accord with the fundamental interests of the
two countries and peoples, and contributes to regional prosperity and stability, Jiang said.
Jiang said he believes that with joint efforts, cooperation between the two countries would develop further
in a more comprehensive manner in the new century. iang said he is looking forward to President
Nathan‟s state visit to China on September 2001.
Premier Zhu Rongji said in his message to his Singaporean counterpart Goh Chok Tong that he would
like to make efforts in line with the spirit of the joint statement on bilateral cooperation published in 2000
to push Sino-Singaporean ties to a higher stage.
Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan also sent a message to Singaporean Foreign Minister Shunmugam
Jayakumar on the occasion.
Singapore President S.R. Nathan has described the current Singapore-China relations as “highly positive”,
“very close”, and “already balanced” and expressed his belief that the complementarily of the two
countries can be further developed for the benefit of the peoples of the two countries.
In an interview with Chinese correspondents based in Singapore ahead of his upcoming state visit to
China, the president said that the current relations between Singapore and China are “highly positive” and
underlined by the close relations at various levels and in different fields. “Our leaders have had long
contacts with yours, useful exchanges and shared many views about world and regional affairs as well as
bilateral relations,” the president said.
Sino-Singapore economic relations have grown continuously over the past years and have become much
stronger now with Singapore being China‟s seventh largest trade partner and fifth investor, the president
China-ASEAN Review 2001 45
He said friendly relations and frequent exchanges between the two countries have “developed in various
planes, at the political leadership level, at the business level, at the people-people level and also among
Referring to his upcoming state visit to China, the president said the purpose of his visit is to underline
the importance he personally attaches to relations with China and the Chinese people and would take the
opportunity to meet with Chinese leaders to exchange views on China‟s economic and social development
and perceptions about the region as well as the world. He also wants to have a look at the changes taking
place in China, he added. President Nathan stressed that Singapore and China can work on a
complementary basis as China is a large country with many resources and highly capable people while
Singapore, though a small country, has ability in economic development and management.
“There would be considerable opportunities for both countries and both peoples” and “I hope this
complementarily can be further developed,” the president said.
He underlined the need for more contacts and exchanges between younger political leaders as well as
young people at various levels as these would help foster a sense of familiarity.
He said the important message he would carry to China is that “We look forward to your progress and
prosperity. We look forward to you playing a role in the progress and prosperity in this region. And we
look forward to stability in your relations with others.”
President Nathan plans to pay a state visit to China from 12-22 September.
Singapore supports the peaceful reunification of China, President S.R. Nathan of Singapore said in an
interview with Chinese correspondents based in Singapore ahead of his upcoming state visit to China.
“Let me underline this point,” the president said, “From the time of our independence we have always
held one position — there is only one China and Taiwan is part of China.”
He also noted that when China applied to re-enter the United Nations, Singapore voted for the PRC‟s
restoration of its seat in the U.N. General Assembly. “Since then we have maintained the same position,
and that position has never been changed,” the president said.
Singapore hopes to see that both sides of the Taiwan Strait can find a solution through peaceful
negotiations for disputes and disagreements, the president said.
Chinese President Jiang Zemin said in Shanghai that China is ready to enhance cooperation with
Singapore and other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to promote
mutual development as well as stability and prosperity in the region. In a meeting with Goh Chok Tong,
prime minister of Singapore, Jiang said that China has witnessed rapid economic growth in recent years,
which is to a large extent attributed to the stability and development in Asia.
Goh Chok Tong, who is in Shanghai to attend the Economic Leaders‟ Meeting of the Asia-Pacific
Economic Cooperation (APEC), said that he has been to Shanghai a number of times and each time saw
changes in the city. The two leaders exchanged views on international and regional issues of common
The Singaporean Prime Minister briefed Jiang on Singapore‟s principled stance on supporting the anti-
terrorism efforts of the international community. Jiang reiterated the persistent stand of the Chinese
government on combating terrorism, and called for concerted efforts of all Asian countries and people to
safeguard regional peace and stability.
Li Ruihuan, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People‟s Political Consultative
Conference (CPPCC), met with Tan Soo Khoon, speaker of the Singaporean Parliament in Singapore. Li,
46 China-ASEAN Review 2001
leader of China‟s top advisory body, spoke highly of the smooth growth of the governmental and non-
governmental ties between China and Singapore.
He said that after China adopted the reform and opening-up policy, it has achieved rapid economic
progress. However, its overall level of development is still low and its growth still needs a long period of
time, he said. Practice in the reform and open-up drive has proved and would go on to prove that the
development of China would only benefit its neighbours and the world as a whole, Li noted.
Agreeing with Li‟s view, the Singaporean speaker said his country is ready to promote a more
comprehensive relationship of mutually beneficial cooperation with China.
Li Ruihuan had arrived in Singapore on a five-day official goodwill visit to the island country, which is the
last leg of his three-nation Asia-Pacific tour, which also included Fiji and Papua New Guinea.
Suzhou Industrial Park
Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP), the biggest economic cooperation project between China and Singapore, is
operating smoothly and on rapid growth since the equity share of the park was adjusted.
At a news briefing 10 March on the development of SIP attended by Ji Yunshi, governor of Jiangsu
Province, Chin Siat Yoon, Singapore Ambassador to China, and more than 300 officials, diplomats, and
business leaders and local officials gave a detailed presentation on the SIP.
Ji Yunshi said SIP generated a GDP (gross domestic product) 1.57 billion yuan (about US$190 million)
and realized a revenue value of 220 million yuan (about US$26.6 million) in January of 2001, up 83.4
percent and 86 percent over the same period in 2000. The industrial park also completed exports and
imports worth US$340 million in the same month, a sharp rise of over the same period in 2000.
According to a memorandum regarding SIP signed in 1999 between China and Singapore, the equity share
of China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial Development Co., Ltd (CSSD), the main developer of SIP, was
adjusted as of 1 January 2001.
The new share adjustment means that the Chinese Consortium holds 65 percent instead of 35 percent
while the Singapore Consortium holds 35 percent instead of 65 percent. As a result, the Chinese
Consortium began to shoulder the responsibility in CSSD as the major shareholder. According to Chen
Deming, Suzhou‟s top official, after the share adjustment, the Chinese Consortium has taken a series of
measures to further protect the legitimate rights of investors, to lower the development cost as well as
To date, all enterprises that have operated two years or more have made a profit. Chen said that SIP has
set the goal of attracting foreign investment of US$5.5 billion and it would invest US$800 million in
improving infrastructure facilities.
New Construction at Suzhou Industrial Park
Construction started in April on the second and third districts of the Suzhou Industrial Park. The decision
to enlarge the park came after both sides found the highly satisfactory performance of the first district,
about 8 sq km in size, in the telecommunications, precise machining, and bio-pharmaceutical industries.
The development momentum was not at all affected when China became the controlling shareholder at
the beginning of 2001. The second district would focus on hi-tech and the third on processing industries.
Upon completion, the entire park would provide 360,000 job opportunities.
China-ASEAN Review 2001 47
Seventh Anniversary of Suzhou Industrial Park
Vice-Premier Li Lanqing said on 8 June that China and Singapore should make joint efforts to further
develop the Suzhou Industrial Park and make it thrive even more. Li said this while attending a ceremony
to mark the seventh anniversary of the park, which is located in this city in east China‟s Jiangsu Province.
He said the two countries should make greater efforts to expand cooperation, to ensure that the park
keeps developing with a strong momentum. Li said that the Chinese government would, as always,
support the development of the park, and hopes that the park can combine China‟s domestic conditions
with Singapore‟s experience.
The park should make bold explorations in reforming operating systems so as to sharpen its competitive
edge and become a modern industrial zone with Chinese characteristics.
Information Technology Projects for Suzhou Industrial Park
Suzhou Industrial Park, the biggest economic cooperation project between China and Singapore, intends
to introduce about ten integrated circuit production lines as well as some other information technology
projects over the next five years. Suzhou Mayor Yang Weize said on 8 June that the decision is part of the
park‟s efforts to greatly increase its capactity for innovation and international competitiveness.
The strategy of the park is to create a number of well-known software enterprises that can carve out their
own shares of the global market, Yang said. Over the next three years, Yang said, the park plans to
maintain its annual GDP growth at 50 percent.
According to Yang, an average of two million yuan would be injected into infrastructure annually, and in
three to five years all the infrastructure projects would be completed in the 70-sq-km park. Work on an
information technology industrial zone, an international scientific, and technological zone and an export-
oriented processing zone would also be stepped up, the mayor said.
Lee Kuan Yew, senior minister in the Prime Minister‟s Office of Singapore, visited Shanghai on 9 June,
and met with Shanghai Mayor Xu Kuangdi in the evening. Xu said that Shanghai is building itself into an
international economic, financial, trade and navigation centre, and the city is keen to strengthen economic
cooperation with Singapore.
Lee praised the development of Shanghai, and said Singapore attaches importance to the exchanges and
cooperation with Shanghai and China at large. By April, trade between Shanghai and Singapore had
reached US$2.8 billion, mainly in the sectors of machinery, electronic appliances and minerals.
PRC Tourism to Singapore
A high-level Singaporean economic official reaffirmed that his country aims to achieve one million annual
visitor arrivals from China by 2005.
While responding a question at the parliament on 5 October, Senior Parliamentary Secretary of the
Ministry of Trade and Industry Tang Guan Seng said: “Due largely to China‟s strong internal economy,
the STB (Singapore Tourism Board) aims to achieve one million PRC (the People‟s Republic of China)
visitor arrivals to Singapore by 2005.”
This would place PRC as one of Singapore‟s largest tourism markets and Singapore intends to tap this
market to the fullest extent possible, he added. Tang drew attention to the fact that PRC tourist arrivals to
Singapore during the Asian financial crisis continued to grow at double-digit level and in the wake of the
11 September incident PRC tourist arrivals to Singapore registered an increase of 12.87 percent during the
period from 11 to 27 September compared to the same period of 2000, he added.
48 China-ASEAN Review 2001
On steps being taken to tap China tourism market, he said that STB is working closely with other
government agencies on increasing air links between Singapore and China, more streamlined visa
procedures, and setting up more offices in China to promote Singapore, noting the quantum of the
Bankers‟ Guarantee has been lowered for the 96-hour Collective Gratis Visa. He also said that STB would
work closely with local industry members as well as neighbouring countries to conduct collective
marketing and develop new products for the China market.
China is currently the sixth largest visitor-generating market for Singapore and received more than 400,000
visitors from China in 2000.
Oil Corporation to List IPO
China Aviation Oil (Singapore) Corporation Ltd (CAO), the sole importer of jet fuel for China‟s civil
aviation industry, launched its initial public offer (IPO) of 144 million new shares and would be listed on
the Main Board of the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited (SGX-ST) on 6 December 2001.
At a press conference held to launch the IPO, CAO managing director Chen Jiulin announced that at a
price of S$0.56 (about US$0.31 U.S.) per share, ten million shares would be offered to the public with 134
million shares by way of placement.
Chen also said the CAO plans to use the estimated S$76.6 million (about 42.8 million dollars) of net
proceeds raised from its IPO for future expansion in China‟s interior and Hong Kong, for acquisition in
the U.S. and Europe and for company‟s working capital.
The CAO, established in 1993, serves as the jet fuel procurement arm for its parent company, China
Aviation Oil Supply Corporation (CAOSC), a state-owned enterprise that is the sole entity authorized by
the Chinese government to allocate the import quota for the import of jet fuel into China. Its main
business includes the ownership and construction of jet fuel infrastructure as well as procurement,
transportation, storage and refueling of jet fuel to airports in China. CAOSC President Hai Liancheng told
the same press conference that following its listing, the CAO would become the first Chinese aviation oil
enterprise to be listed and the first Chinese enterprise operating overseas go listed on its own asset at
foreign stock exchange.
Estimating that China‟s jet fuel import would grow by at least 16 percent per year to reach an estimated
annual import volume of 16 million metric tons by 2016, Chen said his company has a well-mapped
strategy to ride on the growth of jet fuel industry and to leverage on the increasing purchase volume of jet
fuel into China to lower its unit cost and thereby improve its margins. The Development Bank of
Singapore Ltd is the manager, underwriter, and placement agent for the CAO‟s IPO.
Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall Opens
The fully restored Sun Yat-sen Nanyang Memorial Hall opened for tours on the 135th anniversary of the
birth of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the pioneer of China‟s democratic revolution. Singapore Senior Minister Lee
Kuan Yew officiated the opening and delivered a speech at the opening ceremony on November 12,
which was attended by the Minister of Information and the Arts Lee Yock Suan, Minister for Education
and the Second Minister for Defence Teo Chee Hean, Chinese Ambassador to Singapore Zhang Jiuhuan
and some 300 personalities from local communities and abroad.
Lee said that Sun Yat-sen was one of the great Asian leaders of the twentieth century and was an
inspiration to the overseas Chinese, and his appeal aroused their desire for a strong homeland.
He said the memorial hall records the activities of Dr. Sun Yat-sen in Southeast Asia and the involvement
of the local community in support of his cause. It joins the ranks of the other 43 national monuments that
reflect Singapore‟s multi-racial and multi-religious society, he added. In his speech at the function on,
Kwek Leng Joo, President of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI) said
China-ASEAN Review 2001 49
the memorial hall would serve to educate the young and inspire them with Sun‟s spirit of patriotism, as
well as their Nanyang predecessors‟ moral character of selflessness and devotion to society. SCCCI has
taken great pains to restore the building at a cost of S$8 million (about US$4.5 million).
The Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall was formerly known as Wan Qing Yuan, which in English
means “a heaven of peace in the twilight years.” The villa was owned by an overseas Chinese in Singapore
known as Teo Eng Hock, who bought the place for his mother‟s comfort in her old age. When Sun
arrived in Singapore in search of support for a revolution to overthrow Manchurian rule and foreign
oppression, Teo Eng Hock and his mother gave him the use of the villa.
Wan Qing Yuan eventually became the headquarters of the Chinese Revolutionary Alliance in Southeast
Asia and within the premises, Dr. Sun and his comrades planned activities to spread the revolutionary
cause, as well as to raise money and round up supporters for the revolution.
Now, sitting majestically in the garden of the restored Wan Qing Yuan is a stone stele that is
approximately 3.5 metres tall and about 16,000 kilograms in weight. Etched on its surface is a quote from
Lee Kuan Yew, reading “One Man Changed China-Dr. Sun Yat-sen.”
Some 1,000 headmasters and teachers from primary and middle schools in China, Canada and Singapore
gathered in Wuhan, capital of Hubei Province, on 23 November to discuss basic education. Bill Hogarth,
an education official from Canada, and Chinese officials and experts from the Ministry of Education, the
Central Education Science Institute, local educational departments, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences
gave speeches at today‟s opening ceremony.
During the four-day event, the educators would focus their talks on the reform, trends, and objectives of
basic education, and how to develop education in the fast developing information and technological era.
Exhibitions on achievements of modern education technology, teaching materials for lab courses, and
educational books and software would be held during the forum.
Fu Quanyou, chief of the General Staff of the People‟s Liberation Army, met with Second Minister for
Defence Teo Chee Hean of Singapore, who is also education minister. Fu, who is also a member of the
Central Military Commission, noted that China and Singapore have seen smooth growth of state and
military relations since the two countries established full diplomatic ties. That has resulted in a better
understanding of each other and enhanced friendship. In addition, the chief of general staff said China
hopes Singapore would continue with its one-China policy for a healthy development of China-Singapore
Teo Chee Hean said his current visit to China has been quite “ fruitful” and would help promote relations
between the two armies and the two countries. He pledged that Singapore would stick to the one-China
Through joint efforts by the peoples of both China and the Singapore, the good relations between the two
countries and two armies have bright prospects, said Fu Quanyou, chief of General Staff of the Chinese
People‟s Liberation Army (PLA) here. Fu, also a member of the Central Military Commission, spoke
highly of the relations between the two armed forces when he met with Lim Chuan Poh, Chief of
Defence Force of Singapore, and his party.
Fu said both the Chinese government and the armed forces attach great importance to the friendly
relations with Singapore, as they not only serve the fundamental interests of the two peoples, but also is
conducive to the peace and development of the Asia-Pacific region.
50 China-ASEAN Review 2001
Fu praised Singapore for its consistent support for the “One-China” policy, and briefed the guests on
China‟s peaceful foreign policy of independence.
Lim, the first Chief of Defence Force of Singapore to visit China, said he has been pleased to witness the
great achievements China has made in its economic drive. Lim expressed his hope to further cooperation
and ties between the two armed forces in the twenty-first century, and stressed Singapore‟s standpoint on
the “one-China” policy. Lim began his tour to China on 21 October, at the invitation of Fu.
Chronology of Sino-Thai Relations 2001
2 May Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra met a delegation of the Communist Party of
China led by Li Changchun, and discussed issues related to bilateral relations between China and
Thailand, and between the CPC and Thaksin‟s Thai Rak Thai Party.
7 June Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra met visiting Chinese Minister of
Communications Huang Zhendong.
21 June Chi Haotian, Chinese defence minister held talks with Chavalit Yongchaiyudh,
deputy Thai prime minister and minister of defence; Zhang Wannian, vice-chairman of the
Central Military Commission of China, met with Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, Thai deputy prime
minister and minister of Defence.
27-29 August Thai PM Thaksin visits China and met with Chinese President Jiang Zemin,
and other Chinese leaders; official talks were also held with Premier Zhu Rongji. A joint
communiqué was issued at the conclusion of the talks.
6 December Chinese Vice Premier Wen Jiabao met with Pridiyathorn Devakula, governor of
the Central Bank of Thailand who arrived in Beijing on to sign a mutual currency swap
agreement with the People‟s Bank of China.
High officials of the two countries expressed their satisfaction with the progress and development of
Sino-Thai relations during various state visits held throughout the year. The Thai Rak Thai Party‟s
landslide victory in the 6 January national election was acknowledged in a message of congratulations from
the Chinese government. Thai Foreign Minister Surakiat Sathirathai held meetings with Jiang Zemin and
Foreign Miniser Tang Jiaxuan in a visit to China in March. Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji visited in May.
Chinese President Jiang Zemin met with Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in Hong Kong during
the Fortune Global Forum in May. Thai officials called for increased long-term economic cooperation
between the two nations, and one aspect of this related to the currency swap agreement signed between
the Central Bank of Thailand and the People‟s bank of China.
China is pleased to see that the general election in Thailand is progressing smoothly, said Zhu Bangzao, on
behalf of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
China also congratulates Thailand‟s Thai Rak Thai Party (“Thai Loves Thai”) on winning the majority of
seats in the incoming House of Representatives, the lower chamber, he added.
Zhu noted that China is convinced that Sino-Thai good- neighbourly relations of mutual trust will
continue to expand.
China-ASEAN Review 2001 51
China‟s top legislator Li Peng has sent a congratulatory message to Uthai Pimchaichon over his election as
chief of Thailand‟s National Assembly and speaker of the House of Representatives. The exchanges and
cooperation in various fields between China and Thailand have been strengthened in recent years, said Li
in the message dated.
Uthai, a veteran politician from Thailand‟s Thai Rak Thai Party, was elected with overwhelming support as
speaker of the newly formed House of Representatives during the first house session.
Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji sent a message of congratulation to his Thai counterpart, Thaksin
Shinawatra, on the occasion of the latter‟s assumption of office.
In the message, Zhu expressed his “warm congratulations” to the new Thai Prime Minister and wished
the Kingdom of Thailand prosperity and the Thai people happiness.
Sino-Thai friendship has been strengthened and the cooperation in all fields has been deepened in recent
years through the effort of the two governments and peoples, said Zhu in the message.
“The friendly relations between China and Thailand are in keeping with the two peoples‟ interests and
redound to regional peace, stability and prosperity,” he said.
Thailand‟s new government strongly regards China as one of its most important allies, and attaches great
importance to the Thai-Chinese relations, Surakiat Sathirathai, Thailand‟s newly appointed foreign
minister, told Xinhua during an exclusive interview, prior to his visit to China.
“We look forward to more creative cooperation between the two countries in wider areas,” said Surakiat,
explaining why he chose China as the first country to visit outside the Association of Southeast Asian
Nations (ASEAN) after he assumed office.
Thai Rak Thai Party won a landslide victory in the 6 January national election and formed the new cabinet
on 17 February. The new administration has declared that it would conduct diplomacy in an “Asian way”
of face-saving and non-confrontation, in order to restore and strengthen its relations with neighbouring
countries and other Asian countries. “China is the first country I plan to visit outside ASEAN, because I
consider itself would convey an important message that we greatly emphasize the ties with China,”
Responding to the question of what is on the top agenda of his upcoming visit to China, the foreign
minister, recently known for his strong avocation for pan-Asian cooperation, said, “first of all, I would like
to address the great importance that all Asian countries need to get together more closely.”
“Since China has a policy to emphasize all-Asia cooperation, I would touch further the idea which I would
like to call as the Asian Cooperation Dialogue, that is, the attempt to further link countries in the South
Asia Sub-continent, ASEAN and East Asian countries,” he stated. “We already have a cooperation
framework between ASEAN and South Asia countries, but we still intend to have a framework in which
countries in ASEAN, South Asia and East Asia can be together, talking about areas of multilateral
cooperation,” he said.
However, he stressed that he is not looking for some tight organization in the beginning, but just a venue
so that all Asian countries can get together. “Countries participating in the dialogue would first exchange
views about what should be the topics before we can talk about them. And we would not solely focus on
economic or cultural issues. Instead, we would let the topics open,” he said.
Surakiat said he has been considering how such a multilateral forum can be formed and he thought that if
it were merely economic or cultural, it would probably lead to incessant disputes without any positive
outcome. “This time, when I am talking with Chinese leaders about my opinion that all Asian countries
52 China-ASEAN Review 2001
have to be united, and the issues of how can they be united, I think the idea of such a loose Asian
cooperation dialogue could be one option,” he said.
The foreign minister said he would like to work with his Chinese counterpart to see whether the planned
Asian Cooperation Dialogue is possible, and would like to support the leading role of China in regional
talks related to that issue. During his visit, Surakiat said he would also discuss with the Chinese side on
ways to foster the cooperation between Southern China and Northern Thailand.
