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Calendar of Events Asia-Pacific Region Calendar of Events  // Asia-Pacific Region // April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2011

(April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2011)

: April 2010

Defence Minister A.K. Antony unveiling the plaque of INS Shivalik at the commissioning ceremony of INS Shivalik at the Naval dock yard in Mumbai on April 29 n As part of the celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic relations, China and India embarked on a sixmonth programme, beginning April 1, to improve bilateral relations. India’s Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna visited China for four days from April 5 to join the celebrations. n ITAR-TASS, the official news agency of Russia, reported on April 2, about the supply of 15 batteries of advanced S-300 surface-to-air missile systems to China. According to an official with the national defence sector, this is an unprecedented contract both in terms of sales volume and in numbers of serial production. He added that such an ambitious task has been implemented within a given term. All the supplied S-300 systems will be used for the defence of the Chinese cities of Beijing and Shanghai. An upgraded S-300 surface-to-air missile system is capable of hitting ballistic short-range missiles and also fixed land targets. n Carrying out their deadliest ever attack, the left-wing extremists killed 76 personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force in the Dantewada district of

Chhattisgarh, India, on April 6. The leftist guerrillas ambushed the security forces who were rushing to extend back-up support to another team, engaged in an encounter with the rebels elsewhere in the same area. n China and India agreed to establish a hotline between the Prime Ministers of the two countries. An agreement to this effect was signed in Beijing on April 7, during Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna’s four-day visit to China. Such a move will make sure that leaders of the two nations pick up the phone and talk directly so that any rising tension can be nipped in the bud through consultations. n Pakistan kicked off its largest ever military exercise, Azm-e-Nau-3, on April 10, with participation of around 50,000 soldiers drawn from all arms and services, including the Pakistan Air Force (PAF). The month-long exercise, which concluded on May 13, was aimed at validating Pakistan military’s new concept of warfare. n On April 16, Kyrgyzstan’s provincial government extended the use of Manas Air Base to the US forces, which are deployed in Afghanistan, by another one year. Kyrgyzstan, a Central Asian Republic, experienced recently violent clashes forcing its President to flee the country. n On April 20, Pakistan signed a $65-million deal with the United States for the acquisition of warship USS McInerney. Pakistan is likely to acquire the US warship on August 31 following which it would be refurbished according to the Pakistan Navy’s requirements under the supervision of the US Navy. The USS McInerney is expected to start its journey for Pakistan in January 2011. n Taking part in a coordinated fleet exercise with eight destroyers and a pair

of submarines in the East China Sea, a Chinese naval helicopter flew close to a Japanese destroyer encircling the vessel twice within a radius of 90 ­metres. The incident, the second in this month, occurred 310 nautical miles South of Okinawa, leading Japan to lodge a formal protest with China on April 21. n Malabar CY10, an Indo-US bilateral naval exercise, was conducted in the Arabian Sea from April 23 to May 2, 2010. The exercise, fourteenth in the series, saw participation by frontline units of US Navy’s Seventh Fleet and Indian Navy’s western fleet. The scope of Malabar exercise this year included diverse range of operational activities at sea. n The Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) conducted a military exercise from April 22 to 25, in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz. The exercise, code-named ‘Great Messenger 5’, was aimed at boosting vigilance and combat preparedness of the Iranian Navy. The exercise was concluded by simultaneous test-firing of five coast-to-sea and sea-to-sea missiles. n The Indian Navy commissioned its first indigenous-built stealth frigate ‘Shivalik’ at a ceremony held at the naval dockyard in Mumbai on April 29. The 143-metre-long Shivalik, with displacement capacity of 6,000 tonnes, has been developed as part of Indian Navy’s Project-17. The warship is equipped with a mix of Indian, Russian, Israeli and Western weapons and sensors. The vessel will be manned by a crew comprising 250 members, including 35 officers. Defence Minister A.K. Antony participated in the ceremony. n Taiwan held its largest military exercise in 20 years on April 29, to coun-

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Calendar of Events  // Asia-Pacific Region // April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2011 ter a potential invasion by China. The drill simulated massive air raids on Taiwan’s major airbases with a view to test the island’s ability to recover quickly from such a shock. An estimated 6,500 Taiwanese soldiers including elite forces participated in the exercise held against the backdrop of a recently held exercise by the Chinese Navy which was conducted in the East China Sea near Okinawa.