“Although the two countries don‟t share a common boundary, we are deeply linked through rivers and
blood, “ he remarked.” I would like to look at the possibility if we can have better arrangements in terms
of special tax region and non-tariff region, and I also would like to find markets for Thai agriculture goods
to export to China, which would involve millions of farmers in northern Thailand,” he said.
“At the same time, we would be willing to import products from Southern China, and we also would like
to discuss the possibility of creating a transport network linking Northern Thailand and Southern China,”
said the foreign minister.
“Thirdly, I would like to explore the possibility of trilateral cooperation among Thailand, China, and
Myanmar,” he said, citing the eradication of illicit drugs and a road network as the possible areas of
cooperation. “All the above issues would form a framework which can signify the new era of economic
partnership between Thailand and China,” he noted. “It is natural for Thailand and China to have much
more closer relations in all dimensions, especially economic ties, and that is compatible with the new Thai
government‟s foreign policy which highlights economic involvement,” the foreign minister said.
“We would evaluate the more closer link with nearby countries, to have more economic cooperation. And
I would like to hear more from leaders in China about the policy that was announced by Chinese premier
Zhu Rongji in Singapore 2000 which focuses on trade and investment relations with ASEAN countries,”
“I would discuss the mechanism which can bring trade and investment from Chinese business
communities, especially that of Shanghai, to Thailand,” he remarked. He mentioned that from his earlier
discussion with Chinese businessmen in Shanghai, he found that they were seeking more efficient two-way
communications between Thai and Chinese business circles. “At the same time, Thai businessmen are also
keen to know what Chinese investors are looking for and how they can participate in Thai projects.
However, surprisingly, there is not a formal venue yet to exchange such information between Chinese
businessmen and their Thai counterparts. We have to improve this,” he said.
The foreign minister said he is proposing to establish Thai-Chinese Business Council comprising top
entrepreneurs from both countries, for more efficient information exchange and further enhancing
bilateral economic relations.
“I wholly welcome and support the new direction of China to concentrate more on business and trade
relations with ASEAN countries, and I welcome the new strategy in China‟s economic planning to
encourage Chinese businessmen to do business with other countries, especially those in ASEAN,”
Surakiat said. Asked if he thinks the bilateral trade relations between China and Thailand would be
affected after China‟s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), he responded, “Surely t would be
some areas we would compete, but also t are many other areas we can further cooperate, and that would
benefit both of us.”
“We would also like to see more economic exchanges between China and Thailand, in order to mark a
new era for bilateral economic partnership,” he noted. On the Taiwan issue, he pledged that the Thai
government would stick to the One-China Policy and would like to see the peaceful reunification of two
sides of the Taiwan Strait.
He said the new Thai government also appreciate China‟s policy to develop its grassroots rural economy,
which has made impressive achievements. “Now Thailand would pay more attention to strengthen its
grassroots economy, and in that area the two countries can learn from each other‟s experience,” said
Surakiat, who is also the top policy-drafter of the ruling Thai Rak Thai Party.
China-ASEAN Review 2001 53
China and Thailand agreed to face up to the challenge brought about by globalisation, jointly push
forward the process of regional dialogue and cooperation, and further strengthen their coordination and
cooperation in regional and international affairs.
This consensus was reached by Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan and visiting Thai Foreign Minister
Surakiat Sathirathai during their talks. During the talks, Tang said that Sino-Thai relations have witnessed
a smooth development and the two countries have benefited from their friendly and fruitful cooperation
in various fields.
Surakiat said the new Thai government attaches great importance to its relations with neighbouring
countries, especially China, and hopes that Thailand and China would expand mutually beneficial
cooperation in all fields. He also voiced Thailand‟s support for Beijing‟s bid to host the 2008 Olympic
Chinese President Jiang Zemin said that developing a mutual-trust relationship of all-round cooperation
with Thailand is a set policy of China. In a meeting with Thai Foreign Minister Surakiat Sathirathai, Jiang
said that China and Thailand should further their exchange in various areas for more progress in Sino-
Thai relations in the twenty-first century.
Jiang noted that the bilateral ties have kept development momentum at the turn of the century, specifying
that leaders of the two countries visited frequently and the mutually beneficial cooperation has been
The Sino-Thai relationship is a model of good neighbourliness and mutual trust, Jiang said, adding that
China is willing to work with Thailand for the common prosperity of both countries and peace and
development of the region. Jiang recalled his state visit to Thailand in 1999 and spoke highly of the
successful visit by Thai Queen Sirikit on behalf of King Bhumibol Adulyadej in October 2000.
He said that Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn‟s study at Beijing University has also done much to enhance
the friendship between the two countries, stressing that China appreciates the royal family‟s efforts in
promoting Sino-Thai friendship and welcomes the family members to visit China.
Jiang extended once again congratulations to the newly formed Thai government and expressed his
appreciation of the Thai government‟s active attitude toward developing friendly relations with China.
China supports Thailand‟s stand to promote friendly cooperation with its neighbours and to facilitate
regional dialogue and cooperation, Jiang said. He added that he believes Thailand would play a positive
role for regional peace, stability, and development.
Surakiat said he hopes the two countries would expand their mutually beneficial cooperation and the
northern part of Thailand and the southwest part of China would establish ties for barter trade. He said
that Thailand would continue to stick to the one-China policy and wishes the two countries would
continue to support and cooperate with each other in international and regional affairs.
Li Peng, chairman of the Standing Committee of the Chinese National People‟s Congress (NPC),
congratulated the election of Manoonkrit Roopkachorn as senate speaker of Thailand.
In a congratulatory letter, Li said that China and Thailand have been enjoying great progress in friendly
exchanges and cooperation in various fields since the two countries established their diplomatic ties in
He said the friendly exchanges between the two parliaments of both countries have contributed to the
bilateral relations. He said he believed that Roopkachorn, as new senate speaker of Thailand, would
further improve the relations between China and Thailand.
54 China-ASEAN Review 2001
Chinese President Jiang Zemin met with Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and invited him to go to
Shanghai for the informal summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in October and pay
an official visit to China. Jiang, who is to attend the Fortune Global Forum 2001, said that he was very
glad to meet Thaksin, whom he described as an old friend of the Chinese people. He expressed the belief
that Sino-Thai relations would be developed further with Thaksin as the prime minister of Thailand.
Thaksin, who was also pleased to meet Jiang in Hong Kong, said Thailand and China enjoy a deep
traditional friendship, and, as part of continuing exchange of high-level visits between the two countries in
recent years, he has visited China for several times. He said the two sides should devote more efforts to
developing the bilateral relations from generation to generation.
Jiang said the friendship between China and Thailand goes back to ancient times and bilateral exchanges
and cooperation in various fields have been developing in an all-round manner since the two countries
forged diplomatic ties 26 years ago. Sino-Thai relations could be seen as a model of good neighbourliness
and mutually beneficial cooperation between countries of different social systems.
Jiang thanked Thaksin and the Thai government for their support to China on human rights, the Taiwan
issue and China‟s entry into the World Trade Organization, among other issues.
He said the current Fortune Global Forum, with a theme of Next Generation Asia, is of special
significance to Asia. A major cradle of human civilization, Asia had long been trodden upon by foreign
powers, Jiang said, but those days are gone forever.
In the course of the current economic globalisation, Asian countries should learn what is advanced from
the West, Jiang said stressing that Asian countries should strengthen cooperation and stick to their own
roads for development.
The China-Thailand friendship is a friendship between brothers and would be passed on from generation
to generation, visiting Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji said. Speaking at a dinner hosted by the Chinese
community in Thailand, he said, “the Chinese Thais and Chinese nationals in Thailand have not only
made important contribution to the economic and social development of Thailand, but also played a
positive role in China‟s modernization drive and its great cause of peaceful reunification. “
This,” he said, “has won high appraisal and appreciation from the Chinese government and people. I hope
that in the new century, the Chinese community in Thailand would, as always, work tirelessly for the
economic prosperity and social progress of Thailand and for deeper friendship between China and
“The Thai government has all along adopted a policy of ethnic equality, which enables the Chinese Thais
and Chinese nationals in Thailand to live and work in peace and contentment and coexist in harmony with
other ethnic groups in the country,” he noted.
Citing the verses “China-Thailand friendship is a friendship between brothers, which would last thousands
of years and beyond,” which was written by Princess Sirindhorn of Thailand in Chinese in praise of Sino-
Thai friendship, Zhu said, “I would like to quote these widely loved verses to express my sincere hope
that Sino-Thai friendship would be passed on from generation to generation and flourish forever.”
Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji concluded his four-day visit to Thailand and left for Beijing. Thai Deputy
Prime Minister Pongpol Adireksarn and Minister of the Prime Minister‟s Office Somsak Thepsuthin saw
him off at the Air Force Airport.
In a letter conveying thanks to Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, distributed upon his departure,
the Chinese premier said, “at the time when I and my entourage are about to leave Thailand, I, in the
China-ASEAN Review 2001 55
name of myself, the Chinese government and the Chinese people, once again present our most sincere
thanks to you, the Thai government and the Thai people.”
“During my visit to Thailand, I held cordial and fruitful talks with King of Thailand, the prime minister
and other Thai leaders, and contacted widely with peoples from all walks of life,” he said.” We also
enjoyed warm and friendly reception from your government and your people, and were deeply impressed
by the friendship which is described as „the Thais and the
Chinese are brothers.‟”
“The visit is a complete success and I believer that through the close cooperation and unremitting efforts
from both sides, the all-around cooperation of good neighbourliness and mutual trust between the two
countries would make greater achievements in the new century,” Zhu said. During his stay in Thailand,
Zhu held separate talks with Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Thai Deputy Prime Minister and
Defence Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, Thai House of Representatives Speaker Uthai Pimchaichon and
Thai Senate Speaker Manoonkrit Roopkachorn on a wide spectrum of issues to further deepen and
expand the mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields between China and Thailand.
It is always the political will of every Thai leader to deepen the good relations between China and Thailand
and peoples of the two nations for their common interests, as well as for the benefits of the whole region,
Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said.
“As the current prime minister, I am most enthusiastic to further expand the Thailand-China relationship
in all areas,” he told Xinhua through a written interview before his first visit to China as the head of the
Recalling his pervious three visits to China in different status, the premier said,” in all the past visits to
China, I had only one main purpose: to strengthen the relations between China and Thailand.”
The Thai leader pointed out that it is vital that the two countries should cooperate closely to keep norms
and orders in the region and the world and now they are well posed to achieve that. Noting that the
bilateral cooperation is sure to bring mutual benefits, he said, “in terms of economic cooperation and
trade, Thailand and China can be mutually complementary.”
Thaksin said the two countries needed to maximize benefits in complementary areas and find ways to
jointly develop common strengths in their competing aspects.
“Therefore, our future cooperation in economic matters and trade should be based on a common
perspective that cooperation among us is the key and such shared perception would make it easier for us
to deal with future problems,” he said.
On the Taiwan Problem, the Thai leader said his country always upholds the One China policy.
“Reunification is an issue between China‟s mainland and Taiwan. Thailand supports peaceful reunification,
and hopes that the relations between both sides of the Taiwan Straits would be constructive for the well-
beings of all Chinese citizens as well as for all of the peoples in the East Asia region,” the premier said.
Asked about his views on China‟s imminent entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Thai
leader said he is confident that this would open up many opportunities for the region.
China‟s trade partners would be able to enjoy more trade in goods and services in the Chinese market, he
The premier predicted that in the long term, with a more standardized trade regime, China would develop
into a leading trade nation and would provide opportunities for Thailand. “Thailand fervently hopes to
work closely with China in further strengthening mutual trade as well as enhancing economic ties and
cooperation within Asia, in order to cope with the larger scale of opportunities and challenges of
globalization in this new century, “ he noted.
56 China-ASEAN Review 2001
As one of the countries which have supported China during its bid for hosting the 2008 Olympic Games,
Thaksin said, “ Thailand believes that China would excel in the preparations as well as in the competition
and also believes that China would impress all the participants to this global sporting event.‟
Concluding the achievements of his government in its first six months, the Thai leader said the new
administration had focused on the following aspects, namely helping ordinary people, enhancing
competitiveness of export, reforming the public sector, suppressing illicit drugs, and improving ties with
Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji said that China and Thailand should strengthen cooperation in various
multilateral arenas. Zhu made the remarks in his formal talks with Thai Prime Minister Thaksin
Zhu told Thaksin that China suggests the pushing forward of all cooperative projects listed in the China-
Thailand joint statement for cooperation in the twenty-first century and the strengthening of bilateral
cooperation and coordination in Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the 10+3 East Asia
cooperation mechanism, Asia-Europe Summit, ASEAN regional forum, and other multilateral forums.
In the talks, Zhu spoke highly of Sino-Thai ties. The development of the friendly and cooperative ties
with Thailand is “the determined policy” of the Chinese government, Zhu said. He also expressed
appreciation for the efforts made by Thaksin to advance bilateral ties after he took office as Thai prime
minister. Thaksin said that the long-standing friendship between the two countries could be traced far
back in history. “The two peoples are not only friends, but also relatives,” he said.
“Our two countries should build up a strategic partnership not only politically but also economically,” he
According to sources with the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the two heads of government discussed bilateral
strategic cooperation, in particular the concrete cooperation in the economy and trade, transport,
education, and culture areas during their two-hour talks. They also discussed several key projects and
reached consensus in many areas, said the source.
The two leaders also agreed to strengthen exchanges among young people from the two countries. China
gave an active response to the proposal made by the Thai side to run Chinese educational programs in
Following the visit to China by Prime Minister of Thailand Thaksin Shinawatra, China and Thailand
issued on a joint communiqué on related issues.
According to the communiqué, at the invitation of Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji, Prime Minister Thaksin
paid an official visit to China from 27 to 29 August 2001, during which he met with Chinese President
Jiang Zemin, and other Chinese leaders, and held official talks with Premier Zhu Rongji.
The two sides had an in-depth exchange of views on the bilateral relations and on international and
regional issues of mutual interest, and reached a broad consensus. They agreed that the visit was a
complete success and helped promote the all-dimensional cooperative relationship of good-
neighbourliness and mutual trust between China and Thailand.
During their meetings and talks, leaders of the two countries expressed their satisfaction with the progress
and development of Sino-Thai relations. They agreed to consolidate the existing traditional friendship and
work for strategic cooperation, believing that this would be in the fundamental interests of the two
countries and contribute to peace, prosperity, and development in the region.
The two sides reiterated their full endorsement and support for the Joint Statement on the Plan of Action
for the twenty-first century Between the People‟s Republic of China and the Kingdom of Thailand, signed
in Bangkok on 5 February 1999. Both sides were happy with the positive progress of the Sino-Thai
China-ASEAN Review 2001 57
friendly cooperation in all areas over the last few years. They reaffirmed the significance of the Joint
Statement in guiding the future development of the Sino-Thai relations.
The two sides indicated that they would take concrete measures to vigorously implement the various
cooperation programs outlined in the Joint Statement and further promote all-dimensional cooperative
relationship of good neighborliness and mutual respect and trust between the two countries.
Both sides agreed that the China-Thailand cooperation in the political, economic and cultural, educational,
public health, scientific and technological areas, and other fields had yielded substantial and fruitful
benefits for both countries and their peoples. They spoke highly of the positive role played by the China-
Thailand Joint Trade and Economic Committee, the China-Thailand Joint Committee on Science and
Technology, and other cooperative mechanisms in enhancing the Sino-Thai cooperation in all areas.
Both sides reaffirmed their intention to bring the Swap Agreement between Thailand and China to an
early conclusion, and agreed to further develop trade and cultural ties through sister-city relations between
the two countries.
Both sides underlined the fruitful cooperation between the two countries in international and regional
They welcomed the convocation and the positive results of the China, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand
Ministerial Conference on Drug Control, held in Beijing on 27-28 August 2001. The two sides agreed that
closer cooperation among the four countries in combating illicit drugs would facilitate the crackdown on
drug-related crimes in the region and promote peace and development in the region.
The Thai side also expressed its gratification with China‟s greater support and cooperation in effectively
realizing the quadrilateral cooperation in their fight against the problems of the illegal drugs. Recognizing
the success of the Ministerial Conference hosted by China, the two sides expressed the determination to
push the process forward. The Thai side indicated its willingness to host a higher-level meeting in due
The two sides agreed that given the accelerated development of economic globalisation, it was imperative
for Asian countries to further strengthen regional cooperation and work jointly to seize the opportunities
and meet the challenges brought about by economic globalisation. The two sides expressed their
commitment to pushing forward the ASEAN, China, Republic of Korea, and Japan cooperation process,
and the Mekong Basin development. The Chinese side expressed its appreciation for the positive efforts
of the Thai side in strengthening dialogue and cooperation among Asian countries. The Chinese side also
expressed its hope for a more united, stable and prosperous ASEAN and its support for a greater role by
ASEAN in regional and international affairs.
Vice-Chairman Jiang Chunyun of the Standing Committee of China‟s National People‟s Congress (NPC)
met on with former Thai Prime Minister Banharn Silpa-Archa and his family. Reviewing friendly bilateral
ties between China and Thailand, Jiang thanked Banharn for his contribution to the promotion of
friendship between the two countries.
Banharn pledged new efforts from the Thai Nation Party to further bilateral friendship, and expressed the
party‟s readiness to adhere to the one-China principle and to strengthen friendly bilateral cooperation. The
Thai guests are at the invitation of the Chinese People‟s Institute of Foreign Affairs.
Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra met a delegation of the Communist Party of China (CPC),
discussing issues related to bilateral relations between China and Thailand, and between CPC and
Thaksin‟s Thai Rak Thai Party. Li Changchun, member of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau
and secretary of the CPC Committee of Guangdong Province, who is the head of the delegation, first
58 China-ASEAN Review 2001
transferred the best wishes from Chinese leaders to the Thai premier, thanking the Thai government and
the Thai people who consistently support China‟s efforts to defend its sovereignty and national unification
and back China on human rights and other issues.
“The CPC attaches great importance to developing friendly relations and cooperation with Thai political
parties including the Thai Rak Thai Party under your leadership, and is always willing to expand exchanges
with Thai parties based on the four principles of inter-party relations, as well as to further promote
friendship between the two countries and the two people,” Li told Thaksin.
He also briefed the premier about China‟s Tenth Five Year Plan and the economic growth in Guangdong
Province. Stressing that Thailand and China are like brothers, Thaksin said his government totally
understands China‟s stand on human rights, national unification and other issues.
The Thai Rak Thai Party chairman also said his party thinks much of the relation with the CPC, and hopes
to promote inter-party visits, mutual learning, and mutual understanding.
Thai Foreign Minister and deputy leader of the ruling Thai Rak Thai Party Surakiart Sathirathai met and
dined with a delegation of the Communist Party of China (CPC), sources with the CPC delegation said.
The delegation, led by Li Changchun, member of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau and
secretary of the CPC Guangdong Committee, was invited by Surakiart to pay a four-day visit to Thailand
between 2 and 6 May.
Surakiart said Thailand and China share special friendly relations and the multidimensional cooperation
between the two countries is growing steadily. He hoped that the two sides would continue to explore and
enlarge areas of exchange and cooperation, further strengthening the friendly relations of mutual trust,
mutual help, mutual benefit and cooperation. The foreign minister reiterated that the Thai government
sticks to the One China policy and would continue to support China in human rights and other issues.
Li expressed thanks and appreciation to the Thai government‟s stand on the national unification of China,
human rights and other issues, hoping to promote the bilateral friendly cooperation in all fields. Earlier,
the CPC delegation met with the Democrat Party leader and former premier Chuan Leekpai, the Chart
Pattana Party leader Korn Dabaransi, and the Chart Thai Party leader Banharn Silapa-archa.
Thai Commodities Fair
A senior Thai economic official called for long-term economic and trade cooperation between China and
This would serve to promote the friendship between the peoples of the two countries, said Banphot
Hongthong, director for export promotion, at the 2001 Thai Commodities Fair being held in Fuzhou,
capital of east China‟s Fujian Province on 17 May.
With a long history of close contacts, Thailand is an important trading partner of China. Major products
China imports from Thailand include computers and accessories, integrated circuits, rubber, raw plastics,
liquefied coal gas, chemicals, and rice. China exports to Thailand electronic appliances, computers and
accessories, chemical products, and cloth. More than 200 business people from 73 leading Thai enterprises
are attending the fair, displaying a wide variety of commodities, such as canned food, fresh fruits, juice,
ornaments, garments, leather products and Thai medicine.
Thai PM Meets Chinese Minister of Communications
Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra met visiting Chinese Minister of Communications Huang
Zhendong on 7 June, focusing on how to materialize the plan on bilateral maritime cooperation agreed by
the Thai premier and Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji in May.
China-ASEAN Review 2001 59
Huang informed Thaksin about China‟s opinions on the issues of Chinese-Thai maritime cooperation, the
commercial navigation on Mekong River involving China, Thailand, Myanmar and Laos, the construction
of a Chinese-Thai-Lao road project from Kunming to Bangkok and related trilateral road transport
Thaksin appreciated Huang‟s visit, which he said is a quick follow-up to Chinese Premier Zhu‟s recent
visit to Thailand between 19 and 22 May. He agreed with a Chinese initiative for Chinese cargo ships to
use Thai ports as bases to transport Thai exports and voiced support for the four-side Mekong
commercial navigation cooperation.
Thaksin also said a road transport pact is necessary for facilitating the trilateral road project linking China,
Laos, and Thailand. This project, he said, would benefit each country‟s development, the regional
development and the welfare of the people.
After the meeting, Huang also met with his Thai counterpart Wan Muhammad Nor Matha and they
discussed details of the mentioned issues. The two ministers agreed to ask related departments of their
countries to have further talks on the issues.
Small and Medium-sized Enterprises
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Thailand are pursuing lucrative opportunities to supply
Thai-made products to China, especially Shanghai, the Bangkok Post reported.
Mall Asia Company, a subsidiary of the well-known Charoen Pokphand Group, told a recent seminar on
27 June that by helping small firms sell their products to China without business risks, it could overcome
some obstacles in the entry to the Chinese market.
Somkit Tantad, the company‟s chief executive, said that under Mall Asia‟s program of operating a
superstore in Shanghai, small Thai firms could sell their products by consignment, on a free-on-board
basis, and business with potential in the Chinese market included frozen food, canned food, fruit, leather,
fashion, and Thai silk.
Lots of Thai SMEs have expressed their interests to join Mall Asia‟s Shanghai program, including S.
Khonkaen Food Industry, Malee Sampran, Sabina Fareast, Bangkok Gems, the Association of Thai
Leather Products, and vegetable and fruit traders, he said.
At a separate event in Bangkok, the Export Promotion Department sought SMEs‟ views on expanding
investment and trade with China, saying that China‟s entry into the World Trade Organization would
improve its trade with Thailand, expanding markets and overcoming problems.
Acupuncture Needle Factory
With increasing demand for traditional Chinese medical methods in local market, Thailand and China
have agreed to jointly produce acupuncture needles in the country. Mongkol Na Songkla, permanent-
secretary for the Public Health Ministry said that Thailand and China would co-build a factory to produce
this special medical tool and this would also create new jobs for local people.
The site of the plant could be either located in the eastern province of Chonburi, or in the northern
province of Lamphun, he disclosed. “Another advantage of the joint-venture project is to lower the costs
of the needles for Thai patients,” said the official on 2 July.
The price for acupuncture needles would be slashed from 13 baht (28 U.S. cents) currently to one baht (2
U.S. cents) per needle once the local production is underway.
Demand for acupuncture needles in Thailand is rising ten percent yearly, with five million needles being
used a year while in the world market, the annual demand for such needles is about five billion. Regarding
60 China-ASEAN Review 2001
the standard of the product, Mongkol said the needles would be standardized accordingly to the criteria
set by World Federation of Acupuncture.
Tourism and Trade Fair
Manifesting the fast-growing tourism exchange and cooperation between Thailand and China, a grand
tourism exhibition and trade fair to promote Chinese tour routes were launched.
“Thailand and China have long enjoyed an exceptionally close relationship and recently the ties are
growing even stronger through the increasing number of tourist traffic between the two countries,” said
Somsak Thepsuthin, Thai minister of the Prime Minister‟s Office who is in charge of the country‟s
tourism in a letter to congratulate the opening of the fair on 14 July. “One major objective of the event is
to facilitate direct discussions between tourism professionals from the two countries thus to achieve
mutual growth,” he said.
The event, “Visit China 2001” Travel Fair, is one of the largest-ever promotion campaigns of Chinese
tourism products in Thailand, and was attended by over 100 tourism authorities, airline companies, and
tour agencies from both countries.
Xu Qiuchen, a Thai Chinese who chairs the Thai Travel Agents Association (TTAA), told Xinhua at the
fair that China, as a country with long history and rich cultural heritage, would be a major magnet for Thai
tourists. “And since China would host the 2008 Olympic games, I believe tourism in China would head
for a bigger boom,” he said.
Xu also noted that this travel fair is the first of its kind to involve demonstrations, group-discussions,
transactions, and others — to promote Thailand-China tourism cooperation.
According to TTAA, China now is one of the most important markets for Thai tourism and the Chinese
tourist arrivals to Thailand 2000 exceeded 168,000 while Thai tourist arrivals to China also had increased
Thailand now ranks number ten in foreign tourist source countries to China. TTAA believed this event
could increase Thai tourist arrivals to China by 15 percent.
Currency Swap Agreement
Chinese Vice Premier Wen Jiabao met with Pridiyathorn Devakula, governor of the Central Bank of
Thailand who arrived in Beijing on December 6 to sign the mutual currency swap agreement with the
People‟s Bank of China (PBOC).
Wen offered his congratulations for the signing of the agreement. He also exchanged views with Devakula
on financial cooperation between China and Thailand as well as on the current regional and international
Dai Xianglong, governor of the PBOC, and Don Pramudwinai, Thai ambassador to China, also attended
Physician Licenses Issued
The Thai government on issued first batch of physician licenses for Chinese medicine to 11 local doctors
after it legalized the Chinese medicine in last July.
“Chinese medicine has a long history in the country and has been proved to be a effective way to cure
diseases and maintain health, and as more and more doctors would get the licenses, Thai people would
China-ASEAN Review 2001 61
have more options in their health care,” said Korn Dabbaransi, deputy prime minister and health minister,
after conferring the licenses to the doctors at a ceremony on 9 January.
“As the chairman of the Thai-Chinese Friendship Association, I believe the medical cooperation between
the two countries, especially on Chinese medicine, would benefit the two peoples, and further promote
bilateral ties,” he said. Chinese Ambassador to Thailand Fu Xuezhang hailed the event as “a new
achievement in the medical cooperation between China and Thailand.”
“It is also a good start point for our cooperation in the new century; I believe the Sino-Thai exchange and
cooperation in the medical areas would be further strengthened and consolidated in the future,” he said.
Reports said since the legalization of the Chinese medicine in the Thailand, it is popular for local doctors
to apply for the licenses. Hundreds of Chinese medicine physicians handed over their applications.
However, it is not easy to get the licenses since the applicants must have at least ten years of medical
experience and should pass the strict tests of an expert committee.
The second batch of such licenses will be issued by May. The recent years has witness an increasing
cooperation between China and Thailand on medical areas, especially Chinese medicine. The two
countries have so far signed two Memorandum of Understanding on medical cooperation, in 1997 and
Under the documents, the health ministers of two countries would meet regularly every year, and China
would help Thailand to develop into the education, treatment, and research centre for Chinese medicine
in Southeast Asia.
Honorary Chinese Doctorate to Thai Princess
Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand was granted an honorary doctor‟s degree by Beijing
University on 13 March.
The title was awarded in honour of her contribution to advancing Sino-Thai cultural exchanges, and her
academic achievements in this regard. Princess Sirindhorn also delivered a speech on Thai culture and the
cultural exchanges taking place between Thailand and China.
The princess started her month-long study at Beijing University on 14 February, sponsored by a Chinese
culture studies scholarship. Princess Sirindhorn has a strong interest in Chinese history, language, and
culture. She has written several books about China and translated a number of Chinese poems and stories
into other languages.
In March 2000, Princess Sirindhorn was conferred a language, culture. and friendship award by the
Chinese Ministry of Education. She was the first recipient of that award. Princess Sirindhorn had visited
China 12 times but to study at Beijing University has long been her “dream for years”.
Twin Schools Program
Thailand and China would jointly initiate a “Twin Schools” program to strengthen bilateral exchanges in
knowledge and culture, Thai Director-General of the Department of General Education Kasama Varawan
official announced on 26 May. The plan, which is expected to take place later in the year, came after
Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji‟s recent visit to Thailand between 19 and 22 May. Under the project, Thai
secondary schools would pair off with their respective Chinese counterparts, so schools from both
countries would have the opportunity to learn each other‟s culture, knowledge, and experiences, said the
official. She said so far five Thai public schools that teach Chinese have expressed their interest to join the
However, the official noted schools without Chinese language classes could also participate in the project,
as it is a “widely open” program.
62 China-ASEAN Review 2001
Food Road Fair
Agencies in both the public and private sectors in Thailand would jointly organize a food road fair in
Chinatown for the first time next month, Minister to the Prime Minister‟s Office Somsak Thepsutin said
on 15 August
Somsak told the Thai News Agency (TNA) that the food road fair, officially dubbed the “Chinatown
Yaowaraj: Hygienic Food, Good Taste” would be jointly organized by the Ministry of Public Health, the
Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), and the private
sector on Yaowaraj Road, Thailand‟s Chinatown, on 9 September.
Worldbest Industrial City
Worldbest Industrial City, the biggest-ever Chinese investment project in Thailand, broke ground in
Rojana Industrial Park of Rayong Province, 222 kilometres southeast of Bangkok on 8 October.
Yan Tingai, Chinese ambassador to Thailand, told a stone-laying ceremony in a virgin land that the project
signaled that China-Thailand economic cooperation entered a new era.
“I had attended the signing ceremony of the project between China‟s Worldbest Group and Thailand‟s
Rojana Industrial Company on 28 August in Beijing, which was witnessed by Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji
and visiting Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra,” he recalled.
He noted that the traditional cooperation between the two countries and the favourable investment
environment were the two major reasons behind the launching of the project, which is worth over
US$100 million. Zhou Yucheng, president of the Worldbest Group, said the first phase of the Worldbest
Industrial City project would include the construction of a spinning factory, a textile printing factory, and
a citric acid lab. The Worldbest Group is the fourth-largest business conglomerate in Shanghai, with
annual revenue of US$2 billion dollars.
Zhou said his group would invest more in Thailand in the future and make the country its production hub
in Southeast Asia.
Baphan Chonlaviwong, the local provincial governor, said the Chinese investment, which came in a time
when Thailand was facing economic troubles, would help the country to boost its economy.
Krasae Chanawongse, minister to the Prime Minister‟s office of Thailand, emphasized that scientific and
technical cooperation between Thailand and China would help enhance their potentials to respond to the
present economic and financial difficulties.
Karasae made a speech at the signing ceremony of the Sixteenth Session of the Sino-Thai Joint
Committee on Scientific and Technical Cooperation on 27 November.
The two countries agreed to conduct 40 short-term exchange programs, two long-term joint research, and
Krasae said that the success of the programs and activities was not only for the development of the two
countries, but also for strengthening of their closer bilateral relationship.
Wu Zhongze, head of the Chinese delegation, stressed that if the two countries pay more attention and
invest more in scientific and technical field, the economy of the two countries would develop much faster.
China-ASEAN Review 2001 63
Chinese Defence Minister Chi Haotian said that the Chinese People‟s Liberation Army (PLA) is willing to
work with its Thai counterpart to increase bilateral friendly cooperation in various areas.
Chi made the remarks in a meeting with Lertrat Ratannavanich, superintendent of the National Defence
College of Thailand and his party.
Chi, also vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission and a state councillor, said that China and
Thailand, including their armed forces, enjoy a long history of friendship.
He said that the visit by Lertrat and his 200-member strong delegation could be cited as a major event in
the history of Sino-Thai military exchange. He noted that the visit is a good opportunity for the two sides
to make new friends and it also shows the importance the Thai military attaches to its friendly cooperation
with the Chinese armed forces.
The frequent high-level visits between the two armies have forcefully pushed forward the friendly
cooperation between the two countries and their armed forces, Chi said.
He said that he had met with Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej twice and each time the King emphasized
the importance of Sino-Thai relations. The two heads of state have also reached broad consensus on
bilateral ties and other issues, Chi noted.
China attaches great importance to developing friendly relations with Thailand and its armed forces, and
the ongoing visit by Sampao Choosri, supreme commander of Thai armed forces, would surely help
further the existing friendly relations between the two countries. Chinese Defence Minister Chi Haotian
made the remarks at a meeting with Sampao.
Chi, also vice chairman of the Central Military Commission and a state councillor, said that he has visited
or transited through Thailand six times, and he was glad to see Thailand recovering from the Asia financial
crisis when he travelled through Thailand in February this year during his visit to South Asia.
He noted that the Chinese and Thai armed forces have conducted cooperation in all fields, and the
Chinese military would continue to push forward the relations with its Thai counterparts.
Sampao expressed gratitude for China‟s aid to Thailand, saying he hoped to cooperate with China in
cracking down on drug crimes and other fields
No matter what changes have taken place in the international arena, China and Thailand have maintained
stable and healthy relations, and become an example of friendly co-existence between states with different
Fu Quanyou, chief of General Staff of the Chinese People‟s Liberation Army, made the remarks in talks
with Sampao Choosri, supreme commander of the Thai armed forces.
Fu, also a member of the Central Military Commission, said that the Chinese government thanks the Thai
government for the support on the Taiwan and Tibet issues, and is ready to join with Thailand to build up
the Sino-Thai friendly relations in the new century.
Chinese and Thai defence ministers said that the two sides would work together to further their close and
64 China-ASEAN Review 2001
Chi Haotian, Chinese defence minister and also vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission and a
state councillor, held talks with Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, deputy prime minister and minister of defence of
Chi said Sino-Thai relationship is one of the best among China‟s relations with countries of the
Association of the Southeast Asian Nations. He said the relations between China and Thailand have
always been developing smoothly since the establishment of diplomatic ties 26 years ago. The relationship
between China and Thailand has become a good example of relations between countries of different
social systems, Chi said. China would never forget the support given by the Thai government concerning
Taiwan, Tibet, human rights, and the Falun Gong issue, he said. Chi noted that China is willing to work
with Thailand to further bilateral cooperation.
Chi said that he is satisfied with the military relations between the two countries, adding that with
concerted efforts on both sides, the two militaries have had good cooperation in various areas, which has
generated positive impact on the further development of bilateral ties and on the security of the region.
Chavalit said the two militaries have always maintained close and friendly ties and such relationship is
getting even closer. He said that the two militaries have had frequent high-level visits and the bilateral
cooperation continues to expand. Chavalit suggested that the two sides should establish some mechanisms
for regular military exchange and cooperation.
Zhang Wannian, vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission of China, met with visiting Thai
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Chavalit Yongchaiyudh and his party.
The good relationship between China and Thailand has contributed to the peace, stability, and
development of the region, Zhang noted. He thanked Thailand for its support to China on human rights,
Taiwan, Tibet, Falun Gong, and international issues.
Zhang stressed that continuing the friendly cooperation between the two countries and their armed forces
conforms to the fundamental interests of the two peoples and is also conducive to the peace and stability
in the region and the world at large.
Zhang also briefed the guests on China‟s domestic situation and military building, as well as the principled
position of the Chinese government on the Taiwan issue.
Chavalit said he is glad to see the smooth development of relations between the two countries and their
militaries. He said that he hopes the two countries would enhance their friendly cooperation in various
areas, including bilateral trade and military exchange.
China-ASEAN Review 2001 65
Chronology of Sino-Vietnamese Relations 2001
19 April Vice-President Hu Jintao met with Vietnamese President Tran Duc Luong.
28 June Li Peng, Standing Committee member of the Political Bureau of the Communist
Party of China, visited Vietnam and met with Ho Tien Nghi, a member of the Central
Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam and president of the Vietnam News Agency.
9 July Chinese Vice President Hu Jintao met with a Vietnamese delegation led by Nguyen
Phu Trong, a politburo member of the Communist Party of Vietnam.
13-14 August Minister of Economic Affairs Lin Hsin-yi attended the annual conference on
promoting trade and economic cooperation between Taiwan and Vietnam. Several agreements
on strengthening bilateral economic exchanges economic and trade were reached.
7 September Li Peng arrives in Vietnam for an official visit.
2 November A symposium was held in Vietnam‟s north border province of Lang Son on to
mark the tenth anniversary of the normalization of Vietnam-China relations;
1 December Nong Duc Manh, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the
Communist Party of Vietnam met with Li Peng and Hu Jintao in Bejing.
19 December Ding Guangen, head of the Publicity Department of the Central Committee of
the Chinese Communist Party met with visiting Nguyen Khoa Diem, director of the Ideology
and Culture Commission of the Central Committee of the Vietnamese Communist Party at
Diaoyutai State Guesthouse.
19 December Xiong Guangkai, deputy chief of general staff of the People‟s Liberation Army
of China, met with a delegation headed by Nguyen Khac Nghien, commander of the first
military region of Vietnam.
This year saw the 51st anniversary of diplomatic ties between China and Vietnam, and this long
relationship was reflected by the many political and top-level state visits between the two nations. Party
relations also remained cordial with a Chinese Communist Party delegation attended the Ninth National
Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam. The trade relation between the two countries has been
smoothly developing with bilateral trade turnover reaching two billion U.S. dollars in 2000. The
Vietnamese-Chinese border city of Mong Cai was touted to become modern, busy business centre in the
next decade. Vietnam-Taiwan trade continued to improve with the holding of the annual conference on
promoting trade and economic cooperation between Taiwan and Vietnam. Several agreements on
strengthening bilateral economic exchanges economic and trade were reached. China and Vietnam also
signed several documents regarding the fight against drugs and criminal offences.
The Vietnamese party, government, and people consistently attach great importance to the traditional
good-neighbourly and friendly ties and all-round cooperation with the Chinese party, government and
people, said Vietnamese Foreign Minister Nguyen Dy Nien. Nien made the remarks at a reception to
66 China-ASEAN Review 2001
celebrate the 51st anniversary of diplomatic ties between China and Vietnam, which was given by Chinese
Ambassador to Vietnam Qi Jianguo.
Nien expressed his delight in the new development in cooperation between the two countries in 2000,
saying that the brilliant success of the recent visit to China by Vietnamese President Tran Duc Luong has
marked a new stage of the development of the two countries‟ relationship. The two countries have issued
the joint statement for all-round cooperation in the new century and signed the agreement on the
demarcation of the Beibu Gulf and the agreement on fishing cooperation, thus increasing the trust of each
other, laying a new foundation for the development of the all-round cooperation between the two
countries in the twenty-first century, noted the Vietnamese foreign minister.
Nien expressed his confidence that the traditional friendly relationship and all-round cooperation between
Vietnam and China would be more strongly developed in the new century.
Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Qi Jianguo made a speech at the reception, saying that in more than a
half of the century, the peoples of China and Vietnam have been establishing a profound friendship in
long revolutionary struggle and the cause of the socialist construction.
Qi said General Secretary Jiang Zemin and General Secretary Le Kha Phieu have defined the guidance for
Sino-Vietnamese relations as “long-term stable, future-oriented, good- neighbourly, and all-round
cooperation.” The Chinese ambassador said that the Chinese party, government, and people cherishes the
long traditional Sino-Vietnam friendship and would make unremitting efforts to promote the
development of cooperation between the two countries‟ President of the Vietnam-China Friendship
Association Nguyen Canh Dinh, Deputy Director of the External Relations Commission of the Central
Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam Hoang Thuy Giang and many other Vietnamese officials
attended the reception.
China is satisfied with the smooth development of the party and state ties with Vietnam, and feels
confident of a better China-Vietnam relationship in the future, Vice-President Hu Jintao said in a meeting
with Vietnamese President Tran Duc Luong. Hu, Standing Committee member of the Political Bureau of
the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, is leading a CPC delegation to attend the Ninth
National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), while Luong is also standing committee
member of the Political Bureau of the CPV Central Committee.
Conveying General Secretary Jiang Zemin and other Chinese leaders‟ greetings to Luong, Hu said China
and Vietnam cherish a long history of traditional friendship. In recent years, under the principle of
building the long-term, stable, future-oriented, and all-round cooperative relations for the twenty-first
century, set forth by top leaders of the two nations, bilateral contacts at all levels have been frequent, with
economic and trade cooperation entering into a new stage, Hu said.
His visit to China in 2000 left him a deep impression, he said, adding that China is building up its country
with its own characteristics, while Vietnam is also developing its socialist market economy.
Both countries share similar circumstances and problems, thus needing to exchange experiences and learn
from each other, Luong said. He stated that the Vietnamese party, government and people value the
important consensus and guidelines set for by top leaders of the two parties, and are willing to continue to
implement the documents and agreements signed between the two sides.
China is willing to join hands with Vietnam in the new century to push bilateral traditional friendship to a
new height and open up a brighter future for the relationship between the two parties and the two
countries, Chinese Vice-President Hu Jintao said.
The China-Vietnam friendship is the precious treasure of the two parties and the two peoples, he stressed
in a joint interview with Nhan Dan (People‟s Daily), Vietnam News Agency, and Vietnam Television.
China-ASEAN Review 2001 67
To strengthen cooperation between the two parties and the two countries is not only beneficial to their
respective socialist course and their economic prosperity, but also conducive to peace in Asia and the
world and the human progress, he stressed. Hu, Standing Committee member of the Political Bureau of
the Communist Party of China (CPC), is leading a CPC delegation to attend the just-concluded Ninth
National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV). He noted that he felt honoured to head
the CPC delegation for the congress at the start of a new century.
From the blueprint set at the congress, he noted, China sees the firm determination and a bright future of
the Vietnamese party, government and people to build socialism. China is convinced that under the CPV
leadership headed by Nong Duc Manh, the Vietnamese people would surely follow the policies set at the
congress and work even harder to build their country into a rich, strong, fair, democratic, civilized yet
industrialized society, he said.
Terming the CPV as a strong leadership core for Vietnam‟s revolution and construction, Hu said the CPV
has stuck to the socialist road, scored remarkable achievements in its socialist development and explored a
way that complies with its own circumstances.
Since the normalization of relations between the two nations, he said, both sides have worked to get the
relations between the two parties, governments and peoples fully restored and swiftly developed.
He said top level leaders frequently exchanged visits, while contacts and cooperation are increasingly
expanded and deepened in the political, economic, military, scientific, technological, and cultural fields.
Under the principle of building the long-term, stable, future-oriented, good-neighbourly and all-round
cooperative relations for the twenty-first century, Hu said, the two countries have signed several important
agreements, such as the land boundary treaty, the agreement on the demarcation in the Beibu Gulf, and
the agreement on fishery cooperation, which comply with the countries‟ long-term interests and the
The two parties and the two nations have undertaken extensive yet in-depth exchanges of experiences in
rectifying the party and administering the country, while bilateral economic and trade cooperation has
been pushed onto a new stage, he said.
Li Peng, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the
Communist Party of China, met with Ho Tien Nghi, a member of the Central Committee of the
Communist Party of Vietnam and president of the Vietnam News Agency.
Li, also chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People‟s Congress, noted that China-
Vietnam relations have had a rapid recovery and development, overall, after the two sides normalized their
The guideline for bilateral relations set by top leaders of the two countries in 1999, namely, “building a
future-oriented relationship of long-term stability, good-neighbourliness, and all-round cooperation,”
marks that Sino-Vietnamese relations entered a new stage of development, Li said. The chairman noted
that the recent Ninth National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam, elected new party
leadership and upheld its reform and opening policy as well as the socialist road. He believes that Vietnam
would stride forward on the road of socialism of Vietnamese characteristics, and push forward China-
Vietnam relations to a higher level. As the two countries signed a series of treaties and agreements
concerning land border, demarcation of the Beibu Bay, and fishing affairs, Li said, the two countries
should further expand the areas of cooperation and diversify its way of cooperation.
Ho said his current visit to China coincides with the 80th anniversary of the founding of the Communist
Party of China. He said China has had great changes in politics, economy, culture and foreign affairs and
many other areas. He said he admires these changes.