: May 2010

Defence Minister AK Antony inspecting the Guard of Honour in Muscat on May 18 n Leading a top level delegation from the National Defence University (NDU) of Pakistan, Air Commodore Nadeem Anjum of Pakistan’s Air Force visited Sri Lanka from April through May 1, ostensibly to learn counter-insurgency tactics from the Sri Lankan forces and to promote healthier relations between the militaries of the two countries. n China and Japan exchanged views on the East China Sea issue in Beijing on May 4, at the first Director General-level or Bureau Chief-level contact between the two countries since 2008. “The two sides exchanged views on relevant issues, and agreed to continue to maintain contacts and make joint efforts,” a statement from the Chinese Foreign Ministry said. n Iran conducted a new war game exercise, Velayat 89, from May 5 to 8, in the Sea of Oman and the Strait of Hormuz. The eight-day exercise covered an area of about 2,50,000 square kilometres of Iranian territorial waters. During the

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exercise, Tehran is claimed to have tested successfully different types of destroyers, submarines, anti-submarine torpedoes, mid-range cruise missiles, missile launcher frigates and fighter jets. Iran, which fears military strikes by the US or Israel, has in the past threatened to attack the American bases in the Gulf and shut off the strategic Strait of Hormuz if attacked by these countries. Pakistan tested successfully two of its short-range ballistic missiles, Shaheen-1 and Ghaznavi, on May 8. Capable of carrying conventional as well as nuclear warheads, both the missiles were test fired at an undisclosed location, a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said. Pakistan’s missile tests came days after India successfully tested its own two short-range ballistic missiles (SRBM), Prithvi-II and the Dhanush. After two successive failures, India’s 2,000+ km range Agni-II nuclear capable missile underwent a successful test-flight on May 17. India’s defence scientists said that the missile had met all the mission objectives. The missile was launched from a mobile launcher off Orissa’s coast. The twostage solid-propelled Agni-II is one of the key weapon systems of India’s nuclear deterrence. India and Oman decided on May 18, to expand bilateral defence cooperation, specifically in the areas of maritime security and joint training and combat exercises. The agreement was reached during India’s Defence Minister A.K. Antony’s two-day visit to Oman. Seeking to strengthen security cooperation between Japan and Australia, the two countries signed a Defence Logistics Agreement on May 19, in Tokyo. The Acquisition and CrossServicing Agreement was signed by Japan’s Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada, Defence Minister Toshimi

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Kitazawa and their Australian counterparts. The agreement would enable the two governments to provide food, water and medical services to armed forces of both countries during peacekeeping and disaster relief operations. n Developed by the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), India’s first indigenously-built light combat helicopter (LCH) took off on a maiden flight on May 23, heralding India’s entry into a select group of countries that make combat helicopters. A derivative of the HAL Dhruv, LCH incorporates stealth features and crash landing gear for survivability. n Leading a 17 member delegation, General Liang Guanglie, China’s Minister for National Defence, arrived on a two-day visit to Pakistan on May 23. The visiting delegation met Pakistan’s President, Prime Minister, Defence Minister and top military Generals including the Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and the Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Committee General Tariq Majid. n A three-day war game, dubbed as Beit-al-Moqaddas 22, was held by ­ Iran’s Army on May 24, in the country’s central province of Isfahan. During the exercise, the Iranian ground forces conducted advanced and modern tactics and successfully deployed troops in specified positions and strongholds to deter the enemy and counter attacks. n The US Defense Secretary Robert Gates and his Japanese counterpart held talks on May 25, at the Pentagon, reportedly on plans to watch the movements of the Chinese Navy. Among other issues possibly discussed between the two countries were the relocation of a US marine base at Okinawa and some recent ­actions by North Korea. n The President of India Pratibha Devisingh Patil visited China from May 26 to 31. The visit, which coincided with the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, was


Calendar of Events  // Asia-Pacific Region // April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2011 aimed at improving bilateral relations. Concluding her three-day visit to Beijing, the President termed it “constructive, wide-ranging and fruitful.” The high point of the President’s visit to China however was Beijing’s support for India to the UN Security Council as a permanent member. n Amidst rising tensions between the Republic of South Korea (ROK) and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), South Korea’s Navy held a large-scale anti-submarine exercise in the Yellow Sea on May 27 and 28. The military exercise, part of a series of countermeasures to deal with the Cheonan incident, was however, aimed at deterring DPRK against ­future aggression. n A Mumbai-bound train ‘Gyaneshwari Express’ was derailed in the West Midnapore district of West Bengal, India on May 28, which killed 145 people and injured several others. The derailment is suspected to be the handiwork of left-wing extremists who have been engaged in guerrilla warfare activities for several decades attempting to usurp political power in India through violent means. n Outlining a new agreement on the relocation of a key US Marine base on the Japanese island of Okinawa, the US and Japan issued a statement on May 28, agreeing to move the Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to Henoko which is a less crowded part of the southern island of Okinawa. n The premiers of China and Japan agreed on May 31, to set up a hotline between them and to resume formal talks on jointly exploring offshore gas and oil fields in the East China Sea. China and Japan have had a series of tense incidents recently with p ­ otentials to destabilise the Asia-Pacific security. n Israeli forces intercepted on May 31, a flotilla of aid-carrying ships, apparently heading to break Israel’s siege on Gaza. At least nine aid activists were killed when Israeli troops raided