Ho said his news agency also hopes to strengthen cooperation with China‟s Xinhua News Agency.
68 China-ASEAN Review 2001
Li Peng, Standing Committee member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC)
Central Committee and China‟s top legislator, arrived for an official and goodwill visit to Vietnam at the
invitation of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) and the Standing
Committee of Vietnamese National Assembly (VNA).
It is Li‟s first visit to Vietnam as the chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People‟s
Congress (NPC), China‟s top legislature. It is also an exchange of another high-level visit between China
and Vietnam following a series of visits by top leaders of the two countries in recent years.
During the four-day visit, Li would meet and hold talks with leaders of the CPV, the VNA and the
Vietnamese government to exchange views on further enhancing the long-term, future-oriented, and all-
round cooperative relations between the two countries.
Visiting top Chinese legislator Li Peng met with Do Muoi, former adviser to the Central Committee of the
Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV).
Li, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the
Communist Party of China (CPC), is visiting Vietnam at the invitation of the CPV Central Committee and
the Standing Committee of the Vietnamese National Assembly. They held a friendly conversation on the
relations between the two countries and the two parties, during which Li spoke highly of Muoi‟s role in
restoring the traditional friendship between the two countries ten years ago. “I‟m glad to see that you are
in good health,” Li said to the 84-year-old veteran.
He said since the normalization of the Sino-Vietnamese ties in 1991, development of bilateral relations
between the two parties and two countries have seen great progress.
Muoi expressed his confidence that the two neighbouring socialist countries could enhance their trust in
each other and strengthen overall cooperation in various fields under the guidance of previous
agreements, set forth by the top leaders of the two parties in 2000.
It is of strategic importance for China to develop good neighbourly and friendly relations with Vietnam,
China‟s top legislator Li Peng said during his talks with at the Presidential Palace.
Extending the cordial greetings of General Secretary Jiang Zemin and other Chinese top leaders to
President Luong, Li said that rapid progress has been made in the development of Sino-Vietnamese
relations in various fields.
Li, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China
Central Committee, noted that the Joint Statement published by the two countries during President
Luong‟s visit to China in 2000 is of great importance for the realization of the right guidance governing
the bilateral relations.
The Chinese top legislator who started his visit to Vietnam spoke highly of the achievements made by the
Vietnamese people in the cause of socialist construction and renovation in recent years. President Luong
warmly welcomed Li‟s visit to Vietnam. He said that in recent years the two parties and two countries
have held frequent exchange of visits at all levels and cooperation in all fields have been enhanced, adding
that the exchange of experiences in socialist construction would further promote the bilateral relations.
Li also briefed President Luong on the current situation of China‟s reform and opening-up construction.
With efforts from both sides, the development of bilateral relations between China and Vietnam has now
entered a new stage, said China‟s top legislator Li Peng during his meeting with Vietnam‟s former party
leader Le Kha Phieu at the Presidential Palace.
China-ASEAN Review 2001 69
Li Peng, is visiting Vietnam at the invitation of the Central Committee of Communist Party of Vietnam
and the Standing Committee of Vietnamese National Assembly.
Conveying General Secretary Jiang Zemin and other Chinese party leaders‟ greetings to Phieu, Li noted
that Sino-Vietnamese ties have scored satisfactory promotion under the guidance of building long-term,
stable, future-oriented, good neighbourly, and all-round cooperative relations, set forth in 1999 by then
Vietnamese Party General Secretary Phieu and General Secretary Jiang Zemin.
Under this guidance, he said, the two countries published in 2000 the new-century-oriented Joint
Statement, economic and trade cooperation between the two countries has made breakthrough and rapid
progress, and the two countries have solved their disputes over land borders and the delimitation problem
in the Beibu Gulf.
Phieu said that the practice of building up socialist country both in Vietnam and China has proved that
they have made the right choice and Vietnam would continue to ad to the socialist road.
On the same day, Li also held talks with leaders of the Vietnam-China Friendship Association (VCFA) led
by its president Nguyen Canh Dinh. Li said China values the great efforts made by the VCFA in
promoting Sino-Vietnamese relations and hoped that it would make more contribution to the
development of bilateral ties in the new century.
A symposium was held in Vietnam‟s north border province Lang Son on to mark the tenth anniversary of
the normalization of Vietnam-China relations.
Addressing an opening speech at the symposium with the title “Review and Prospect of ten Years of the
Vietnam-China Relations,” Nguyen Duy Quy, president of the National Center for Social Sciences and
Humanities of Vietnam, said that in the past ten years of the normalization of Vietnam-China relations,
the relationship between the two parties and the two countries has been increasingly developing,
conforming with the long-term interest of the two countries and the two peoples.
The symposium, Quy said, is a good opportunity for the scholars of the two countries to exchange,
analyse and assess the achievements and experiences of the ten years of normalization of the Vietnam-
China relationship, putting forward suggestions for further promoting the friendly cooperation between
the two countries.
Making a speech at the symposium, Chairman of the People‟s Committee of Lang Son Province Doan Ba
Nhien said the achievement that Lang Son Province has attained in the past ten years embodies the results
of the this normalization.
The Vietnamese north border province, which borders China‟s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous region,
would further carry out the policies of opening up and international integration to build Lang Son into a
prosperous border province to the further development of the Vietnam-China friendly cooperation, he
Li Ruihuan, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People‟s Political Consultative
Conference (CPPCC), said that China and Vietnam are expected to learn from each other in the reform
and opening-up drive and jointly explore correct ways of development.
Li, also member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China
Central Committee, made the remark in his meeting with Nong Duc Manh, visiting general secretary of
the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV).
Li affirmed the achievements made by China and Vietnam in socialist construction. “Historically and
geographically, China and Vietnam are friendly neighbours. Ideologically, both of them believe in
70 China-ASEAN Review 2001
Marxism,” he said. He stressed that the further consolidation and development of party-to-party and state-
to-state relationship is of great significance. He said that he expects the two sides to precede bilateral
exchanges and cooperation in view of long-term interests of the two sides and push forward the growth of
the bilateral ties.
Li said that the CPPCC would further its contacts with Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) for the better
mutual understanding and trust between the two countries and two peoples.
Manh said that CPPCC is an organ with rich working experiences in unifying and motivating the Chinese
people in economic construction and VFF hopes to strengthen cooperation with CPPCC in many fields.
Strengthening cooperation and exchanging experiences between the communist parties of China and
Vietnam would help with party building and construction of the two countries, Chinese Vice President Hu
Hu, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China
(CPC) Central Committee, made the remark at a meeting with General Secretary of the Central
Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Nong Duc Manh.
Hu said the talks between Chinese President Jiang Zemin with Manh laid an even stronger basis for the
development of relations between the two parties and countries in the new century. Hu pointed out that
both the CPC and CPV are ruling parties in their own countries and share common ideals and objectives.
He said that the two parties have been supportive of each other since the struggle for national
independence and liberation.
Noting that both parties are facing similar challenges and tasks in the socialist construction and the reform
and opening drive, Hu said the CPC and CPV should further increase exchanges and cooperation at every
Hu also briefed Manh on the study of the “Three Represent‟s” among the CPC members.
Manh said that the presence of the CPC delegation headed by Hu at the Ninth National Congress of the
CPV in Vietnam last April was a strong encouragement for his party. He said that his current China visit is
aimed at carrying on the fine tradition of high-level meetings between the two parties and promoting the
friendly cooperative relations between the countries.
A ceremony for the erection of the first new boundary tablet on the Vietnam-China land border was held
in the Vietnamese border town of Mong. In order to accelerate the Land Border Treaty, singed by the
governments of Vietnam and China in 1999, the two sides have agreed to finish the survey and
determination of the boundary line and the erection of tablets on land border as early as possible, building
the Sino-Vietnam land border into a stable, friendly, and peaceful zone.
It was also agreed that the two countries would simultaneously hold ceremonies of erecting the first new
boundary tablet in the Chinese border town of Dongxing and Vietnamese border town of Mong Cai,
respectively at 1100 Beijing time (1000 Hanoi time) on 27 December 2001.
Addressing the ceremony, Vice Foreign Minister of Vietnam Le Cong Phung said that Vietnam and China
are two friendly neighbours, and building the Vietnam-China border into a long-time stable and peaceful
one has been an ardent aspiration of the two peoples.
These ceremonies create the basis of building a friendly border between the two countries, making
important contribution to the development of the two countries, Phung said.
China-ASEAN Review 2001 71
The Vietnamese vice foreign minister also expressed his belief that with the concerted efforts of the two
sides, Vietnam and China would finish the survey and determination of the boundary line and the erection
of tablets on land border as scheduled.
Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Qi Jianguo, who led the Chinese delegation attending the ceremony in
Mong Cai, said that the work of erecting new boundary tablets along the entire Sino-Vietnam border is a
an arduous but rewarding task.
Accomplishing the historical task as early as possible would not only directly benefit the residents of the
two countries‟ border provinces but also contribute to promoting the comprehensive development of the
neighbour-friendly and cooperative relationship between the two countries, the ambassador said
Wang Yi, vice-foreign minister and head of the Chinese government delegation for border negotiations,
attended the ceremony in Dongxing and spoke highly of the positive development of Sino-Vietnamese
relations over the past few years. He said that mountains connected China and Vietnam and waters and
their borders should become a bridge for friendship and cooperation. The treaty has legalized the
common aspiration of the two peoples for harmonious co-existence and common development, and laid a
firm foundation for security, prosperity and stability along border areas of the two countries, noted Wang.
Wang also said that the work of demarcation and setting up boundary tablets is expected to finish within
Chairman of the People‟s Committee of Quang Ninh province Nguyen Van Quynh, and Director of
Border Commission of the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry Tran Cong Truc, also attended the ceremony.
The relationship between Vietnam and China would develop better and better in the days to come, the
newly elected General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee (CPVCC) Nong
Duc Manh said.
Manh made the remarks at a press conference just after the closing session of the Ninth National
Congress of the CPV.
He noted that it is a fine traditional neighbouring relationship between Vietnam and China. Especially
since the normalization of the relations between the two countries, the Vietnam-China friendship and
cooperation have been developing smoothly.
The relationship is based on the principle of “long-term stability, orientation towards the future, good-
neighbourliness, friendship, and all-round cooperation” set by the party leaders of China and Vietnam,
Concerning Vietnam‟s foreign policy, Manh reaffirmed that Vietnam would consistently implement a
foreign policy of independence, sovereignty, and diversification of international relations. The new
Vietnamese Party leader reiterated that Vietnam is prepared to be a friend and reliable partner of all
countries in the international community, striving for peace, independence, and development on the
principles of respect for one another‟s independence, sovereignty, non-interference in each other‟s internal
affairs, equality and mutual benefit.
Vietnam would continue to expand relationship with all countries in the world regardless of political
system. However, Manh stressed that Vietnam would give the priority to developing the relationship with
neighbouring countries, socialist countries, and countries that have traditional friendship with Vietnam.
72 China-ASEAN Review 2001
China is convinced that Vietnam‟s newly elected party chief would, as always, value bilateral friendship
and make new and greater contributions to the continuous promotion of friendly cooperative ties between
the two parties and countries, Vice-President Hu Jintao said.
Hu made the remarks during his meeting with Nong Duc Manh, the newly elected general secretary of the
Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV). The meeting was held in a cordial and
Hu, a Standing Committee member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) who
led a CPC delegation to the CPV‟s Ninth National Congress, left Hanoi for home shortly after the
During the meeting, Hu conveyed a message of congratulations to Manh from the CPC Central
Committee General Secretary Jiang Zemin and offered his own congratulations on the success of the
CPV‟s Ninth congress and Manh‟s election as general secretary.
From the blueprint of the congress, Hu said, China has foreseen the bright future of the Vietnamese
party, state and people in their socialist construction, and their firm determination to ad to the socialist
road and the renovation process.
He noted that China is convinced that under the CPV Central Committee‟s leadership with Manh playing
the leading role, the Vietnamese people would turn their country into a fair, democratic, civilized, socialist,
and industrial one.
Manh spoke highly of the CPC for sending such a high-level delegation to the Ninth Congress and Hu‟s
speech at the congress, saying this reflects the brotherhood and the deep sentiment the CPC and the
Chinese people have for the Vietnamese party and people.
Hu said China and Vietnam share the common ideals and goals and face similar tasks, and it is the
common aspirations for the two peoples to strengthen cooperation and share development, under the
complicated and changeable international situation in the new century.
He stated that in the century, China would join hands with Vietnam in continuing the principle of building
the long-term, stable, future-oriented, good-neighbourly and all-round cooperative relations for the
twenty-first century, following the principles governing bilateral ties, actively implementing all the tasks set
in the joint statement, and pushing the China-Vietnam relationship to a new height in the interests of the
two peoples and of world peace, development and progress.
The Vietnamese party and government treasure ties between the two countries and would make every
effort to implement the principle of building of the relationship in the twenty-first century, he said.
The new party chief stressed that it is necessary to let the younger generation learn more about the long
tradition of friendship between the two nations so that it could be passed on. Hu extended Jiang‟s
invitation to Manh to visit China, and Manh accepted the invitation with pleasure, saying he is looking
forward to Jiang‟s visit to Vietnam at an early date.
Vietnam hopes the friendly cooperation between the two parties and two countries of Vietnam
and China would further develop, said Member of Secretariat of the Communist Party of
Vietnam Center Committee (CPVCC) Vu Khoan. Khoan made the remarks when meeting a
delegation of officials from the Communist Party of China (CPC) led by Liu Qibao, Deputy
Secretary of the CPC Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Regional Committee.
China-ASEAN Review 2001 73
Khoan, who is also Vietnamese Trade Minister, expressed his warm congratulation to the 80th
anniversary of the founding of the CPC, saying that Vietnam thanks for and would never forget
the great assistance of the Chinese people to Vietnam.
Khoan also expressed his wish that the relationship between Vietnam and China‟s Guangxi Zhuang
Autonomous Region would also further develop. During the meeting, Liu Qibao expressed his wishes that
the all-round cooperation between the two parties and the two countries would reach a new level.
He promised that Guangxi would make more contributions to the friendly cooperation between China
Chinese Vice President Hu Jintao met with a Vietnamese delegation led by Nguyen Phu Trong, a
politburo member of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) and secretary of the Hanoi municipal party
With the concerted efforts of the two sides, China and Vietnam have established a friendly relationship in
recent years. The Communist Party of China (CPC) and the CPV have also expanded their overall
cooperation and exchange, said Hu, who is also a member of the Political Bureau Standing Committee of
the CPC Central Committee.
The two peoples cherish the friendship between the two countries and the two parties. The CPC and the
Chinese government attach great importance to the further development of such a bond, Hu said. He said
he hopes the two sides would enhance the relationship to make it even stronger.
During his visit to Vietnam, while attending the ninth national congress of the CPV, Hu was deeply
impressed by the great achievements made by the CPV and the Vietnamese people in the process of
socialist construction and reform, he said.
Nguyen Phu Trong said that the Vietnamese people admired the Chinese for their outstanding
accomplishments in modernization. In line with principles set by leaders of the two sides, the two parties
and the two countries should further their friendly relations, he said. Since Hanoi and Beijing became
sister cities in 1994, they have enhanced bilateral exchange and cooperation, which also deepen the two
countries‟ friendship, he said.
Jia Qinglin, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and secretary of the Beijing
Municipal Committee of the CPC, was also present at the meeting.
China is satisfied with the trend of developments in the relations between China and Vietnam and
between the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), top Chinese
leader Li Peng said in talks with the Vietnamese Party Chief Nong Duc Manh.
“The political foundations of Sino-Vietnamese relations have been more sound and solid than ever, and
mutual trust and cooperation for development have been the common aspiration of both countries,” said
Li, who is a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee
and Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People‟s Congress.
Manh was elected general secretary of the CPV Central Committee in April. “The new leadership of the
CPV has attached great importance to the development of the relations with China, which we value very
much,” Li said. Li said that “both countries share the common goals of building a socialist country, and
the good neighbourly relations between the two countries are in the interest of the two peoples.”
Li extended to Manh cordial greetings from Jiang Zemin, general secretary of the CPC Central
Committee, saying that Jiang is expecting Manh‟s visit to China in later 2001.
74 China-ASEAN Review 2001
Li said that it would be the highest level of visit by Vietnamese leaders to China after the new leadership
of the CPV was elected, and the strategic dialogue to be held in Beijing would be of great significance.
Manh said that the two parties have always been supporting each other, and the Vietnamese people would
never forget the valuable support and help from the Chinese people in their fight for national
independence, national unification, and in the cause of socialist construction.
He spoke highly of the land border treaty that has taken effect and agreements on the Beibu Gulf
demarcation and fishery industry cooperation already signed by the two governments, saying that Vietnam
would speed up the follow-up work of implementing these agreements.
After briefing Manh on the domestic situation in China and Jiang‟s landmark speech on Party
construction made on July 1, Li exchanged views with Manh on international and regional issues of
Ding Guangen, head of the Publicity Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of
China (CPC), met with Nguyen Khoa Diem, director of the Ideology and Culture Commission of the
Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse.
Ding, also a member of the Political Bureau and a member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central
Committee, said many significant incidents have occurred since China and Vietnam normalized diplomatic
relations ten years ago. He noted the two countries have achieved good results in bilateral cooperation in
the political, economic, scientific, and cultural fields.
He recalled that the recent visit by CPV Central Committee General Secretary Nong Duc Manh to China
was a total success.
Ding expressed his confidence in the bright future of Sino-Vietnamese relations. He said the CPC and the
government of China are ready to continue to work with the party and government of Vietnam to push
forward bilateral relations. Ding pointed out that the two sides share common ideals and goals and that
both are faced with similar tasks.
In a complicated and ever-changing international situation, both countries face opportunities and
challenges as they enter a crucial stage of reform and opening up to the outside world, Ding said. Seizing
the opportunities, facing the challenges, and strengthening cooperation for mutual development are not
only the common aspiration of the two peoples, but also the need of the socialist cause, he added.
Nguyen Khoa Diem, also a member of the Political Bureau and a member of the Secretariat of the CPV
Central Committee, said CPC‟s experience in publicity and theoretical work is worth emulating.
Sea Route Link
Fangcheng City in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, which is China‟s most south-western sea
outlet, is to build a new port 2001 as part of the sea route to Ha Long Vinh in Vietnam.
Fangcheng, on the Beibu Gulf, already has the land port of Dongxing providing access to Vietnam. The
new maritime border gateway to be built as part of the tourism route would feature a beach, mangroves, a
rocky shore, and an ethnic village. It is expected to give a great boost to trade and tourism between China
Fangcheng, with some 500 km of coastline, is one of China‟s 19 terminal ports. It has ten berths, each of
which can accommodate 10, 000 dwt of shipping. The port handled over 2.71 million passengers in 2000,
making it the third-largest port in China in this respect.
China-ASEAN Review 2001 75
Vietnam always attaches importance to Vietnam-China trade relation, and hopes to further develop the
trade relation between the two countries, said Vietnamese Trade Minister Vu Khoan in an interview to
Xinhua on 30 May.
The trade relation between the two countries has been smoothly developing, Khoan said, adding that the
bilateral trade turnover reached two billion U.S. dollars in 2000. However, he said, the bilateral trade
turnover does not match the potential of the two countries.
To carry out the principle guiding the development of bilateral relationship in the twenty-first century,
namely “long term stability, orientation towards the future, good-neighbourliness, friendship and all round
cooperation” set by leaders of the two countries, Khoan stressed. Vietnam hopes to further develop
bilateral trade relation with China, increasing the annual two-way trade turnover to three billion U.S.
dollars, or even four billion U.S. dollars. In order to reach the target, Vietnam hopes China would import
more Vietnamese staples, namely crude oil, coal, rubber, and aquaculture products, the Vietnamese trade
Khoan said that the border trade played an important role in Vietnam-China trade relation and has great
potential. Therefore, it should be further promoted. Khoan also noted that, although tourism between the
two countries has significantly increased, needs further development.
Tourism Festival in Dongxing
A tourism festival was held in the city of Dongxing, south China‟s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region,
on 26 to 28 October to promote tourism in the border area between China and Vietnam. A forum on
how to boost Sino-Vietnamese border tourism was also held at the same time.
Delegates from China and Southeast Asian region attended the festival, which, apart from tourist visits,
would also include symposiums, cooperative negotiations, and cultural activities. Statistics show that over
423,700 tourists went through the Dongxing customs in southern Guangxi in 2000, and reached 225,000
in the first half of 2001.
It has been learned that the construction of eight new entry-exit passages is currently underway and upon
completion in October, the project, at a cost of 2.8 million yuan (US$ 337,000), would enable the customs
to handle over 50,000 people a day.
So far, China and Vietnam haven‟t signed a state-level agreement on tourism. “We hope this festival can
fully develop the potential of the tourist industry of Dongxing, and attract more outside investment,”“
said Li Guidong, mayor of Dongxing.
Potential of Mong Cai as a Border City
General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nong Duc Manh has
said that the Vietnamese-Chinese border city of Mong Cai could become a modern, busy business centre
in the next decade. Mong Cai, which is bounded with Dongxing city of China‟s Guangxi Zhuang
Autonomous region, has been strengthening ties with Dongxing and other localities of China in recent
Manh said this while making a working tour from the country‟s north-eastern coal-mining province of
Quang Ninh where Mong Cai city is located, said a report of Vietnam‟s official news agency VNA on 30
Nong Duc Manh urged Quang Ninh and Mong Cai officials to effectively conduct people-to-people
diplomatic relations with China in conformity with the principle of “long-term stability, looking to the
future, neighbourly friendship, and all-round cooperation” as defined by leaders of the two countries.
76 China-ASEAN Review 2001
He asked Mong Cai city to devise an industrialization and modernization plan in harmony with the
provincial as well as the national development plans.
Chinese Economic Delegation
Economic and commercial cooperation between Vietnam and China have been smoothly developing, said
Vietnamese Prime Minister Phan Van Khai while meeting a Chinese economic-commercial delegation led
by Vice Chairman of State Economic-Commercial Commission of China Zhang Zhigang on 20
The delegation attended the completion ceremony of the technology improvement project for Vietnam‟s
Thai Nguyen Iron and Steel Complex. During the meeting, he also noted that the technology
improvement project for Vietnam‟s Ha Bac Nitrogenous Fertilizer Plant would also be completed next
year. The two plants‟ technology improvement projects have been carried out with the assistance of
Cooperation in Fighting Crime
China and Vietnam signed several documents regarding the fight against drugs and criminal offences.
These documents, signed by the ministers of public security of the two countries, include an agreement on
cooperation in suppressing crimes and maintaining social order, a memorandum of understanding on
enhanced cooperation in prohibition of drugs, and an exchange of notes on cooperation in science and
technology for police purposes. It was signed on July 26.
Vietnamese President Tran Duc Luong, who met visiting Chinese Minister of Public Security Jia
Chunwang, said the ministries of public security of the two countries have achieved some major results.
Jia echoed Tran‟s remarks, saying the ministries of public security of the two countries have intensified
contacts and exchange, and remarkable achievements have been made in bilateral cooperation in
combating drugs and trans-national crimes as well as in forensic science.
Friendship Meeting of Chinese and Vietnamese Youth
The Friendship Meeting of Chinese and Vietnamese Youth was held and attended by 160 Chinese and
Vietnamese young people. The Meeting, held on 11 October, is the second such meeting, the first held in
China in October 2000.
At the opening of the meeting, First Secretary of the Communist Youth League of China Zhou Qiang said
the leaders of China and Vietnam have set the guidelines for Sino-Vietnamese relations in the new century
as “long-term stability, futuristic orientation, good-neighbourliness, friendship, and all-round
Zhou noted that the Sino-Vietnamese Joint Statement of 1999 had especially stressed the strengthening of
exchanges between youth of the two countries. First Secretary of Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union
of Vietnam Hoang Binh Quan said that the relationship with China occupies a special place for the
Vietnamese of all ages.
He expressed his delight at the smooth development of the friendship cooperation between the Ho Chi
Minh Communist Youth Union of Vietnam and the Communist Youth League of China. Quan hoped
that the meeting would further promote the cooperation between the two communist youth leagues and
the youths between the two countries
China-ASEAN Review 2001 77
Vietnamese Cultural Delegation Visits China
Buhe, vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People‟s Congress (NPC), met with a
Vietnamese cultural delegation headed by Culture and Information Minister Pham Quang Nghi on 11
Both China and Vietnam are socialist countries, and the two should learn and support each other, and
continue collaboration in various fields including culture, film and television program making as well as in
the publishing trade. Pham Quang Nghi, said that Vietnam can learn a lot from China‟s experiences in
operating the reform and opening up policy. The delegation is at the invitation of China‟s Culture
Ministry. Prior to the meeting, the delegation and the Culture Ministry signed an agreement on cultural
exchanges between China and Vietnam in 2002 and 2003.
Senior Chinese leader Li Peng said that China and Vietnam, both socialist countries, should increase
exchange and cooperation for the promotion of ethical and cultural progress in their countries, made the
remark when meeting with Nguyen Khoa Diem, top Vietnamese official in charge of ideological and
cultural affairs on 20 December.
After commending the rapid development of bilateral ties, Li said that the Chinese Communist Party has
attached great importance to ethical and cultural progress. He quoted the late Chinese leader Deng
Xiaoping as saying “we must build a socialist civilization with a high material level and a high cultural and
General Secretary Jiang Zemin listed cultural progress as one of the three most important aspects of Party
building, also known as the “three represents,” Li said.
Diem said that China has accumulated valuable experiences in ethical and cultural construction, which
Vietnam is eager to learn. The Vietnamese Communist Party pays great attention to the “Three
Represents” theory put forward by Comrade Jiang Zemin, and hopes to elevate relations between the two
Parties and two countries to a new level, he added.
Visiting Vietnamese State President Tran Duc Luong said he hopes that the armies of Vietnam and China
would continue to strengthen cooperation, constantly advancing the friendly relations between the two
The Vietnamese president said the Vietnamese government and people appreciate the exchanges in all
fields between the two countries in recent years and the fruitful efforts made for promoting cooperation.
For his part, Chi Haotian, also vice Chairman of China‟s Central Military Commission and a state
councillor, said the Sino-Vietnam friendship nurtured by Mao Zedong and Ho Chi Minh and other
revolutionaries of older generations has taken root in the peoples of the two countries.
Chi said China and Vietnam have issued a joint statement for all-round cooperation in the new century
and signed the agreement on the delimitation of the Beibu Gulf territorial sea and the agreement on
fishing cooperation in the Beibu Gulf, laying a sound foundation for establishing all-round cooperation
between China and Vietnam in the new century.
Chi reaffirmed that both countries would continue to consolidate and develop the friendly relations
between the two countries and two armies, and strive for promoting peace and stability in the region.
He also briefed his host on the Chinese government‟s handling of the Falun Gong cult. Luong said the
Vietnamese side understands the measures taken by the Chinese government to crack down on the cult.
Vietnam believed that the Chinese government has experience and capability in properly handling the
issue, Luong added.
78 China-ASEAN Review 2001
Xiong Guangkai, deputy chief of General Staff of the People‟s Liberation Army of China (PLA), met with
a delegation headed by Nguyen Khac Nghien, commander of the first military region of Vietnam.
Xiong said the armies of China and Vietnam are expected to promote exchanges in an effort to maintain
peace and stability in their border regions. Developing friendly Sino-Vietnamese relations and ties between
their military forces was in the common interests of both countries, he said. Xiong also briefed the guests
on China‟s principled stand on anti-terrorism issues, as well as the process of building the PLA armies.
Chronology of Taiwan-Vietnam Relations 2001
6 March Vietnamese Mayor Visits Taipei Magistrate Ho Chi Minh City Mayor Vo Viet Thant
called on Taipei County Magistrate Su Chen-chang on to exchange views on strengthening
technical and investment cooperation.
13 April A delegation from Vietnam led by the Tran Ngoc Con, deputy mayor of Ho Chi
Minh City met with business leaders in central Taiwan at a meeting held at the Taichung World
Trade Centre on April, ten to brief potential investors on the investment climate in Vietnam.
8 August Law enforcement officers in Taiwan and Vietnam broke up a cross-border drug
13-14 August Taiwanese Minister of Economic Affairs Lin Hsin-yi attended the annual
conference on promoting trade and economic cooperation between Taiwan and Vietnam.
15 November A cooperative trade agreement was signed in Ho Chi Minh City.
Taiwan and Vietnam agreed this year to step up cooperation in crime-fighting, especially as regards to
drug-trafficking. In 2001 they had some success, breaking up a cross-border trafficking ring led by Liu
Huo-hsing. Vietnam-based Chinese businessmen highlighted the problem of the education of their
children, and asked the Taiwan government to provide with them with loans. This was seen as a hindrance
to more Taiwanese setting up businesses in Vietnam. There were various visits of delegation of
Vietnamese trade officials to Taiwan to strengthen technical and investment cooperation between Ho Chi
Minh City and Taipei County.
Law enforcement officers in Taiwan and Vietnam have recently cooperated in breaking a cross-border
drug trafficking ring, the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) said.
According to the bureau, a mastermind of the ring, identified as Liu Kuo-hsing, was arrested in Ho Chi
Minh City by Vietnamese police authorities early this month.
Quoting Vietnamese sources, a CIB official said Liu had extensive connections with drug trafficking rings
and dealers in Vietnam. “Vietnamese police have detained Liu for further questioning and they have
agreed to repatriate him to Taiwan after they finish their questioning,” said the official.
Acting on tips from international sources, local police managed to nab several drug traffickers from
Vietnam earlier this month. Initial investigations show that the drug traffickers were commissioned by Liu
to smuggle contraband narcotics into Taiwan.
China-ASEAN Review 2001 79
In the past, drug trafficking rings used to smuggle illegal drugs from the Golden Triangle to Taiwan via
Thailand and mainland China, but as police now monitor this trafficking channel closely, the CIB official
said, Liu‟s ring had moved its operation centre to Vietnam in recent years.
“The ring first secured narcotics in mainland China‟s Yunnan province and then transported the goods to
Vietnam by land for airlifting to Taiwan via Hong Kong and Macau,” the official explained, adding that
the ring had commissioned Taiwan tourists to smuggle drugs into Taiwan in small instalments by hiding
them in specially designed footwear and suits.
CIB investigations show that the ring had used this new trafficking formula to smuggle drugs into Taiwan
on a number of occasions. The official said Vietnam apparently has become a new springboard for
Taiwan-destined drug trafficking. “As criminal rings tend to use individual tourists to help smuggle drugs
into Taiwan in small instalments, it‟s not easy to bust them without tip-offs,” he admitted.
Vietnamese Mayor Visits Taipei Magistrate
Ho Chi Minh City Mayor Vo Viet Thant called on Taipei County Magistrate Su Chen-chang on 6 March
to exchange views on strengthening technical and investment cooperation between Ho Chi Minh City and
Taipei County. Vo, accompanied by Nguyen Dinh Mai, deputy director of Ho Chi Minh City‟s Urban
Planning and Investment Department, and a group of Vietnamese industrialists, briefed Su on the
investment climate of the Vietnamese city. Vo expressed the hope that more investors from Taipei
County will consider Ho Chi Minh City as a place to investors.
Su suggested that a Ho Chi Minh City liaison office be set up in Taiwan so as to help lure more investors
and handle related matters. Due to the absence of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Taiwan, the
visit by Vo and his group was very low key. The Vietnamese visitors said that their trip was of a private
At present, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Hanoi and the Vietnam Economic and Cultural
Office in Taipei handle the consular and representative functions between the two nations.
Taiwanese Textile Manufacture Expands in Vietnam
Tainan Spinning Corporation, one of the leading textile manufacturers in Taiwan, is planning to pump
another US$12 million into its Vietnam plant, will increase its investment to a total of US$41 million. If
everything goes smoothly, the expanded plant — with its spindle number being increased from the
current 95,000 pieces to 160,000 pieces — will be the largest factory of its kind in Vietnam, the sources
Vietnamese Delegation Meets Taiwanese Business Leaders
A delegation from Vietnam led by the deputy mayor of Ho Chi Minh City met with business leaders in
central Taiwan at a meeting held at the Taichung World Trade Centre on 10 April ten to brief potential
investors on the investment climate in Vietnam.
Taichung is one of four legs on the delegation‟s itinerary, which will also take the visitors to northern and
southern Taiwan. During their stay in Taichung, Tran Ngoc Con, the deputy mayor of Vietnam‟s capital,
and his delegation paid a call on Taichung Mayor Chang Wen-ying and Deputy Mayor Chen Ta-chun.
Tran said that Taiwan‟s business investment in Vietnam constitutes 22.1 percent of all foreign investment
in his country, making it Vietnam‟s second largest source of foreign investment after South Korea. He
said Ho Chi Minh City, with better social order than any other city in Vietnam, offers Taiwan
80 China-ASEAN Review 2001
businesspeople a privileged investment environment. However, he acknowledged that the city is still trying
to overcome a power shortage problem — a drawback to the city‟s efforts to attract investment by high-
Donation of Baby Fish
Visiting Taiwan Legislator Lin Feng-hsi, donated 120,000 baby fish to Vietnam as part of the Taiwan‟s
efforts to implement a bilateral fishery cooperative agreement with Vietnam. The donation ceremony was
held on 11 April at the provincial hall of Bac Giang, a town some 60 kilometres north of Hanoi, with Hu
Chia-chi, Taiwan representative to Vietnam, Nguyen Van Loc, deputy governor of Bac Giang, Nguyen
Viet Thang, Vietnamese vice fishery minister, and other Vietnamese officials. In addition to the 120,000
hatchlings, Lin also donated several pieces of aquaculture equipment.
Vietnamese Business Symposium in Kaoshiung
A Vietnamese delegation led by Ho Chi Min City Deputy Mayor Tran Ngoc Con held a symposium for
business and industrial leaders in the Kaohsiung area at the Kaohsiung Office of the China External Trade
Development Council (CETRA) on 13 April. During the meeting, Tran briefed local investors on the
investment climate and incentives adopted by his city.
Tran said that the government has amended many outdated trade regulations and laws and has signed
trade and investment agreements with foreign countries so as to assure the investors‟ interests. Vietnam
has attracted more than 2,790 foreign investment cases worth US$36 billion in the past 11 years, Tran
added. He expressed the hope that foreign investors who establish operations in Ho Chi Min City will use
local raw materials and only import if local supplies are insufficient. The government will not levy taxes on
such materials used for export purposes and will provide “cheap and convenient” public facilities.
At present, some 2,000 Taiwan investors are operating in Vietnam, behind only Singapore in terms of
investment value, Tran said, adding that Taiwan would top the list of foreign investment if total
investment cases were counted.
Representatives of Taiwan investors in Vietnam said that two-way trade between Vietnam and Taiwan has
averaged US$1 billion per year since Vietnam opened up its market to foreign investors. They cited cheap
and skilled local labour, as well as loose controls on foreign currency as good reasons to invest there, with
foodstuffs, machinery, cement, textiles, and ready-made garments the most suitable areas in which to
Education Problems of Vietnamese-based Taiwanese Businessmen
Taiwanese businessmen in Vietnam asked Taiwan government to provide them with loans and help
resolve the problem of their children‟s education.
They voiced their appeal at a business symposium held with four visiting four Taiwanese legislators on 14
April. Hu Chia-ling, Taiwan representative to Vietnam and Wu Chien-kuo, director of the Ho Chi Min
City Office of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, also attended the symposium. Legislators Hung
Tu (KMT), Fan Yang-sheng (KMT), Kuan Wo-nuan (KMT), and Lin Feng-hsi (DPP), all members of the
Foreign Relations and Overseas Chinese Affair Committee of the Legislative Yuan During the meeting,
participants presented a six-point appeal to Taiwan government, which included asking for financial help
and educational assistance for their children.
Speaking on the education problem, participants urged the government to expand the new military service
substitution program so as to allow conscripts to assist in overseas education for Taiwanese students and
to help teachers at overseas Chinese schools secure jobs when they return to Taiwan. They also asked the
relevant government agencies to change the current eight-year limitation for overseas Chinese students to
enjoy the privilege of studying in Taiwan. They also asked Taiwan to establish a foundation jointly
China-ASEAN Review 2001 81
invested by Taiwan‟s universities and enterprises and operated by Taiwanese businessmen in Southeast
Asia that would offer scholarships for Southeast Asian students to study in Taiwan.
During the meeting, participants also blasted Eva Airways and China Airlines for their high air ticket
prices. They urged Eva and CAL to cut their air ticket prices to the same level as those charged by
Legislator Lin Feng-hsi (DPP) agreed that it is unfair that Eva Airways and China Airlines charge 20
percent more than Vietnam Airlines, adding that he would like to lead the businessmen in a protest in
front of the Taipei headquarters of both Eva Air and CAL, Lin said.
Conference on Trade Promotion
Minister of Economic Affairs Lin Hsin-yi attended the annual conference on promoting trade and
economic cooperation between Taiwan and Vietnam on 13-14 August.
This was the eighth consecutive year that major trade organizations in the two countries have jointly
organized the meeting to boost bilateral economic ties. Lin headed a delegation of Ministry of Economic
Affairs (MOEA) officials, including Vice Minister Chen Ruey-long, and senior business executives. During
his visit, Lin will also tour a Hanoi industrial park developed by Taiwan business groups and meet with
Taiwan investors in Vietnam to gain a better understanding of their operations there.
Despite the absence of formal diplomatic ties, Taiwanese-Vietnamese economic relations have been
growing steadily. Taiwan is now Vietnam‟s fourth largest trading partner. With their geographic proximity
and similar cultural backgrounds, MOEA officials said, the two countries should have many new
opportunities to cooperate in the future.
According to MOEA tallies, two-way trade between Taiwan and Vietnam amounted to US$2.12 billion
last year, with Taiwan exporting US$1.66 billion worth of goods to Vietnam while importing US$460
million worth of Vietnamese products.
Taiwan mainly exported semi-finished textile goods, leather, footwear parts, and processing machines to
Vietnam, while raw materials, farm produce, and semi-finished products formed the bulk of imports from
Ministerial Economic and Trade Consultation
Taiwan and Vietnam reached several agreements on strengthening bilateral economic exchanges at the
third Taiwan-Vietnam ministerial economic and trade consultation conference which was held in Vietnam
The Vietnamese side asked Taiwan Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) to encourage more Taiwan
businessmen to invest in Vietnam and help the realization of already promised investment projects.
Regarding complaints that some Taiwan businessmen have encountered trouble caused by language and
judicial barriers, the Vietnamese side agreed to set up a special committee of cross-agency specialists to
help resolve their problems. The Vietnamese side also agreed to consider correcting the “unreasonable”
ratio set for foreign businessmen in Vietnam to turn their products for export.
The Taiwan side suggested that the Vietnamese bicycle manufacturing industry could learn from Taiwan‟s
experience in developing its bicycle industry.
It also urged the Vietnamese side to sign a Taiwan-Vietnam trade agreement and to amend out-dated and
ambiguous articles in the Labour Law.
The Vietnamese side asked Taiwan to lift restrictions on imports of agricultural products, beer and rice
liquor. Minister of Economic Affairs Lin Hsi-yi headed the 100-member Taiwanese delegation. Its
82 China-ASEAN Review 2001
members were from the MOEA, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Finance, the Council of
Agriculture and the National Science Council, as well as several state-run and private enterprises.
Lin was scheduled to return to Taipei, while Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Chen Ruey-long was
slated to proceed to Ho Chi Minh City and other Vietnamese cities.
Taiwanese Trade Delegation Planned
Taiwan‟s Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) will send a trade delegation to Vietnam in mid-
November to seek trade opportunities and industrial cooperation partners.
Chang Tien-ming, head of a division of the Export Processing Zone Administration under the MOEA
said that representatives from 34 enterprises will join the delegation and that more delegates from other
companies would be welcome to go on the trip, which is scheduled for 12-18 November. He went on to
say that Vietnam, which has been developing its economy in recent years, is a market worth exploring for
Taiwan businessmen. He suggested that Taiwan companies form a strategic alliance with Vietnamese
firms to assist them in setting up factories by offering components, raw materials and technology.
The official noted that some Taiwanese companies that have been investing in Vietnam for five or six
years have seen their Vietnamese counterparts catching them up in competitiveness, which has made them
turn their hopes back toward Taiwan. Chang said the visit is also designed to help these Taiwan
enterprises to return to Taiwan to set up research and development centres on the island, while still
sustaining and supporting their overseas operations.
The delegation will comprise of representatives of the electronic, ready-made garment, aquaculture,
plastics, machinery, automobile components, and metal industries.
Cooperative Trade Relationship Established
Officials from Taiwan‟s Export Processing Zone (EPZ) Administration said that they established a
cooperative relationship with their Vietnamese counterparts in mid-November.
The agreement was signed 15 November in Ho Chi Minh City when a Taiwanese trade mission visited the
Southeast Asian country to seek trade opportunities.
According to the terms of the agreement, Taiwan businessmen in Vietnam can ship semi-finished goods
manufactured in Vietnam back to Taiwan, where they can be further processed and then marketed
worldwide as being made in Taiwan.
Chronology of Taiwan-Cambodia Relations 2001
19 January EVA Airways began accepting reservations for a new flight service between
Taipei and the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh scheduled to begin, with three flights per
6 October At the Economic Development Advisory Conference, Taiwan‟s Council of Labour
Affairs is considering allowing workers from Burma and Cambodia to work in Taiwan
10 August A local court in Cambodia ruled on 10 August that Chen Chi-li, a former leader of
Taiwan‟s notorious Bamboo Union gang, be released on a suspended jail sentence for illegal
possession of arms and illegal use of diplomatic license plates.
China-ASEAN Review 2001 83
Relations between Taiwan and Cambodia were mainly on the economic and trade front. Regular air links
between Taipei and Phnom Penh were planned to be set up this year, in part to boost business
opportunities and for movement of its labour are expected to be set up. The Taiwan Council of Labour
Affairs is considering allowing workers from Burma and Cambodia to work in Taiwan now that the island
is to become a member of the World Trade Organisation. In addition, the Economic Development
Advisory Conference held on 6 October proposed expanding the sources of foreign labour. On the justice
front, a local court in Cambodia ruled in August that Chen Chi-li, a former leader of Taiwan‟s notorious
Bamboo Union Gang, be released on a suspended jail sentence for illegal possession of arms and illegal
use of diplomatic license plates.
Regular Air Links to be Set Up
Taiwan government official said that regular air services between Taipei and Phnom Penh are expected to
open within 2001. Chang Kuo-cheng, deputy director-general of the Civil Aeronautics Administration
(CAA), made the remarks before the Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Committee under the
Legislative Yuan on 25 April. Four legislators of the committee, who recently visited Vietnam, Cambodia,
and Thailand, proposed that the government ask EVA Airways to open the Taipei-Phnom Penh service as
early as possible.
They pointed out that the existing three weekly flights between Kaohsiung and Phnom Penh operated by
Taiwan-based Mandarin Airlines are unable to meet the increasing demand.
Chang told the lawmakers that under the “ROC-Cambodia aviation agreement” signed in March 1998,
Taiwan‟s EVA Airways, and Cambodia‟s President Airlines are authorized to operate the service linking
the capitals of the two countries. However, he went on, the agreement has not been put into practice
because of political and “other” reasons.
The CAA official disclosed that EVA Airways has started negotiating with President Airlines on the
opening of a regular service between Taipei and Phnom Penh and added that the project will hopefully to
be realized in 2001.
Economic Development Advisory Conference
The Cabinet-level Council of Labour Affairs (CLA) is considering allowing workers from Burma and
Cambodia to work in Taiwan now that the island is going to become a member of the World Trade
Organization (WHO). The Economic Development Advisory Conference on 6 October proposed
expanding the sources of foreign labour. An official with the CLA said that the CLA has conducted
negotiations with five countries — Burma, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Mongolia — over this
He noted that Burma‟s advantage is that many overseas Chinese live in that country, while interactions
between Taiwan and Cambodia are frequent. The official said that Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have high
intent of exporting labour to Taiwan and their people can speak English. As for Mongolia, he said that its
government has maintained good relationship with Taiwan since President Chen Shui-bian visited there
when he was mayor of Taipei.