the ‘Freedom Flotilla’ in international waters, 65 km off the Gaza coast. The activists were attempting to defy a blockade imposed by Israel after the Islamist movement Hamas took power in Gaza in 2007.

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: June 2010

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The 9th IISS Asia Security Summit, the Shangri-La Dialogue, was held from June 4-6, 2010 in Singapore n The inaugural US-India Strategic Dialogue was held in Washington from June 1 to 4. The Strategic Dialogue, held at the level of Foreign Ministers, was represented by the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and India’s Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna who led a large delegation to the talks. The India delegation comprised several cabinet ministers, bureaucrats, and businessmen. The dialogue however produced no specific deal worth any significance. n The Pakistan Navy officially inducted two modified P-3C Orion surveillance aircraft into its fleet at the Mehran naval base, Karachi, on June 2. The aircraft are part of a batch of seven P-3C Orion aircraft Pakistan will get from the US. Developed by Lockheed Martin, P-3 Orion is a four-engine turboprop which has been designed for reconnaissance, anti-ship and anti-submarine surveillance warfare missions. n China launched a satellite on June 2, towards an orbit more than 35,200 kilometres above earth, marking ­ ­another step in building the country’s own space navigation system. The Beidou satellite was launched on a Long March 3C rocket from the Xichang

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space centre in Sichuan province in south-western China. Beijing plans a constellation of 30 or more satellites which is projected to overtake the US satellite network. While on a visit to Myanmar, China’s Premier Wen Jiabao held meetings with the Prime Minister of Myanmar Thein Sein in Myanmar’s new capital Nay Pyi Taw on June 3. The two leaders reached a broad understanding on protecting the peace and stability of the border regions (Myanmar) and signed bilateral agreements. The Ninth IISS Asia Security Summit, the Shangri-La Dialogue, was held from June 4 to 6, in Singapore, which brought together major opinion formers and strategists from the national security establishments of 28 states to deliberate upon key security challenges facing Asia. Military intelligence Chiefs from 24 countries in the Asia-Pacific region gathered for a four-day conference in Seoul, South Korea on June 8. The agenda of the Third Asia-Pacific Intelligence Chiefs Conference was “Countermeasures on Supranational Threats by Sharing Intelligence”. The deliberated upon ways and means for cooperating and sharing of information in the light of terrorism and ­natural disasters. Pakistan and Australia signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on June 7, at the Ministry of Defence in Islamabad with a view to increase defence cooperation between the two countries. The MoU envisaged increased interaction between the armed forces of the two countries, and doubling the training package for Pakistan’s armed forces. The US and Pakistan held a fourday strategic dialogue in Islamabad from June 7 to 10. The US Defense Department delegation was led by Dr David Ochmanek, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force Development, and David Sedney, the

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Calendar of Events  // Asia-Pacific Region // April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2011 Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia. The discussion was viewed as continuing the process of strategic dialogue held earlier in Washington on March 24 and 25. n The United Nations slapped the fourth round of sanctions against Iran on June 9. The sanctions were imposed to halt Iran’s nuclear weapon programme. Twelve of the 15 nations on the Security Council voted for the measure while Turkey and Brazil voted against it and Lebanon abstained. Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard, ballistic missiles and nuclear-related investments were the targets of the new round of UN sanctions. n South Korea made an unsuccessful attempt to place a satellite into outer space on June 10. The rocket which carried the payload exploded 137 seconds after lift-off. The launch was South Korea’s second unsuccessful attempt to put a satellite in space after a similar effort had failed in A ­ ugust 2009. n Israel launched a spy satellite, Ofek 9, on June 22. The new satellite would join two other active spy satellites. The satellite was launched from the Palmachim Air Force base on Israel’s coast, south of Tel Aviv. A conglomeration of three satellites would give Israel considerable coverage of ­sensitive areas. n South Korea successfully flight-tested the third prototype of a military transport helicopter, Surion, on June 22. The prototype flew at an altitude of 2,000 ft with a cruising speed of 260 km. The helicopter is reported to have a top speed of 240 kilometres per hour and can carry two pilots and 11 troops. South Korea began the 1.3 trillion won ($1.1 billion) project in 2006 to replace the country’s ageing UH-1H and 500MD helicopters. n The US President Barack Obama sacked the top commander of the US military in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, on June 23 and named US General David Petraeus as his suc-

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cessor. McChrystal reportedly lost his job because he had undermined the authority of US civil administration officials in an article which was published in Rolling Stone magazine. The Indian port authorities at Kolkata detained a Pakistan bound cargo ship on June 25. The cargo ship was reportedly carrying undeclared military hardware, including rocket launchers and anti-aircraft guns. An investigation conducted later revealed that the assignments belonged to Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal and were shipped back by the UN to the respective countries after completion of their deployment at a peacekeeping mission in Liberia. As part of the US military assistance to Pakistan in fighting the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, the US delivered to Pakistan the first three of the proposed new 18 F-16 (Block 50/52) aircraft. The aircraft were inducted by the Pakistani Air Force at an induction ceremony held on June 27, at Shahbaz Air Base near Jacobabad, Pakistan. Under an agreement reached between Canada and India on June 28, the former agreed to supply 2,000 tonnes of uranium to power India’s existing and future reactors. The agreement signed in Toronto was the ninth civil nuclear agreement, concluded by India since the Nuclear Suppliers Group gave her a waiver in 2008. Russia kicked off a large scale military exercise, Vostok-2010, in Siberia and the country’s Far East on June 29. The exercise, which concluded on July 8, involved participation by 20,000 troops, besides 30 warships and up to 70 warplanes. Combat ships from the Russian Pacific Fleet performed a series of manoeuvres in the Sea of Japan as part of the exercise. A fleet under the Chinese Navy kicked off a six-day live firing exercise on June 30, off Zhengjiang’s east coast in the East China Sea. The exercise, interpreted by many analysts as a response

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to South Korea-US planned exercise in July, aimed to deter any foreign navy attempting to enter the Yellow Sea through East China Sea.

: July 2010

Defence Minister A.K. Antony on LCA Navy Trainer (NP-1) during the roll out ceremony at Bangalore on July 6 n Pakistan’s Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (JCSC) Chairman General Tariq Majid signed two MoUs on defence cooperation with Qatar, according to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Public Relation (ISPR) on July 2. The details of the agreement were however not revealed. n China and Pakistan kicked off their third joint military training exercise, YOUYI-III, on July 3, at Qixtonxia, Yeuhuan China. The 11-day exercise, held at the sub-unit level between the special forces of the respective countries, aimed at practising counterterrorism mechanisms and drills in mountains and developing interpersonal rapport between the two sides. n The naval variant of India’s first indigenously built light combat aircraft (LCA) Navy Trainer Naval Project (NP)-1 was rolled out by the Defence Minister A.K. Antony from the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Aircraft Research and Design Centre at a glittering function in Bangalore on July 6. It is reported that LCA’s naval variant is to be ready for carrier trials by 2013 and is slated for deployment on the INS Vikramaditya as well as the Vikrant class aircraft carrier. n India launched five satellites into orbit from its indigenous Polar Satellite


Calendar of Events  // Asia-Pacific Region // April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2011

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Launch Vehicle on July 12. Among the satellites launched by India included the military Cartosat-2B that will be used for remote sensing. An indigenous military satellite Radar Imaging Satellite-2 (RISAT-2) was placed into orbit by India last year to keep a tab on terrorist infiltration from land borders and the sea. According to China’s state-run Xinhua news agency, the PLA conducted a military exercise, Warfare 2010, a military supply drill in the Yellow Sea over the weekend on July 17 and 18. The drill was aimed at improving PLA’s defence capabilities against long-distance attacks, with a focus on transporting military supplies for future joint battles. India and the United States signed a counterterrorism agreement on July 23, with a view to enhance the existing cooperation between the two countries in counterterrorism measures, an important step in strategic bilateral relations. The India-US Counterterrorism Initiative was signed between India’s Union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai and the US Ambassador to India Timothy J. Roemer. At the Seventeenth ASEAN Regional ­Forum (ARF), which opened in Hanoi on July 23, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton voiced her opposition to ­ China’s maritime claims in the South China Sea. She stated that the US had a national interest in freedom of navigation, open access to Asia’s maritime commons and respect for international law in the South China Sea. She also urged for a binding regional code of conduct in the South China Sea. At least 77,000 classified military documents pertaining to Afghanistan war were released for public access by a whistle-blowing website, Wikileaks. org, on July 25. Disclosure by the website gave further credence to Pakistan’s role in Afghan war. Pakistan is widely suspected of having masterminded several attacks on the US-led NATO forces in Afghanistan, including attacks