The results of the preliminary evaluation are that there are direct flights from Taipei to Rangoon and to
Phnom Penh, while the air links between Taiwan and the three other countries are not so convenient. The
official said that this matter would be further discussed between the CLO and the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs as well as other related government institutions.
84 China-ASEAN Review 2001
Currently more than 300,000 foreign workers are employed in Taiwan. They are mainly from Thailand, the
Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam.
New Flight Route to Phnom Penh
EVA Airways began accepting reservations for a new flight service between Taipei and the Cambodian
capital of Phnom Penh scheduled to begin 19 January, with three flights per week.
An EVA official said that the airline had hoped to open the Taipei-Phnom Penh route four years ago but
gave up the plan because of the unstable political situation in the war-torn Southeast Asian country. After
years of negotiations, the official went on, both sides agreed that EVA Airways and Cambodia‟s President
Airlines would be jointly operate the Taipei-Phnom Penh air route.
In the initial period, the route would be served with 152-seat MD-90 aircraft leased from Taiwan‟s UNI
Airlines. The crews would also be provided by UNI Airlines, the official added.
The three-and-a-half hour flights would depart Taiwan at 8:40 a.m. on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays,
with return flights on the evening of the same day.
Bamboo Union Gang Leader Released
A local court in Cambodia ruled on 10 August that Chen Chi-li, a former leader of Taiwan‟s notorious
Bamboo Union gang, be released on a suspended jail sentence for illegal possession of arms and illegal use
of diplomatic license plates.
Chen, who was acquitted of two other charges — membership in an illegal armed group and forgery of
nationality documents — received a three-year sentence that he would not have to serve if he stays out of
trouble for the next five years. The judge in Chen‟s case said that the 59-year-old Cambodian government
adviser has already been held since July 2000 while awaiting the final verdict, and that he has made
contributions to Cambodia by helping the Southeast Asian country build schools and public housing.
Two other defendants, 28-year-old Lia Mong In from Taiwan and 45-year-old Quong Ou Quing from
mainland China, were also given three-year suspended sentences for illegal possession of arms. Chen was
quoted as saying that he would continue to stay in Cambodia after he is released, and that he would not
return to Taiwan, where he is wanted on other charges.
Legislative Leader to Meet Just-released Gang Leader
Lin Feng-hsi, legislative caucus leader of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party met with former
Bamboo Union gang leader Chen Chi-li in Phnom Penh on 12 August to try to persuade him to return to
Taiwan. Lin said at a press conference that he went to Cambodia to persuade Chen to come back to
Taiwan for trial because he feared that Chen might go to mainland China through the arrangement of
Chen‟s friend “White Wolf” Chang An-lo. He said that he met with Chen at the home of a “common
friend” in Phnom Penh and talked from noon till midnight.
Chen was quoted as saying that he “would certainly come back to Taiwan” when his health, hurt by a
recent stroke in prison, becomes more stable and after his financial matters are handled. However, when
asked when Chen would return to Taiwan, Lin replied that, “the time is not yet ripe.” Chen reportedly
expressed his hope that the Taiwan‟s Ministry of Foreign Affairs would issue him documents allowing him
to enter Taiwan, and added that he is willing to be investigated in Taiwan. Chen is wanted on criminal
charges in Taiwan stemming from a crackdown against organized crime in September 1997.
China-ASEAN Review 2001 85
He told Lin that he left Taiwan for mainland China “for medical treatment” before his name went on the
wanted list and added that he later proceeded to Cambodia because he feared the information collected by
related Taiwan authorities against him was “unfair.”
Chronology of Taiwan-Indonesia Relations 2001
7 March Francisco Xavier Do Amaral, founder of East Timor‟s Independence Party arrived
in Taiwan for a weeklong visit.
27 March The Ministry of Foreign Affairs cautioned local people intending to visit Indonesia
in the near future to heighten vigilance as the Southeast Asian country is going through a period
of political transition.
February Seminar on Indonesian Investment Opportunities held by the Indonesian Bureau
of Revaluation of Assets in Taipei.
11 April Indonesian Trade Promotion Delegation from Indonesia‟s South Sumatra Province
makes a three-day visit to Taiwan.
17 August A 20-member investment and trade promotion delegation led by Governor
Rosihan Arsyad of Indonesia‟s South Sumatra Province arrived in Taipei for a three-day visit.
Unrest in Indonesia during the year was the dominant topic this year. This led to the Taiwanese Ministry
of Foreign Affairs to caution Taiwanese people intending to visit Indonesia. Despite this, the leader of an
investment and trade promotion delegation from Indonesia‟s South Sumatra Province making a three-day
visit to Taiwan told businessmen that “a lot can be done” in the province. The Indonesian Bureau of
Revaluation of Assets held a seminar in Taipei on investment opportunities in Indonesia in mid-February.
Taiwan is the fourth largest source of foreign investment in Indonesia, with Taiwan business people
holding some US$16.9 billion in assets in this Southeast Asian country.
Francisco Xavier Do Amaral, founder of East Timor‟s Independence Party and currently a presidential
candidate, arrived in Taiwan for a weeklong visit.
During his stay, Xavier would call on government and civilian leaders, including Secretary General to the
Presidential Office Yu Shy-kun, Vice Foreign Minister Chiou Jong-nan, Kuomintang Vice Chairman
Vincent Siew, People First Party Vice Chairman Chang Chao-hsiung and Deputy Taipei Mayor Pai Hsiu-
hsiung. Xavier would also visit Providence University in Taichung on 12 March. Xavier would be the first
political figure from East Timor to visit the institute, although a Timorian bishop visited the university in
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) cautioned local people intending to visit Indonesia in the near
future to heighten vigilance as the Southeast Asian country is going through a period of political
86 China-ASEAN Review 2001
Quoting a report from the Taiwan representative office in Indonesia, the ministry said the frequency of
Indonesian people taking to the street to express their political stance or support for specific political
figures has risen significantly amid its current domestic political transition. According to the report,
Indonesian people are likely to stage medium- or large-scale demonstrations in the coming weeks. The
report further said that over the past month, several armed robberies have been reported in Indonesia,
resulting in deaths or serious injuries of the victims.
With criminal activities getting increasingly violent, MOFA officials said prospective visitors to Indonesia
should pay more heed to their own personal safety. MOFA officials also urged Taiwan investors and other
expatriates in Indonesia to keep constant vigilance, particularly when they visit banks or keep large sums
of cash at their homes.
Taiwan MOFA urged local people to be cautious when visiting Indonesia, amid the confrontation
between supporters and rivals of President Abdurrahman Wahid.
The warning came in the wake of an Indonesian government announcement that Jakarta would be on
“first-grade alert” during 29-30 April, as Wahid‟s supporters are scheduled to stage a mass prayer rally in
the centre of the capital to back the president. The supporters would also stage a demonstration outside
the Congress 30 April in protest against its plan to vote on a second censure against the president. The
MOFA press release urged local people not to visit Jakarta or East Java — Wahid‟s home province — on
the days in question.
“If they really must visit, Taiwan citizens should be especially cautious about Indonesia‟s situation and
political developments and should maintain close contact with the Taiwan representative office in
Indonesia,” MOFA officials said.
MOFA said that President Chen Shui-bian has sent a message of congratulations to new Indonesian
President Megawati Sukarnoputri after she replaced former President Abdurrahman Wahid.
MOFA spokeswoman Chang Siao-yue said President Chen has also expressed the Taiwanese
government‟s support for the Megawati administration in his congratulatory message.
Megawati was sworn in as president minutes after the Indonesian national assembly dismissed Wahid and
elected her in a unanimous vote. Chang said President Chen sent his message upon learning that the
Indonesian national assembly had elected a new national leader in accordance with the country‟s
democratic constitutional procedures.
With Megawati taking the reins, Chang said, Indonesia‟s political situation is expected to gradually return
to normal. Quoting reports of the Taiwan representative office in Indonesia, Chang said the general social
climate in that country remains calm at the moment.
Chang said the international community generally does not think that large-scale riots similar to those seen
three years ago would erupt again in Indonesia.
“Nevertheless, as Wahid has vowed not to surrender the presidency, sporadic conflicts or disturbances
may be inevitable,” Chang said, adding that “against this background, we hope Taiwan nationals intending
to travel to Indonesia for sightseeing or business purposes can avoid going to the Jakarta and Subaraya
areas where Wahid has many staunch supporters.”
Moreover, Chang said, Indonesia-bound travellers should all be on heightened alert against possible
dangers. Chang said the MOFA would continue keeping a close watch on political developments in
Indonesia. “And Taiwan expatriates in Indonesia are welcome to contact our representative office there
for emergency assistance,” she added. Meanwhile, the Taipei Travel Association said it has made all
necessary preparations to cope with any possible political turbulence that may erupt in Indonesia.
China-ASEAN Review 2001 87
At the moment, the association said, none of its member travel agencies have organized any tour groups
to the Jakarta area. “Currently, local travel agencies only organize tour groups to the popular scenic island
of Bali,” an association spokesman said. If the situation in Indonesia worsens, the spokesman said the
association would ask all of its member travel agencies to report to the association all their tour groups‟
itineraries, hotel reservations, member lists, and flight numbers as well as the phone numbers of tour
group leaders and their tour guides in Indonesia in order to facilitate the implementation of necessary
Seminar on Indonesian Investment Opportunities
The Indonesian Bureau of Revaluation of Assets (IBRA) plans to hold a seminar in Taipei on investment
opportunities in Indonesia in mid-February.
With the assistance of China External Trade Development Council (CETRA), IBRA officials would
explain their plan to sell some of the bureau‟s assets to foreign investors at cost. Four private banks are
among the assets the IBRA plans to sell off, according to a CETRA official, who added that it would be a
good opportunity for Taiwan investors.
The official said that Taiwan is the fourth largest source of foreign investment in Indonesia, with Taiwan
punters holding some US$16.9 billion in assets in the Southeast Asian country.
Founded in 1998, the IBRA is an assets management authority that helps the Indonesian government
manage the financial problems of state-run enterprises and private banks. At the present time, the IBRA
reportedly holds assets worth over US$70 billion.
The official said that the IBRA move to sell off the assets of the four private banks is aimed at raising
funds for the Indonesian government.
Trade Promotion Delegation
The leader of an investment and trade promotion delegation from Indonesia‟s South Sumatra Province
making a three-day visit to Taiwan told businessmen on 11 April that “a lot can be done” in the province.
A 20-member investment and trade promotion delegation led by Governor Rosihan Arsyad of Indonesia‟s
South Sumatra Province arrived in Taipei for a three-day visit. The delegation, consisting of provincial
government officials and entrepreneurs, will also hold a briefing on trade and investment opportunities in
South Sumatra at the China External Trade Development Council (CETRA).
Members of the delegation would also visit the Taiwan fisheries Research Institute in Keelung, the Taiwan
Livestock Products Research Institute and other agricultural and industrial facilities in Ilan County during
their stay in Taiwan.
In a briefing on trade and investment opportunities in South Sumatra at the Taipei World Trade Centre,
Governor Rosihan Arsyad pointed out that the main purpose of the trade mission, consisting of
provincial government officials and entrepreneurs, is to meet with local businessmen to promote South
Sumatra‟s economic resources. Arsyad said that since January this year, the provincial government is
allowed to deal directly with potential foreign investors who are interested in conducting business in South
Sumatra. Arsyad noted that his government has committed to:
Provide all information on economic potential, socio-cultural aspects, laws and regulations, and
“any other information required by investors;”
Simplify all procedures and mechanisms for conducting legal business within the area of the
Maintain political stability to ensure that all economic activities can be protected.
88 China-ASEAN Review 2001
Concerning South Sumatra‟s economic potential, Arsyad said that his province still has a large acreage of
arable land to support agriculture and that there are varied investment opportunities in the agricultural
He added that since the province also has large deposits of coal, his government is looking for investors
interested in establishing coal-fired energy plants. Oil and natural gas are also major products of South
Sumatra, along with gold and silver. He also introduced investment opportunities in other sectors,
including tourism, “South Sumatra is not far from Taipei. Therefore, it should be considered as a tourist
destination for people in Taipei,” he said.
The officials at the Ministry of Economic Affairs said A trade promotion group, organized to tap into the
Southeast Asia market, won US$2.5 million-worth of orders from Indonesia, compared to between
US$500,000 and US$800,000 from Thailand, the Philippines, and Malaysia. The officials added that there
is still about US$25 million-worth of follow-up sales hanging in the balance because of the political
disturbance in that country.
The group, led by Economics Minister Lin Hsin-yi, toured the four countries from 11 to 22 July to solicit
business for Taiwan as part of the government‟s efforts to stimulate Taiwan‟s economy.
Economics officials said the group got US$800,000-worth of deals in Thailand, US$600,000-worth of
deals in Malaysia, and US$500,000-worth of deals in the Philippines.
Political disturbance has also scared away Taiwan businessmen operating in Indonesia and has taken a toll
on trade with Taiwan, said the officials.
The number of Taiwan businessmen in Indonesia has decreased from a peak of some 30,000 people to
the current 15,000, most of who are ready to leave as soon as the disturbances become out of control.
In the first half of this year, Taiwan‟s exports to Indonesia registered a decrease of 15.3 percent to US$753
million and its imports from that country posted a decrease of 5.4 percent to US$1.32 billion, officials
Taiwan’s Role in Indonesia’s Economy
Taiwan plays a “very significant role” in Indonesia‟s economy, Indonesian Economic and Trade Office in
Taipei Chairman Iskandar Sabirin said on 17 August.
“As a matter of fact, Taiwan is Indonesia‟s 8th-largest trading partner, with total trade reaching US$4.75
billion, of which Indonesia enjoyed a surplus of around US$1.28 billion in 2000,” he told his guests at a
party in Taipei to celebrate the 56th Independence Day of the Republic of Indonesia.
Sabirin said that although Taiwan investment in Indonesia in 2000 was only US$116.3 million, cumulative
Taiwanese investment in Indonesia has reached a total of US$17.05 billion, making it the fifth-largest
overall investor in the Southeast Asian country. In the tourism sector, he said, in terms of the number of
tourists visiting Indonesia, Taiwan was also the fifth-largest source of visitors in 2000, with more than
220,000 local people making trips.
Sabirin estimated that there are at present more than 80,000 Indonesian workers in Taiwan. “I believe this
is of mutual benefit to both countries, as Taiwan‟s industry has been able to increase its productivity by
employing foreign labourers, while Indonesia has been able to partially cope with its unemployment
problem caused by the present economic crisis.”
Since 1997, Sabirin pointed out, Indonesia has been in an unprecedented difficult situation following the
impact of both economic and political crises. “We realize and are very thankful to many countries that
contributed to our efforts to cope with these crises, including Taiwan,” he said.
China-ASEAN Review 2001 89
Sabirin also said that the Indonesian people have great expectations for the new Cabinet of President
Megawati Sukarnoputri and that she would be able to accelerate the process of recovery from economic
recession and political turmoil.
“Look at past and present relations, I am sure that the cooperation between the people of Taiwan and the
people of Indonesia under new leadership would be more and more strengthened,” he added.
Guests at the party included Taiwan Interior Minister Chang Po-ya and Vice Foreign Minister Chiou Jong-
nan. Chiou expressed his belief that under Megawati‟s leadership, Indonesia would soon overcome its
difficulties and flourish again. “Let me here reaffirm that as a good friend and close neighbour, Taiwan is
willing to assist the Indonesian people in revitalizing their economy as we have been doing for the past
few years,” he said.
Asia Pacific Film Festival
A Taipei delegation left for Indonesia attend the 46th Asia Pacific Film Festival slated for. 17-20 October
in Jakarta, local motion picture industry sources said. The Taipei delegation, headed by Chiu Shun-ching,
president of the Central Motion Picture Company, was comprised of anthropologist-turned-director Hu
Tai-li, actors Yin Chao-te, Tai Li-jen, Chu Chung-heng, and Hsiao Shu-shen.
According to film festival authorities in Jakarta, the opening and the Asia Pacific Film Festival board of
directors meeting is scheduled, followed by an academic seminar and a “Seoul Night” gala.
Delegates of all the Asian-Pacific nations and areas that are participating in the film festival are scheduled
to call on Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri and get together for an “Asia Pacific Night” gala
in the evening.
Taiwan films that have entered the festival include features What Time Is It There? by director Tsai Ming-
liang, The Cabbie by directors Chen Yi-wen and Chang Hua-kun, and “Fleeing by Night” by director Hsu
Two other short films that are representing Taiwan are Grandma’s Hairpin, a documentary about aging
retired servicemen who came to Taiwan from mainland China 50 years ago, by director Hsiao Chu-chen
and Sounds of Love and Sorrow, a documentary about the lives of Taiwan‟s aboriginal people, produced and
directed by Hu Tai-li.
Chronology of Taiwan- Malaysia Relations 2001
10 March Paul J. Tso, Taiwan‟s representative to Malaysia, steps and returns to Taipei.
5 August Taipei City Mayor Ma Ying-jeou visited Kuala Lumpur as part of a ten-day visit to
three Asian cities.
3 March New Mandarin Airlines route to Kuantan in East Malaysia commences.
18 July A 47-member Taiwanese trade mission led by Wu Wen-ya, director-general of the
Ministry of Economic Affairs‟ Board of Foreign Trade, secured US$5 million in orders after
one-day trade talks with the Malaysian business sector.
90 China-ASEAN Review 2001
Trade links and delegations were prominent again this year. Taipei City Mayor Ma Ying-jeou headed for
Kuala Lumpur on the first leg of a ten-day visit to three Asian cities. A 47-member Taiwanese trade
mission led by Wu Wen-ya, director-general of the Ministry of Economic Affairs‟ Board of Foreign Trade,
secured US$5 million in orders after one-day trade talks with the Malaysian business sector. A Malaysian
tabloid weekly made an apology to the Taiwan government for a false report it made about alleged
“cannibal menus” at some Taiwanese restaurants, the Government Information Office said in March. In
aeronautics, New Mandarin Airlines planned to open flight services to Kuantan, eastern Malaysia this year.
Paul J. Tso, Taiwan‟s representative to Malaysia, would step down from his current post and return to
Taipei on 10 March.
Huang Yen-chao, Taiwan‟s representative to Belgium would also come back to Taipei soon before
travelling to Malaysia to succeed Tso. Tso has served as Tawain‟s representative to Malaysia since
Tso told the press that he was gratified that after his continued efforts, Taiwan‟s China Airlines opened a
direct Taipei-Penang flight route in 2000. Another Taiwanese air carrier, Mandarin Airlines, would open a
direct Taipei-Kuantan flight route in March, he said.
He was also gratified that the period of effectiveness of tourist and business visas for Taiwanese citizens
had been extended from two months to one year, with multiple-entry into and out of Malaysia.
Taipei City Mayor Ma Ying-jeou headed for Kuala Lumpur on the first leg of a ten-day visit to three Asian
During his stay in Kuala Lumpur, Ma would deliver a speech to a group of Malaysian alumni of Taiwanese
schools. Ethnic Chinese in Malaysia are reportedly excited to welcome Ma — so much so that more than
a thousand tickets to Ma‟s speech were long sold out.
Ma is scheduled to fly on to Seoul from Kuala Lumpur on 8 August. He would visit the Seoul City
Government to consult and better understand the city‟s regulations on Internet cafes, computerized
administration, garbage collection and resources recycling operations.
Malaysian Vice Minister of International Trade and Industry Fu Ah Know said that Taiwanese investment
capital from January to October in 2000 was a record 648 million Ringgit (US$170 million).
Fu added that the figure represents a 143 percent increase over the 1999 figure. In addition, he went on,
Taiwanese investment goods increased to 80 types in 2000 compared to 60 types recorded the previous
year, representing capital of US$123 million.
Fu also noted that bilateral trade between Taiwan and Malaysia reached US$7.73 billion in 2000 and
pointed out that Taiwan is Malaysia‟s fourth-largest trading partner behind only the United States, Japan,
China-ASEAN Review 2001 91
Malaysia‟s main exports to Taiwan are semiconductors, office equipment, and electrical appliances, he
said, adding that Malaysia should learn about insurance operations from Taiwan, as Malaysia‟s policy
holding rate is just 30 percent compared to Taiwan‟s 108 percent.
More on Trade and Development
Taiwan Representative to Malaysia Paul J.K. Tso said that substantive relations between the two countries,
particularly in the areas of trade and investment, are growing steadily.
Tso said at a Chinese New Year celebration banquet on 5 February hosted by a local association of
students who had studied in Taiwan that the total trade volume from the first ten months of in 2000 alone
surpassed the annual total of the previous year of US$6.7 billion. He estimated that the total from year
2000 would exceed US$10 billion, which he said represented a “considerable amount of growth.”
He went on to say that Taiwan investment in Malaysia had reached US$180 million as of October 2000,
more than twice the amount recorded for the same period of the previous year. Investment was mainly in
the high tech industry, which the Malaysia government welcomed, he added.
He said the Malaysian government‟s policy of allowing manufacturers to apply for foreign labour would
be “very helpful” to Taiwan businessmen who wish to invest in Malaysia in the future.
New Mandarin Airlines Flight to East Malaysia
Taiwan‟s Mandarin Airlines is slated to open flight services to Kuantan, eastern Malaysia, beginning 3
March. After opening the two weekly flights to Kuantan, Mandarin would become the third Taiwan-based
airline to ply the Taiwan-Malaysia route, along with China Airlines and EVA Airways, according to Y.K.
Chang, manager of Mandarin‟s Malaysia branch.
A Boeing 737-800 jet would carry 168 passengers, including a 26-member delegation of the Taiwan press,
on Mandarin‟s maiden flight to Kuantan, the largest port in eastern Malaysia‟s Pahang State.
Taiwanese Trade Mission
A 47-member Taiwanese trade mission led by Wu Wen-ya, director-general of the Ministry of Economic
Affairs‟ Board of Foreign Trade, secured US$5 million in orders after one-day trade talks with the
Malaysian business sector on 18 July. A spokesman for the delegation said that a series of orders were still
being negotiated. Kuala Lumpur was the third leg of the mission‟s current tour to Southeast Asian
nations. Before coming to Kuala Lumpur, the mission has already visited the Philippines and Thailand.