on Indian Embassy in Kabul in 2008. n In the first-ever meeting between ­Foreign Ministers of India and Pakistan held since the 26/11 Mumbai t­errorist attack, India’s Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna and his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Querishi met in Islamabad on July 15, to identify areas of trust deficit and to develop confidence-building measures. The talks however failed as both sides stuck to their known positions on terrorism and Kashmir. n The military ruler of Myanmar, General Than Shwe arrived in India on a fiveday official visit from July 25 to 29. During his visit, India and Myanmar ­ signed five documents including the Treaty on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, MoU regarding Indian Grant Assistance for Implementation of small developmental projects in Myanmar, MoU on information cooperation, agreement on Cooperation in the fields of Science and Technology and MoU on Conservation and Restoration of Ananda Temple in Bagan, Myanmar. n The United States and the Republic of Korea (RoK) conducted a massive military exercise, code-named “Invincible Spirit”, in the Sea of Japan from July 25 to 28. The exercise was held against the backdrop of sinking of a South Korean naval vessel by North Korea in March 2010. Through the exercise, the US and South Korea aimed to deter Pyongyang against further provocative acts. About 20 ships, 200 aircraft and 8,000 military personnel from the two countries took part in the exercise. n In response to the joint US-South Korea military exercise, the Chinese Navy held a simultaneously large-scale live-ammunition exercise in the South China Sea on July 26. According to the PLA’s official newspaper, during the exercise, warships and submarines from the Navy’s South China Sea Fleet performed precision strikes on surface targets by firing guided missiles while surface warships conducted anti-mis-

sile air defense operations. n Scientist from India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully conducted a Prithvi Air Defence (PAD) system test at an altitude of 15 kilometres off the Orissa coast near Dhamra on July 26. The PAD had failed a similar endo-atmospheric test in March this year when the target missile deviated from its trajectory. n India signed a deal for 57 Hawk advanced jet trainers for its Air Force and Navy on July 28. The deal, valued at `700 million lbs (Rs 5,200 crore), was signed during British Prime Minister David Cameron’s two-day visit to India. Also, during his visit to India, the British Prime Minister labeled Pakistan as a nation exporting terror to the outside world. n The Republic of Singapore Navy and the Indonesian Navy concluded a bilateral military exercise, codenamed ‘Exercise Eagle’, at Surabaya, Indonesia. The 21st bilateral exercise between the two navies was conducted from July 28 and August 5, at both shore and sea phases of Singapore and Surabaya, Indonesia.

: August 2010

The 14-nation biennial ‘Rim of the ­Pacific (RIMPAC)’ exercise concluded on August 1, 2010 n The 14-nation biennial Rim of the Pacific’ (RIMPAC) exercise concluded on August 1. Themed around the concept of “combined agility, synergy and support,” the exercise—the 22nd in the series—was held in and around

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Calendar of Events  // Asia-Pacific Region // April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2011 the islands of Hawaii. Thirty-four ships, five submarines, over 100 aircraft and 20,000 personnel from 14 participating countries took part in the exercise which ran from June 23 to August 1. n China launched large-scale air defence exercises on June 3 — the latest in a series of drills carried out amid US concerns about Beijing’s increasing military assertiveness. A total of 12,000 soldiers and officers reportedly took part in the military exercise, Vanguard-2010, which also proved a theatre to test efficacy of some new military equipment for the PLA. The exercise which lasted over five days in the eastern province of Shandong and the central province of Henan was however meant to be essentially an emergency evacuation, war planning, and reconnaissance and early w ­ arning exercise. n The South Korean military held a ­five-day anti-submarine exercise from August 5 to 9, near the country’s disputed maritime border with the North Korea. The exercise, conducted with undersea live firing, took place close to the location where North Korean Navy reportedly had sunk ‘Cheonan’ a South Korean Naval Ship, which killed 46 sailors in March 2010. n According to a Chinese media report published on August 6, China has begun flight-testing its first homemade amphibious plane, Seagull 300. The plane has been reportedly built by the Shijiazhuang Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation Limited in China’s northern Hebei province and is expected to cost around four million yuan ($6,00,000). n Returning to its home base in the Barents Sea after participating in a large-scale naval exercise in the Pacific Ocean, a Russian guided-missile destroyer, Pyotr Veliky, held a joint manoeuvre exercise with a frigate of the Indian Navy, INS Trishul in the Arabian Sea on August 11. The PASSEX exercise between the two warships involved several communication drills.

n India sanctioned a billion-dollar soft loan to Dhaka on August 7, the biggest credit package ever earmarked for any nation by New Delhi. The loan which was extended during India’s Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to Bangladesh would be utilised by the latter to improve its transport infrastructure, especially ports and railways. n The US and Russia held their first-ever joint air defence exercise from August 8 to 11. The exercise was aimed at testing their anti-terrorism systems with a staged plane hijacking. The exercise, code-named Vigilant Eagle, involved Russian, Canadian and US Air Force personnel, operating from command centres at the airbase in Alaska, US and in Khabarovsk, Russia. n As part of a more assertive military diplomacy by the US in South China Sea, the US Navy docked a guided-missile destroyer ‘the USS John S. McCain’ in Vietnam on August 10. The USS John S. McCain is the second US ship to visit a Vietnamese Port this year. n The United States and South Korea commenced ‘Ulchi Freedom Guardian’, an annual bilateral exercise on August 16, reportedly with a view to maintain security and joint posture on the Korean Peninsula. With a combined strength of 86.000 troops—56,000 from South Korea and 30,000 from the US mainland and oversea bases—the exercise ran through August 26. n The US Defense Department released its much-awaited report on China’s military power on August 16. The report, whose publication was delayed this year, came with a slightly altered title. Publication of a report, detailing China’s force modernisation, goals and security strategy, is an exercise carried out annually by Pentagon, pursuant to a US law passed in the year 2000. n The inaugural US-Vietnam Defense Policy Dialogue was held at the Deputy Ministerial level in Hanoi on August 17. The dialogue, which was

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held 15 years after the normalisation of diplomatic relations between the two countries, drew Vietnamese Deputy Defense Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh and the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Robert Scher together for discussions on a range of issues of mutual interests. n A day after opening its first nuclear plant built with Russian assistance, Iran unveiled a long-range unmanned bomber on August 22. The Iranian drone is said to be capable of carrying four missiles over a distance of 990 kilometres. Unveiling the drone on a day to mark Iran’s Defense Industry Day, the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad described it as a “messenger of glory and salvation for humanity” but “ambassador of death” for Iran’s enemies. n India and Japan held their fourth round of strategic dialogue at the Foreign Ministry level in New Delhi on August 21, with both countries agreeing to bolster defence and economic ties, especially against the backdrop of the planned second round of talks on a civil nuclear next month. The dialogue, held between India’s Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna and his Japanese counterpart Katsuya Okada, was the first ministerial meeting after 2+2 (Security and Strategic) Dialogue in New Delhi on July 6, during which the two countries discussed issues ranging from counter-terrorism to the UN reforms. n Chinese official media stated on August 26, that a submarine of the PLA Navy had planted China’s national flag deep beneath the South China Sea, an area where it has ongoing tussle with Washington and some countries of South East Asia over maritime boundaries. The news report said that the Chinese Navy planted the flag sometime between May and July this year. n One of Japan’s four spy satellites orbiting earth, in part to monitor activities in North Korea, broke down, Japanese media quoting government sources


Calendar of Events  // Asia-Pacific Region // April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2011 reported on August 29. Launched in 2007, the satellite was expected to remain operational until 2012. n In the first ever port call by the Chinese Navy in Myanmar, two warships of PLAN steamed into Thilawa on August 29. The ships, Guanhzhou and Caohu, were part of a PLA Navy’s escort mission on their way back after completing their Gulf of Aden deployment.

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: September 2010

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Antony and his South Korean counterpart Kim Tae-young exchanging pleasantries after their talks in Seoul on September 3 n As a part of the country’s ‘Look East Policy’, India’s Defence Minister A.K. Antony undertook a two-day visit to the Republic of South Korea on September 2 and 3. The Minister visited Seoul at the invitation of his South Korean counterpart Kim Tae-young. Joint military training and joint development of defence products were two landmark agreements concluded between India and South Korea during the visit of A.K. Antony to South Korea. n India’s defence scientists carried out a successful flight-test of country’s supersonic cruise missile BrahMos, developed jointly with Russia. The missile was tested for achieving the maximum flight range of 290 km on September 5, at the Chandipur missile test range in Orissa. n A Chinese trawler collided with two Japanese coast guard vessels near