Members of the mission won US$15 million in orders during business talks in Manila while they got some
US$3 million in orders in Bangkok. Some 1,000 local businessmen also attended the business talks in
Kuala Lumpur. The mission had secured US$5 million in confirmed orders with a series of orders to be
On display at the talks were industrial parts and equipment, electrical machinery equipment, hardware
tools and parts, auto parts, notebook computers, computer parts and peripherals, packaging and printing
materials, electrical home appliances, and medical care instruments.
Taiwan Association of Machinery Industry Delegation
Taiwan Association of Machinery Industry (TAMI) sent a trade delegation to Malaysia on 22 August
to introduce its latest products manufactured by members.
The Taipei Economic & Cultural Office of Malaysia said the main purpose of the visit was to seek
business partners with a view to establish a cooperative relationship. The delegation comprises 16
members involved in the manufacturing of nut-former, bolt former and fastener making
92 China-ASEAN Review 2001
equipment; shrinkable label inserting; hot chamber zinc die casting machine; trim press; conveyer and
plastics injection machine.
Investing in Malaysia
The Taipei Investors Association in Malaysia plans to continue with its investments in Malaysia despite
the expected global economic recession, said its national president, Datuk Chen Kun Huang said on 7
October. He said the association finds that Malaysia has good potential for investment because it has the
stability that creates a good environment for investment.
At present, he said, the accumulative investment of its investors in Malaysia is about RM34.2 billion (US$9
billion) and this figure should increase. “We are the third largest foreign investment country in Malaysia
after the United States and Japan. For this year, we have invested more on the mechanical and furniture
industries since we found that they are more profitable than the electronics industry,” he said after the
opening of the eleventh annual general meeting of the association by Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Tajol Rosli
Chen said that during the last few years, its investors concentrated more on the electronics industry but
the worldwide trend and the current market had led them to invest more in the two industries especially
“We are very optimistic that our investments can be done successfully even in the current economic
recession where it is difficult to make predictions. I do not see any barrier for us to invest and we are
still encouraging more people in Taiwan to come to Malaysia,” he said.
Chen, who is also Taipei Investors Association in Asia president, said the investment environment in
Malaysia, which he described as “good and safe”, was one factor why they cannot stop their investment in
Malaysia. “However, whether more people would come here it depends on how we promote it. We have
been trying very hard to promote Malaysia in Taiwan because we know we can have good investments
here,” he said.
However, he said, in the long run they can expect the electronics industry to be the main investment for
Taipei investors in Malaysia since there would still be a need for electronic items and Malaysia has
the capability for this.
Container Giant Signs Memorandum of Understanding
Taiwanese container giant Evergreen Marine Corp has signed a memorandum of understanding on 23
October with the Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) to shift its transhipment hub from Singapore to PTP by
August in 2002, the Business Times reported.
The newspaper, quoting well-placed sources, said Evergreen had issued a termination notice with regard
to its ten-year virtual terminal agreement with Singapore port operator, PSA Corporation. The agreement
can be broken after five years by giving a year‟s notice. The BT report said Evergreen had been involved
in discussions since early September to cut short its contractual obligations. If no agreement were reached,
Evergreen would see out its notice period to the end of next August and shift to PTP.
Evergreen‟s move would deal another blow to PSA, which lost its biggest customer Danish container line
Maersk Sealand, to PTP 2000. Maersk also took a 30 percent stake in the port operator‟s equity.
Maersk‟s shift cost PSA 1.8 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalents) a year. The global recession has also
hit PSA, which suffered a 13 percent drop in container handling in the first half of the year.
Evergreen and its subsidiary Uniglory carry nearly 1.2 million TEUs through Singapore annually.
PSA has remained tight-lipped on the reports. “PSA does not comment on rumours or reports in the
press. PSA does not and cannot comment on confidential agreements with customers. PSA is bounded by
China-ASEAN Review 2001 93
contractual obligations not to comment on its business operations and dealings with customers,” said a
Evergreen is no stranger to Malaysia. Uniglory was the first regional mainline to call to Pasir Gudang Port,
also located in Johor as PTP, and is now a leader in container shipping in the southern region of
Correction to “Cannibal Story”
A Malaysian tabloid weekly has made an apology to the Taiwan government for a false report it made
about alleged “cannibal menus” at some Taiwan restaurants, the Government Information Office (GIO)
said on 21 March.
At the Taiwan‟s request, the GIO said, the Malay-language Warta Perdana weekly has also published a
correction that would appear in its next issue in order to clear Taiwan‟s national image from any taint
resulting from the report.
The furore started with a claim in the weekly‟s 18 March edition that hit newsstands 9 March, that some
Taiwan hospitals had been selling the bodies of dead infants to restaurants to be sliced, diced, and stir-
fried for the delectation of Taiwan‟s cannibal customers. The GIO said in a press statement that its staff
members stationed in Malaysia met with editors and reporters of the weekly immediately after learning of
the disgusting report and its bizarre allegations.
The GIO staff members met with editor Muhamad Mat Yakim, acting editor Ramlee Abdul Rahman and
reporter Wan Suryana Tom Mohd on March 13 to express the Taiwan‟s stance on the issue. During the
talks, the GIO officials instructed the weekly to immediately publish a retraction of the story, along with
the information that the Taiwan is a country ruled by law that strictly bans the sale of infant bodies. They
told the Malaysian weekly that it should state clearly that the Taiwanese government “does not permit
cannibal restaurants” and that selling baby corpses is a criminal offence.
The officials told the Malaysian weekly staff that their totally unverified report — supposedly based on
stories circulating on the Internet — has seriously affected the Taiwan‟s national image. “We demand that
you retract your report immediately to protect our national image,” they were quoted as saying.
The GIO press statement said the Malaysian reporter who wrote the report immediately apologized, while
the weekly agreed to publish the full retraction — the same size as its previous “cannibal menu” story —
in its 25 March issue.
Taiwan‟s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) would continue cooperating with other Western
countries to help promote democratisation in developing countries, a party official said in Manila.
Tien Hsin, director of the DPP‟s international affairs department, made the remarks while speaking at an
international conference on the democratisation of Myanmar. He said that Taiwan has drawn international
attention with two achievements — economic development and democratisation.
The DPP official noted that Taiwan has in the past used its economic power to expand its external
influence, but has not yet used its achievement in democratisation as a tool. He said that the island‟s
94 China-ASEAN Review 2001
example would be helpful to countries that have encountered difficulties in the development of
As Taiwan has completed democratisation in only 15 years, Tien said that its experience would be
significant and valuable for other developing countries. He said that the DPP would cooperate with the
National Democratic Institute of the United States next month to raise Taiwan‟s international profile
within the context of democratisation.
The Manila meeting, with “the dawning of democracy” as its theme, was designed to promote
democratisation in Myanmar. It was jointly organized by a Philippine think tank and a news organization
in Myanmar with the support of the DPP and the Jean Jaures Foundation.
Participants were from Australia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, India, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and the
Chronology of Taiwan-Philippine Relations 2001
6 January Taiwanese Minister of Economic Affairs Lin Hsin-yi and his Philippine counterpart,
Manuel Roxas, jointly presided over the two-day conference.
13 January Chinese Minister of National Defence Chi Haotian held talks in Beijing with
Orlando Mercado, secretary of defence of the Philippines.
17 April Newly appointed Philippine Representative to Taiwan Edgardo Espinosa arrived in
Taipei to assume his duties.
12 January Taiwan and the Philippines sign an agreement on the direct employment of
labourers, allowing Taiwanese employers to hire Filipino workers directly without using brokers.
July 13 Lin Hsin-yi, Chinese minister of economics, at the head of a 46-member delegation,
arrived in Manila to attend the Ninth Taiwan-Philippine Economic and Trade Conference in
30 October Zhu Rongji met Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo who was in
Shanghai for the APEC meeting.
Labour and safety issues dominated Taiwanese-Philippine relations in 2001. Discussions were held on the
direct hiring of Filipino workers to work in Taiwan, as many were concerned over illegal workers from
that country (approximately 98,000 Filipinos work in Taiwan). Taiwan nationals who make frequent visits
to the Philippines for business purposes should apply for formal residency permits in accordance with
Philippine law to avoid unnecessary troubles, a Taiwanese trade association said in July in light of the
frequent visa troubles encountered by Taiwanese business people. Vice Economics Minister Lin Yi-fu said
that the Taiwan government was keeping a close eye on recent political developments in the Philippines
and has worked out contingency plans to ensure the personal safety of the 6,000-plus Taiwan business
people resident in that country.
China-ASEAN Review 2001 95
Philippine government officials said that a new direct hiring arrangement it recently forged with Taiwan
would not violate their country‟s one-China policy because the agreement only involves commercial
Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Benjamin Domingo said in a radio interview that the arrangement
“would look like government-to-government, but it is more an economic and commercial development
than a political one. If you look at it from a commercial point of view, it‟s just a question of procedure.”
Secretary of Labour and Employment Bienvenido Laguesma travelled to Taiwan last week to formalize
the agreement, which would allow Taiwan employers to hire Filipino workers directly.
Explaining the agreement, Domingo noted that the Taiwan government would identify employment
openings for overseas workers, and the Philippines Overseas Employment Administration would line up
suitable prospective employees in the Philippines.
Newly appointed Philippine Representative to Taiwan Edgardo Espinosa is scheduled to arrive in Taipei
on 17 April to assume his duties.
Espinosa said that he would promote bilateral cooperation in economics, agriculture and fisheries, labour,
and tourism, as well as strengthening friendly relations between the two countries. Citing Taiwan as the
Philippines third-largest trade partner, Espinosa said that efforts would be also made to strengthen
exchanges in information and technology, as well as culture.
He said he would also try to lure more Taiwan investors to Subic and Clark Special Economic Zones to
invest in telecommunications, electronics, technology, agriculture and tourism so as to enlarge the volume
of Taipei-Manila trade.
He also expressed deep concern over Filipinos working illegally in Taiwan, saying that even though such
workers make up only a small proportion of the 98,000 Filipinos working in Taiwan, he would try to help
them resolve their problems.
Espinosa, 56, graduated from the Philippine Army Academy in 1967 and obtained a masters degree in
Public Administration from the University of the Philippines. He was dean of the Command and General
Staff College before accepting his new job.
Vice Economics Minister Lin Yi-fu said Taiwan government is keeping close track of developments in the
Philippines and has worked out contingency plans to cope with the situation there.
Lin made the remarks in response to questions from legislators at a Legislative Yuan committee meeting
whether the government has planned any emergency measures to protect the personal safety of the 6,000-
plus Taiwan business people in the Philippines amid that country‟s current political turmoil.
Lin said both the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) are
concerned about the Philippine political situation and would take necessary steps, including evacuation of
Taiwanese expatriates, to deal with changing developments there. Lin denied reports from private sources
that Philippine anti-government demonstrators attacked some Taiwanese businessmen. Quoting reports
from the Taiwanese representative office in Manila, Lin said none of Taiwanese expatriates or ethnic
Chinese residents in the Philippines have so far been affected by recent social unrest in that country.
Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo declared a “state of rebellion” after violent clashes between
police and supporters of jailed former President Joseph Estrada killed at least four people and injured
more than 100 in the Manila area.
96 China-ASEAN Review 2001
Lin said the MOEA has ordered its staff members stationed in Manila to keep abreast of the latest
developments in the Philippines and strengthen contacts with Taiwanese business executives and Chinese
community leaders there. Lin said although Taiwan has signed an investment protection agreement with
the Philippines, the accord only offers protection for various investment projects and does not cover
protection of individual Taiwan businessmen‟s personal safety.
Noting that Taiwan investors need protection of Filipino policemen, Lin said the Taiwan representative
office in Manila has asked Philippine law enforcement authorities to tighten protection of Taiwanese
expatriates. Previous records showed that ethnic Chinese had often fallen victim to violent attacks
whenever riots erupted in Southeast Asian countries.
Against this backdrop, Lin said, the government has dished out contingency plans to address relevant
problems. “If necessary, we‟ll evacuate our people from the Philippines,” he explained.
Meanwhile, MOFA spokeswoman Chang Siao-yue said the Taiwanese government is not in a position to
make any comment on the Philippines‟ domestic issues. “But we are sincerely hopeful that current
political disturbances in our neighbouring country can be resolved peacefully soon,” Chang added.
Direct Hiring of Filipino Workers
Taiwan and the Philippines signed an agreement on the direct employment of labourers, allowing
Taiwanese employers to hire Filipino workers directly without using brokers, according to Council of
Labour Affairs (CLA) sources on 12 January.
The agreement, jointly signed by Taipei‟s representative in the Philippines, Luo Chih-yuan, and the
Philippine‟s representative in Taiwan, Rodolfo Reyes, in a ceremony held in Taipei, promises to save
potential Taiwan employers of Filipino workers NT$50,000 to NT$100,000 in brokerage fees and around
one month, CLA officials said. The agreement is also considered a positive move for prospective
labourers from the Philippines, as they would no longer be gouged for huge sums of money as
commission to unscrupulous labour brokers.
According to Lin Tsong-ming, director-general of the CLA‟s Employment and Vocational Training
Administration, prospective Taiwan employers can now contact Taiwan‟s liaison offices in the Philippines
to directly “import” the Filipino workers to Taiwan.
The Philippines is the second country to forge a direct labour employment agreement with Taiwan since
the CLA signed a similar accord with Vietnam last May, said Lin. The CLA is seeking to sign similar
agreements with the governments of Thailand and Indonesia, two other countries from where Taiwan
regularly introduces labourers.
Proposal to Attract Taiwanese Entrepreneurs
The Philippine government is studying Taiwan‟s proposal to sign a bilateral investment guarantee
agreement to encourage increased trade, the English daily Manila Bulletin reported on 15 June.
Patrick Kan, director of the Economic Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in
Manila said that the proposed agreement would attract more Taiwan entrepreneurs to make investments
in the Philippines. The daily pointed out that an investment guarantee agreement would provide
protection to foreign investments in times of civil war and other violence in the host country that may
cause damage to foreign investments.
“When damages occur to a foreign owned project during such state of violence in the host country, the
investment would be compensated by the host government. Moreover, the host government cannot
confiscate foreign investment during such times,” the daily said.
China-ASEAN Review 2001 97
“Foreign investors want some protection. We have forged the same agreement with other ASEAN
countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore,” Kan was quoted as saying. He added that the
United States has also signed one with Taiwan.
The daily noted the investment guarantee agreement was proposed by TECO four or five years ago but
did not prosper.
Asked if the Philippines‟ “One China” principle was one reason the proposal was not pushed, Kan said he
was not aware of any connection. Kan deplored that the Philippines lagged behind other ASEAN
countries despite its built-in advantages like its proximity to Taiwan and good geographic location.
Ninth Taiwan-Philippine Economic and Trade Conference
Minister of Economics Lin Hsin-yi, at the head of a 46-member delegation, arrived in Manila on 11 July to
attend the Ninth Taiwan-Philippine Economic and Trade Conference in Manila for two days of
In addition to Lin, other key members of the delegation include Honorary President of Taiwan-Philippine
Economic Association Jeffrey Koo, Taiwan‟s Representative to Manila Lo Chih-yuan, Vice Economics
Minister Chen Ruey-rong, and Vice Chairman of the Cabinet-level Council of Agriculture Chen Wu-
During the two-day discussions, participants would be divided into three groups to discuss issues related
to the investment, the economic cooperation, the agricultural cooperation, technology, and anti-dumping
issues between the two countries. Lin said prior to his departure that two-way trade between the two
countries totalled US$6.6 billion in 2000. Of which Taiwan exported US$3.04 billion worth of goods to
the Philippines and the Philippines exported worth US$3.55 billion, thus leaving a US$500 million trade
deficit for Taiwan.
Lin would return to Taiwan but other members of his delegation would go on a trade promotion tour till
22 July to tap trade opportunities in Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
Meanwhile, Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Chen Ruey-long expressed the hope in Manila that the
economic conference would create a favourably operational climate for Taiwanese businessmen to further
strengthen trade and investment relations between the two countries. Chen said that the Philippine
government hoped that the Taiwanese government would encourage Taiwanese businessmen to invest in
several projects, including a north Luzon Island development project. “We would evaluate what kind of
projects can be carried out at the upcoming meeting,” Chen said. The two sides would discuss whether or
not the protocol of implementing the Taiwan-Philippine temporary admission accord would be signed at
the meeting. As to the anti-dumping and defence measures adopted by the Philippine side, Chen said:
“We hoped that all the measures adopted by the Philippine side would be complied with regulations and
practices of the World Trade Organization.”
Regarding science and technology cooperation, discussions would centre on training for the Philippines
and how to promote interchanges of technology specialists and scientists between the two countries, Chen
said. As to agricultural sector, in addition to stepping up fishery cooperation, Taiwan would help the
Philippines develop its coffee industry and provide the Philippines with a new sugar cane strain to help its
sugar industry development, Chen said. Due to geographic considerations, economic and trade relations
between the two countries are very close and the Taiwan was the Philippine‟s fourth-largest investment
country, Chen said, adding that the Philippine authorities would provide more visa conveniences for
Taiwan investors, Chen added.
Resolutions of the Ninth Taiwan-Philippines Joint Economic Conference
The Philippines agreed at the end of the bilateral economic conference with Taiwan to open negotiations
on an accord to avoid double-taxation on individual and company incomes.
98 China-ASEAN Review 2001
According to a resolution at the ninth Taiwan-Philippines Joint Economic Conference held on 13 July,
Manila promised to begin the negotiations within a month. It also agreed to relay to related authorities
complaints made by Taiwanese firms operating in the Subic Bay industrial zone, such as their demands for
lower sea-cargo freight rates.
Meanwhile, the Taiwan Sugar Corporation, who took part in the conference, agreed to sell at a discount its
equipment from a defunct sugar mill in the Philippines, and also offered to sell its sugar cane plants,
which are superior in quality to those in the Philippines.
In turn, Taiwan agreed to study the possibility of lowering the 20 percent withholding tax imposed on
Philippine workers in Taiwan so that they would not have to request a refund before returning to their
Taiwanese Minister of Economic Affairs Lin Hsin-yi and his Philippine counterpart, Manuel Roxas, jointly
presided over the two-day conference.
On the first day of the conference, the two sides signed a pact agreeing on duty-free customs for samples
or goods brought in to either country for exhibition.
Taiwanese with Business Links Urged to Apply for Formal Residency Status
Taiwan nationals who make frequent visits to the Philippines for business purposes should apply for
formal residency permits in accordance with Philippine law to avoid unnecessary troubles, a Taiwanese
trade association said on 16 July.
The Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines said it has received complaints from a number
of Taiwanese businesspeople saying that they had been denied entry and forcefully repatriated when they
arrived at the Manila airport with tourist visas.
“After looking into all relevant cases, we would like to offer some suggestions to our members and friends
from Taiwan,” said Huang Sheng-hsiung, president of the Taiwanese chamber. First and foremost, Huang
said, Taiwanese businesspeople that have often travelled to the Philippines with tourist visas should not
tell Philippine immigration officers that they are visiting the country for business or investment purposes
when they are asked about the purpose of their trip.
Secondly, Huang said, those who have made frequent visits to the Philippines to discuss business deals
can apply for multiple-entry business visas with the Philippine representative office in Taipei.
Thirdly, Huang suggested that those who have made relatively long visits to the Philippines with repeated
tourist visa extensions should return to Taiwan to apply for a new passport.
Meanwhile, Huang said those who have been granted residency permits for investment purposes but have
not made regular reports to Philippine investment and immigration authorities over the past years should
come forward and report their cases to the two Philippine agencies as soon as possible.
In his view, Huang said, the best way for Taiwanese investors in the Philippines to avoid unnecessary
trouble is to apply for formal residency status with the Philippine immigration office.
“And Taiwanese businessmen who encounter visa-related problems are welcome to contact the Taiwanese
Chamber of Commerce. We would do our utmost to assist them in resolving their issues,” he added.
Dialogue between Christians and Buddhists
Jose de Venecia, speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines, left Manila for a visit to
Taipei on 30 August to preside over the first Dialogue between Christians and Buddhists in Taipei and
would also attend the inaugural ceremony in a Taipei suburb of the world‟s largest Buddhist temple. De
Venecia expressed hope that this even would help promote peace and cooperation in the Asian region.
China-ASEAN Review 2001 99
Philippine Airlines Opens New Route
Amid increased exchanges between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, Philippine Airlines began operating
flights on the Taipei-Manila-Shanghai route.
A Philippine Airlines jet airliner, with 160 passengers on board, departed from Chiang Kai-shek
International Airport on October 28, making Philippine Airlines the first foreign carrier to ply indirect
flights between Taiwan and mainland China. A Philippine Airlines Taiwan executive said her company
decided to launch flight services on the route to better service Taiwan travellers heading for the mainland
in the absence of direct cross-strait air traffic.
The flight on the Taipei-Manila-Shanghai route, offered five times per week, takes six hours and 50
minutes. Passengers departing from Taipei only have to wait for about one hour at the Manila airport and
do not have to transfer airplanes. In addition, Philippine Airlines now also offers four weekly flights
between Taipei and Xiamen via Manila.
Taiwanese Student Missing in Boat Mishap
A female Taiwanese student studying in the United States went missing while vacationing on the island of
Boracay in the central Philippines, according to her friends, it was reported on 15 February.
Chang Chi-ching and a Taiwanese friend were reported to have rented a rowing boat out to sea,
whereupon the friend jumped overboard to swim back to shore, instructing Chang to row ashore. Upon
finishing his swim about an hour later, the friend discovered that Chang had failed to return.
Her friends appealed to local police for help and managed to alert the Taiwan representative office in
Manila, which then informed Chang‟s family in Taiwan and sent a staff member to Boracay to provide
The manager of the hotel in which Chang was staying told the representative office that local authorities
had launched a helicopter search but had not found any trace of her.
Chronology of Taiwan-Singapore Relations 2001
May Thirty-five Taiwan manufacturers attend a large-scale machinery exhibition in Singapore.
8 August A Taiwan legislator questioned the legality of the business practices of a Singapore-
based company that shut down its operations in Taiwan after having bagged over NT$10 million
11 December Taiwan and Singapore reached various agreements on two-way economic
cooperation at an annual ministerial meeting held in Singapore.