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Senkaku islands on September 7. Japanese authorities arrested the entire crew of the Chinese trawler leading subsequently to a big diplomatic tussle between the two countries. Senkaku (Diaoyu in Chinese) are disputed group of islands between China and Japan. The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Russian Companies UAC Transport Aircraft and Rosoboronexport signed a shareholders’ agreement on September 9, to incorporate a joint venture company for design, development and production of multi-role transport aircraft. The total cost of the project which is estimated at $600 million will be shared equally between Russia and India. Peace Mission 2010, an anti-terrorism exercise within the framework of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) was held in Kazakhstan from September 9 to 25. Among the nations which took part in the multilateral exercise included China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan. Uzbekistan, a member state of SCO, however, remained absent from the exercise. The exercise, the seventh in the series, which was held within the framework of SCO, involved 5,000 troops and 5,000 military hardware. Two Chinese naval ships including a training vessel ‘Zhenghe’ and a frigate ‘Mian Yang’ made a port call in Auckland, New Zealand on September 11, marking the fourth port call by the Chinese naval vessels to New Zealand since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1972. In a bid to strengthen its relations with a strategically important neighbour in the Indian Ocean, China agreed to give Myanmar a $4.2 billion interest-free loan. China signed an agreement to that effect during the five-day visit by the Junta Chief Senior General Than Shwe’s to China from September 7 to 11.

n Facing heat from an unrelenting China, Japan was forced to release unconditionally the arrested captain of the Chinese fishing trawler on September 24. The Chinese boatmen were arrested earlier by the Japanese coast guards after a mid-sea collision by the erring Chinese fishermen. The incident had led to significant diplomatic tension between the neighbouring countries. n The US President Barack Obama and leaders of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) met in New York on September 24, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session. The meeting assumed significance amid reports of an increasingly assertive China in South China Sea. n The United States and South Korea held an anti-submarine exercise in the Yellow Sea from September 27 to October 1. Ten ships and 1,700 troops from two nations participated in the five-day joint manoeuvres. The exercise, the second in a series planned by the US and South Korea since the sinking of a South Korean naval vessel in March this year, was aimed at deterring North Korea from carrying out further aggressive actions towards South Korea. n Amidst diplomatic tension between Tokyo and Beijing, China’s two neighbours Japan and India today signalled a significant boost in their military ties. The two nations conducted their first Army-to-Army talks in New Delhi which began on September 28. The four-day talks which concluded on October 1, was aimed at reviewing the present status of engagements, military cooperation and military security issues. The three-member Japanese delegation for the talks was led by their Director General for Policy and Programmes Major General Voichiro Bansho. Separately, the Chief of Indian Air Force Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik, undertook a four-day visit to Tokyo which coincided with the Army-to-Army dialogue between the two nations.

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Calendar of Events  // Asia-Pacific Region // April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2011 n In what appeared to be a major escalation of tension between Washington and Islamabad, Pakistan military blocked supplies for NATO forces operating in Afghanistan on September 30, after three of their soldiers deployed on a border post were killed by fire from the alliance helicopters. The supply routes from Pakistan are vital for the US and NATO forces operating in Afghanistan, and convoys are often attacked by militants as they cross the border.

: October 2010

Dr Manmohan Singh with other East Asia Heads of State, during the ASEAN Summit in Hanoi, Vietnam on October 30. n In what came as a big surprise to many Western military analysts, China conducted its first joint military drill with Turkey, a key member of NATO security alliance. The exercise ‘Anatolian Eagle’ was conducted at the Konya Air Base in Turkey’s central Anatolia region from September 20, to October 4. Turkey secretly allowed China to participate in the exercise after the US and other NATO members had turned down an invitation to participate in the same exercise. China sent several Russian Su-27 fighter jets for the exercise. n On October 7 and 8, the US Defense Secretary Robert Gates and South Korea’s National Defense Minister Kim held a bilateral Security Consultative Meeting (SCM), reaffirming their commitments to the Strategic Alliance 2015 plans. They also pledged to coordinate closely on deterring aggression from the North and develop new operational

plans to respond to contingencies on the peninsula. n On October 7, Russia confirmed that it had cancelled contracts to supply Iran with S-300 Air Defence Systems. The contracts were ostensibly signed in 2005. Russian authorities also said that they were discussing about the refund of about the $166 million which was made by Tehran as advance payment. n The first ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) was convened in Ha Noi, Vietnam, on October 12. The meeting was attended by the Defence Ministers and representatives of Defence Ministers from 10 ASEAN member states and eight ASEAN Dialogue Partners (hereby referred to as the “Plus” countries), namely Australia, China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, the Russian Federation, and the United States. The Secretary-General of ASEAN was also in attendance. n Defence officials of more than 20 countries, including China, Japan, the Republic of Korea and member countries of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) gathered at Shijiazhuang, the capital of Hebei Province in China on October 12, for a two-day deliberation on non-traditional security threats. The meeting of defence officials which was held in northern China coincided with an ASEAN+8 meeting on security, held on the same day at Hanoi in Vietnam. n South Korea hosted a two-day Multinational Maritime Exercise at Busan on October 13 and 14. According the South Korean Defence Ministry, a total of 14 countries including US, Japan, France, Australia and Canada participated in the maritime exercise which aimed at stopping proliferation of weapons of mass destruction through the sea routes. n The US and Chinese militaries held two-day Maritime Security Talks on October 14 and 15, in Hawaii, the first such discussions since China broke