Economic links again proved the major base of relations between Taiwan and Singapore. On large-scale
event was 35 Taiwanese manufacturers attended a large machinery exhibition run under the auspices of
100 China-ASEAN Review 2001
the China External Trade Development council in May. However, a slight blot on the landscape was the
Singaporean firm accused of dubious business dealings in Taiwan. Most importantly, in December, at a
major ministerial meeting on economic cooperation various agreements were reached on two-way
economic cooperation. The two countries would further assist each other to explore trade and investment
opportunities in other countries as well as other matters.
MTA 2001 & Manufacturing Asia 2001
Thirty-five Taiwanese manufacturers will attend a large-scale machinery exhibition in Singapore scheduled
for late May 2001, the China External Trade Development Council (CETRA) announced on 21 March.
More than 1,000 manufacturers from 36 countries are expected to show their products at the exhibition,
titled “MTA 2001 & Manufacturing Asia 2001.”
Manufacturers from Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Britain, India, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Italy,
and Germany would display their products.
Taiwan‟s pavilions at all previous exhibitions have always been one of the show‟s centres of attention, a
CETRA official said, adding that the high quality and reasonable prices of Taiwan machinery products
have won Taiwanese firms a warm welcome at all previous exhibitions.
Tainan Mangoes Exported to Singapore
Confident of the quality of their produce, fruit farmers in Tainan County are preparing to export mangoes
from southern Taiwan to Singapore, sources from the Tainan County Farmers Association reported on 22
An initial 500 metric tons of fresh mangoes from Tainan County are expected to be shipped to Singapore
from June 30, with the quantity eventually being increased to some 1,000 metric tons when the current
season ends, said Tainan County Magistrate Chen Tang-shan, who was presiding over a mango promotion
held at the farmers‟ association headquarters. According to association officials, Tainan County fruit
farmers have some 7,800 hectares of land under mango cultivation, from which 99,000 metric tons of
mangoes will hopefully be harvested in 2001.
The Tainan County Farmers Association began to export fresh mangoes to Hong Kong in 2000 and the
fruit was favourably received, association officials said. Mangoes from Tainan County constitute about 80
percent of Taiwan‟s entire exports of this fruit, they noted.
Singaporean Firm Accused of Dubious Business Dealings
A Taiwan legislator on questioned the legality of the business practices of a Singapore-based company that
shut down its operations in Taiwan after having bagged what is believed to be more than NT$10 million
People First Party Legislator Chin Huei-chu said at a press conference at the Legislative Yuan on 8 August
that the Singapore firm successfully collected the money by issuing More Rewards Cards to some 110,000
Taiwan consumers over the period of about one year.
Beginning in April 2000, the firm used television advertisements to attract Taiwan consumers to become
More Rewards Card members, claiming that one would be entitled to “products at a super value” by
simply paying NT$100 to become a More Rewards Card holder. Meanwhile, More Rewards signed up a
number of local companies and retail stores to participate in its “rewards points” program, whereby More
Rewards Card holders could through their purchases accumulate points that could then be traded in for
gifts from the participating stores.
China-ASEAN Review 2001 101
In late February of 2001, however, the cardholders and participating stores received notices from More
Rewards indicating that the company had “temporarily suspended” its operations in Taiwan.
Accompanying each notice was an envelop with some small-denomination postal stamps provided as
“compensation” to the cardholders, according to Chin.
There has been no trace of the management of the Singaporean firm‟s Taiwan operations since 1 March,
except for a mailing address, Chin added. She said that the “suspension” of the Singaporean firm‟s
operations has not only made the membership of the Taiwan cardholders null and void, it has also
affected the participating stores, to which More Rewards is indebted for more than NT$6 million
Chin asked officials from the Cabinet-level Consumer Product Commission Council (CPCC), present at
the press conference as observers, whether More Rewards has violated any regulations governing business
practices in Taiwan.
CPCC officials said that More Rewards obtained legal licenses from both the Taipei City Hall and the
Ministry of Economic Affairs for their operations in Taiwan. Unless the cardholders or the participating
stores file a complaint with the CPCC, More Rewards would not be dealt with, they added. Until recently,
none of the More Rewards Card holders have filed a lawsuit against the Singaporean firm. The officials
said they reckoned that the chances of success if any of the cardholders make such a legal move are slim
as they each only spent a mere NT$100 for the card, despite the fact that the total number of cardholders
Ministerial meeting on Economic Cooperation
Taiwan and Singapore reached various agreements on two-way economic cooperation at an annual
ministerial meeting that ended on 11 December.
According to information provided by the Taiwan delegation, agreements reached by Taiwan Minister of
Economic Affairs Lin Hsin-yi and his Singapore counterpart are as follows:
The two countries would assist each other to explore trade and investment opportunities in other
Promote reciprocal recognition of approval certificates for electronics products from either side;
Promote bilateral cooperation in desalination and recycling of waste water;
Enhance two-way cooperation in the financial, sea and air traffic and distribution industries;
Strengthen exchanges of data on trade, investment and economic statistics, including with
mainland China and Southeast Asian countries.
Wafer Fabrication Plant for Singapore
An investment arm of the government of Singapore announced on 30 January that it has taken a 15-
percent stake in United Microelectronics Corporation‟s (UMC) 12-inch wafer fabrication plant to be set
up in Singapore.
The move gives Economic Development Board (EDB) Investments a stake in Taiwan-based UMC‟s
venture in Singapore. It is the largest current manufacturing project in the city-state, with a total cost of
UMC says the plant would be one of the world‟s most advanced 12-inch wafer fabrication facility. UMC
Chairman John Hsuan noted that EDB provided full support during preparations for the investment, and
said he is confident that EDB would help get the plant running as soon as possible.
EDB Investments General Manager Liow Voon Kheong said that the strategic alliance would push
Singapore into the next era of advanced semiconductor fabrication. He added that the venture would help
102 China-ASEAN Review 2001
Singapore in many ways, including adding to the number and types of jobs there and extending the
knowledge of the island‟s workforce.
Construction of the new wafer plant is scheduled to start at the end of the first quarter of 2001, with
capital equipment to be bought in the third quarter of 2002.
Taiwan has not sent delegates to the Third International Maritime Defence Exhibition — Asia (IMDEX-
Asia) that opened in Singapore, an official of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Singapore
A spokesman for the organizing committee said that Taiwan informed the committee on eve of the
opening exhibition that its delegates would not be attending the exhibition. Taiwan has sent delegations to
the previous two shows. Taiwan was originally to have sent three military officers to the exhibition.
Singapore Defence Minister David Lim Tik presided over the opening ceremony for the four-day biannual
exhibition, which is being attended by more than 200 delegations from 32 countries around the world.
A “21st Century Naval Conference” would be held with senior naval officers from Asia-Pacific countries
delivering speeches. Military officers from many countries, including the United States, Britain, France,
and mainland China would attend the conference.
A seminar on warship science and technology would be held under the sponsorship of the Singapore
Navy and a seminar on Asian Maritime Strategy jointly sponsored by the Hong Kong Asian Strategic
College and the International Relations College of the German Military University would also be held.
A spokesman for the U.S. delegation, led by commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, said that the U.S.
delegation has no plans to meet with the mainland Chinese delegation.
Chronology of Taiwan-Thailand Relations 2001
19 January Taiwanese Foreign Affairs Minister Tien Hung-mao visits Thailand as chairman of
the International Cooperation and Development Fund visits Thailand.
23 March Thai Foreign Minister Surakiat Sathirathai met with Chinese President Jiang Zemin
25 April Frederic P.N. Chang, deputy director-general of the Government Information Office
of Taiwan visits Thailand.
25 April Lertrat Ratannavanich, superintendent of the National Defence College of Thailand met
with Chi Haotian, Chinese Defence Minister in Beijing.
2 May Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra met a visiting delegation of the Chinese Communist Party
led by Li Changchun.
25 November Overseas Chinese Affairs Commission Chairwoman Chang Fu-mei visits
China-ASEAN Review 2001 103
Taiwanese Foreign Affairs Minister Tien Hung-mao visited Thailand in his capacity as chairman of the
International Cooperation and Development Fund, which has helped with development work in the
mountainous regions of northern Thailand for years. In order to protect the interests of Thai labourers in
Taiwan, the Taiwan and Thailand agreed to reduce the fees charged by labour brokers. Sixty-three percent
of all Thai labourers going overseas to work in 2000 headed to Taiwan. There were various trade
delegations between the two nations, and attempts were made to smooth over differences in nationals
working and doing business in both countries. On the cultural front, Thai festivals were celebrated in parts
of Taiwan were there were large populations of Thai workers, while support for education and Chinese
language training in Thailand was given by the Taiwanese government.
Taiwanese Foreign Affairs Minister Tien Hung-mao would continue on to Australia after his visit to
Thailand, Chiu Jung-nan, vice minister of foreign affairs confirmed.
Tien‟s overseas trip caught the media by surprise, as he had said earlier that he would engage in no special
activities during the Chinese New Year holidays.
Chiu explained that Tien had visited Thailand in his capacity as chairman of the International Cooperation
and Development Fund (ICDF) under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which has helped with
development work in the mountainous regions of northern Thailand for years. He added that Tien would
continue on his journey after concluding his two-day visit to Thailand. Noting that Tien was a scholar
before serving as Foreign Affairs minister, Chiu said that he has many friends in the academic world and
overseas Chinese community in Australia. His visit to Australia would simply be a vacation, and there
would be no meeting with Australian officials, Chiu added.
Tien travelled to Chiang Mai in northern Thailand where he met with Thai officials on the renewal of a
technology cooperation agreement due to expire this year. The Taiwan‟s ICDF and Thailand‟s Royal
Project Foundation jointly signed the agreement in 1993. Both sides renewed the agreement in 1998, but it
is due to expire in 2001.
The two sides reviewed the results of development efforts in the mountainous areas of northern Thailand,
and discussed future cooperation. Taiwan began to take part in the development of Thailand‟s
mountainous northern region in 1971, when Taiwan sent agricultural experts to the area and invited Thai
development workers to receive training in Taiwan. The assistance was granted in an effort to train
residents of the mountainous areas to plant fruit trees instead of poppies, which are used to make opium.
A senior Taiwan official told local media representatives that the Taiwan Government Information Office
(GIO) would strive to provide more news from “a Thai perspective” to promote greater understanding of
Frederic P.N. Chang, deputy director-general of the GIO, said in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai
that the reports would focus on the actual living and working conditions of the 140,000-some Thai
workers in Taiwan.
He added that the reports would also cover the effects of Taipei-Beijing relations on the security of the
Southeast Asian region, Taiwan‟s investment potential in foreign countries and other issues related to
Thailand. Chang criticized Beijing for adversely affecting regional security through its sabre-rattling at
Taiwan. The choice of the 23 million people of Taiwan must be respected when determining future
Taipei-Beijing relations, he said, adding that Beijing‟s unilateral explanation of the so-called “One China”
principle completely disregards Taiwan‟s goodwill.
104 China-ASEAN Review 2001
He urged the local media to report on the efforts Taiwan has made toward better Taipei-Beijing ties with
professionalism, fairness, balance and objectivity. Economic, civil, and official exchanges between Taiwan
and Thailand have not been affected despite the current lack of diplomatic ties, Chang continued. He
noted that trade officials from the two governments often meet in international conferences, and that the
two sides have close investment, labour and tourism ties.
Chang pointed out that Thailand is Taiwan‟s twelfth largest trading partner and Taiwan is Thailand‟s sixth
largest trading partner, with Thailand enjoying a trade surplus of US$200 million on bilateral trade
totalling US$5.3 billion in 2000.
Taiwan is Thailand‟s fourth largest foreign investor, with a total of over US$10.3 billion invested, he said,
adding that Taiwan is also Thailand‟s largest export market for labourers, accounting for 43 percent of
Taiwan‟s total foreign labour force.
Visiting Cabinet-level Overseas Chinese Affairs Commission Chairwoman Chang Fu-mei spoke highly of
the newly established Taiwan-Thailand Friendship Foundation for its lofty goals.
The high-ranking Taiwanese official told over 210 Taiwanese and Thai political figures that the
foundation, which was jointly founded by Taiwanese and Thai people, has a far-sighted significance. She
also conveyed the regards of the Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian and Vice President Annette Lu to the
Taiwanese businessmen who reside in Thailand raised 3.5 million baht last August in relief funds to help
flood victims and offer scholarships for poor Thai children to receive education in Thailand or in Taiwan.
Taiwan‟s Representative to Thailand, Huang Hsien-jung, also praised the foundation for its contribution
to promote friendly relations between Taiwan and Thailand. Chang would return to Taipei after visiting a
Chinese language school in suburban Bangkok and presiding over the commencement of a Chinese
language teacher seminar.
Thai Labourers in Taiwan
Bank of Thailand officials reported in February that 63 percent of all Thai labourers going overseas to
work in 2000 headed to Taiwan. Taiwan was followed in order by Singapore, Israel, and Brunei as the
favourite destination for Thai labourers working abroad, the officials said. The number of Thai labourers
abroad hit 123,307 in 2000, representing a 11.2 percent increase over the previous year‟s level, with the
number of Thai workers from the country‟s northeast going abroad for work gradually increasing, officials
of Thailand‟s Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare reported.
Meanwhile, the amount of money remitted back to Thailand from Taiwan in 2000 by Thai labourers also
increased 11.2 percent over the previous year‟s level, while the amount remitted from Singapore was 16.1
percent higher and the amount remitted from Middle Eastern countries was 14.2 percent higher, the
Reduction of Labour Broker Fees
In order to protect the interests of Thai labourers in Taiwan, the Taiwan and Thailand agreed to reduce
the fees charged by labour brokers
Those present at a meeting on 2 July between labour officials from Taipei and Bangkok decided that the
fee charged by brokers should be limited to NT$56,000 (US$1,627), with NT$30,000 (US$869.56) going
to Taiwan brokers and NT$26,000 going to their Thailand contacts. Neither brokers nor the Taiwan
employers are allowed to front-load labours‟ physical examination fees, return flight fares or other service
fees, according to the meeting‟s conclusion.
China-ASEAN Review 2001 105
The officials also agreed to include accommodation allowances, to a maximum of NT$4,000, in the
labourers‟ wages, with the consent of both the employer and the employee, in line with the Taiwan
Labour Standards Law. The conclusions reached by the officials were intended to put a cap on brokerage
fees, as labour brokers have until now usually charged fees deemed unreasonable by the government.
However, although the agreement was finalized, the signing was postponed after Taipei insisted on having
the document signed by vice ministerial-level officials on each side.
There are no official ties between Taipei and Bangkok.
Taiwanese Waste Recyclers Seek Opportunities in Thailand
A group of 31 Taiwan high-tech industrial waste recyclers are in Bangkok to seek investment
opportunities in Thailand.
The Taiwan mission, accompanied by Jullapong Nonsrichai, representative of the commercial division of
the Thailand Trade and Economic Office in Taipei, called on Chakramon Phasukavanich, deputy
secretary-general of the Board of Investment under the control of the Prime Ministry of Thailand on 24
Nonsrichai briefed the Taiwan visitors on the current investment climate and incentives to be adopted for
new investment in Thailand. The group concentrated their questions on intellectual property rights
protection, the waste disposal law and the incentive measures for new investment.
Nonsrichai said that the Thai government would encourage foreign investors to invest in the auto industry
and its component industry, agricultural products, home appliances, petrochemicals, and machine tools.
Touching on the intellectual property rights protection issue Nonsrichai said that although law
enforcement has done their best to crack down on the manufacture and circulation of fake music and
films, illegal copies are still being produced.
The delegation would attend the twelfth Taiwan-Thailand Economic Meeting scheduled for in Bangkok.
The meeting is alternately held in Taipei and Bangkok. The group would return to Taiwan 29 July.
Meanwhile, Minister Chaturon Chaisang, who is in charge of investment policy in the Prime Minister‟s
Office, told the Taiwan media that the Thai government would adopt a new investment incentives policy.
Chaturon said that the big change in the new incentives is to eliminate the taxation exemption regulations.
Instead, management and information services would be made more efficient.
Facing the worldwide economic recession, priority would be placed on local small and medium
enterprises‟ development, he said, adding that the government emphasis would also be placed on the
tourism industry to improve the quality of life of those in Thailand.
In addition to the Central News Agency correspondent, reporters from China Television Company,
ETTV, TVBS, the Economic Daily News, the China Post and the Commercial Times also attended Chaturon‟s
Visiting Taiwanese Trade Delegation
The chief trade representative of Thailand has called on Taiwan enterprises to cooperate with Thailand to
set up factories in his country and export their products to mainland China and the United States.
Prachaub Chaiyasarn said the cooperation project idea calls for the use of Taiwan‟s capital, technology,
and management skills, together with Thailand‟s materials and relatively cheap labour costs. Chaiyasarn
made the suggestion after speaking at a meeting in Bangkok between the Thailand Industrial Federation
and a visiting delegation of Taiwan‟s Chinese National Association of Industry and Commerce to discuss
ways to enhance industrial and trade cooperation on 25 July.
106 China-ASEAN Review 2001
The Thai authorities hope Taiwan‟s electronics industry and food industry would set up factories in
Thailand, he added.
Thai PM Meets With Taiwanese Trade Promotion Group
The current Thai government led by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is an efficient administration,
which is highly motivated to resolve difficulties for foreign investors, Industry Minister Suriya
Jungrungreangkit told a trade promotion group from Taiwan.
The Thai government is committed to helping settle problems foreign investors may encounter in
Thailand and would earmark special budgets and cultivate professional talent to meet their needs, Suriya
said. He made the remarks during a dinner party held on 10 September in honour of a 27-member
delegation of the Taipei-based Chinese National Federation of Industries (CNFI). Suriya told Stephan Hsu
Chih-wei, head of the delegation and a presidential advisor, that the Thai government is planning to open
state-run petrochemical factories to private competition in November by releasing US$600 million to
US$700 million worth of shares. He also said his government was keen for Taiwan investors to take part
in the venture.
“Taiwan is the most-preferred foreign investor in Thailand,” Suriya told the visiting Taiwan business
representatives, and said that, “Thailand has created special mutual funds to court foreign investment for
its key industries and that Taiwan businessmen can consider participating in the new measure.”
Meanwhile, the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) and the CNFI are slated to sign a cooperative accord
to boost bilateral exchanges, an FTI official said, expressing his hope that Taiwan investment in Thailand
would increase in the future and would help remove obstacles to investment by Taiwan businesses in
The projected entry of Taiwan and mainland China into the World Trade Organization in November 2001
coupled with the Thai government‟s decision to open its petrochemical industry to private competition at
that time would highlight the importance of the situation that both sides of the Taiwan Strait and Thailand
can jointly strive for building peace and economic prosperity in Asia, Hsu said.
Thai New Year In Taiwan
A series of programs celebrating Songkran, the Thai New Year, would be put on at Taoyuan County
Stadium, sources with the county government said. There are some 70,000 foreign labourers working in
Taoyuan County, of whom 30,000 are from Thailand, the sources said on 13 April.
Taoyuan County Hall has sponsored festivities to celebrate Songkran for many years, to help ease Thai
workers‟ homesickness. This year‟s programs would include the chanting of Buddhist scriptures,
performances of Thai traditional dance and a beauty pageant.
The beauty pageant would be the climax of the festival, with organizers choosing the top ten contestants
from among the employees of Taiwan firms.
Thai Water Festival in Chungho
Water Festival activities were held for Thai workers and ethnic Chinese from Burma in the city of
Chungho, Taipei County on 14 April, with some 2,000 local people, Thais and Burmese participating.
Ushered in by orchestral music and performances of kung-fu dance and Thai volleyball, the festival
formally began when Taipei County Magistrate Su Chen-chang, Chungho Mayor Lu Fang-yen, and several
dignitaries arrived at the venue aboard a float at 10:30 a.m.
China-ASEAN Review 2001 107
Upon their arrival a Taiwanese Army Honour Guard performed a rifle drill, which was followed by a
blessing by monks from Thailand.
Speaking at the celebration, Su stressed that Taipei County Government has included a series of programs
to celebrate the Thai, Burmese, Lao, and Cambodian New Year holidays into its “cultural calendar” to
promote cultural amalgamation among different peoples. The festival reached its climax when Magistrate
Su and Mayor Lu pushed a button starting water sprinklers that splashed water on the crowd. Water-
sprinkling is New Year tradition in Thailand, Burma, Laos and Cambodia, where people believe the water
disperses the evils of 2000 and brings good luck to them after they remove their damp clothes.
Revellers at the festival also drenched each other with water using dippers and water guns. Traditionally,
anyone splashed with water should not get angry, because the wetter a person gets, the better his or her
luck would be.
Taiwan Science and Technology College of Thailand
Taiwan Overseas Chinese Affairs Commission (OCAC) Chairperson Chang Fu-mei inspected the Taiwan
Science and Technology College of Thailand in the northern province of Parnam on 26 November.
She praised local Taiwan businessmen for providing the college with the ability to cultivate personnel with
scientific and technological backgrounds for factories operated by Taiwanese and Thai enterprises. Chang
expressed the hope that the Taiwanese businessmen there would step up their efforts on education and
added that the Cabinet-level OCAC would fully support their efforts.
The OCAC chief made the trip accompanied by Taiwan‟s Representative to Thailand Huang Hsien-jung
and Ko Che-chun, director of the Thai-Chinese Cultural and Educational Service Center in Bangkok.
They heard a briefing on the operation of the Taiwan Science and Technology College from Chung Chen-
ta, president of a local Taiwan enterprise who graduated from Taiwan‟s National Chengchi University.
Chiang Rai Chinese Language Teacher’s Seminar
Visiting Taiwan Overseas Chinese Affairs Commission (OCAC) Chairwoman Chang Fu-mei pledged that
the Taiwan government would never forget the descendants of Taiwanese nationals living in northern
Chang made the remarks at the closing ceremony of the seventh Chinese-language teacher‟s seminar held
in a village in the northern province of Chiang Rai where a group of former Taiwanese Army soldiers have
lived for over 50 years after retreating from mainland China in 1949 following defeat by the Chinese
communists. Most of the veterans are naturalized Thai citizens and have married local women, but they
insist that their children learn Chinese rather than Thai. Until now, their anti-Communist stance has not
Chang handed out graduation certificates and prizes to the 35 teachers attending the seminar on 27