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off contacts earlier this year protesting resumption of the US arms sale to Taiwan. The two sides held talks under their Military Maritime Consultative Agreement (MMCA) mechanism and also reached an agreement on the issues of next year’s MMCA working group meetings. Charles Bolden Junior, the Chief of the US Space Agency, NASA, undertook a six-day visit to China which began from October 16. Bolden ostensibly carried an agenda for joint action in outer space. Bolden’s visit had been in the works since November 2009, sparked by President Obama’s visit to the country. The visit took place two weeks after China successfully launched its second lunar probe, Chang’e-2. The People’s Liberation Army of China conducted a high-tech warfare exercise which centred on battle scenarios in a “complex information environment” as well as across different terrains and weather conditions. The cross-terrain exercise which commenced from October 10, involved 30,000 troops from three divisions across three of China’s seven military area commands. Elite infantry soldiers from India and Russia jointly conducted a 10-day anti-terrorism exercise ‘Indra-2010’ ­ from October 15 to 24, in Uttarakhand, India. The exercise was held in the mountainous region at the battalion level. Russia had sent more than 200 troops from its 34th Mountain Brigade for this exercise. Top defence officials from 27 countries in the Asia-Pacific countries attended a five-day security conference which commenced from October 18, at Seoul in South Korea. The participating Security Chiefs discussed common regional security challenges in the Asia-Pacific Conference which was the thirteenth in the series. The US held an important three-day strategic dialogue with its key ally, Pakistan, in Washington from October 21 to 23. The US Secretary of State


Calendar of Events  // Asia-Pacific Region // April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2011

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Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and other top officials represented the dialogue from the US side while Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, accompanied by the Army Chief General Ashfaq Kayani led the Pakistani delegation. The strategic dialogue concluded with the US announcing a fresh $2.29 billion aid in military assistance to Pakistan. Azerbaijan’s Defence Minister Safar Abiyev held a meeting with China’s Defence Minister, Chief of the General Staff, and other top officials of the country during his three-day visit to Beijing commencing October 25. The two Ministers discussed regional security in the South Caucasus and Eastern Asia, military and military-technical cooperation and prospects of cooperation between the two countries. On October 26, officials from China held talks on expanding military cooperation with Yemen at a meeting in Sanaa with Yemeni Deputy Chief of General Staff for Financial and Administrative Affaires Sharaf Ahmed. The two sides reviewed mutual cooperation between the Yemeni and Chinese armies in training areas and exchanging experiences to reinforce the joint military cooperation in counter-terrorism and sea piracy acts in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden. In his efforts to boost ties with three East Asian countries—Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam, Prime Minister of India Dr Manmohan Singh undertook a sevenday East Asia tour which began from October 24. Security and economic cooperation with these countries topped the agenda of Dr Manmohan Singh’s East Asia Tour. East Asia Summit 2010, comprising 10 ASEAN member countries and six dialogue partners including China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, India and New Zealand was held at Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam from October 28 to 30. The summit, held against the backdrop of ongoing tensions between China and

Japan, discussed issues which were important for the region’s economy and security. Several bilateral negotiations were also held on the sidelines of the summit which included, among others, a meeting between the Prime Ministers of China and India. n Japan Navy’s Destroyer J.S. Kirishima thwarted successfully on October 28, a simulated missile attack against Japan—a practice for the real-world threat posed by North Korea. From its position off the coast of Hawaii, the J.S. Kirishima intercepted the target missile 160 kilometres over the Pacific Ocean, according to the Missile Defense Agency. n After a meeting between the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Japan’s Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara in Hawaii on October 29, the US Secretary of State reiterated her country’s commitment to protect Japan’s territorial rights under Article 5 of the 1960 US-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security. Clinton confirmed that Senkaku fell within the scope of that treaty. n The US authorities handed over three more F-16 (C/D Block 52) fighter aircraft to Islamabad on October 30. The aircraft, received by Pakistan’s officials at Jacobabad Airbase, were part of a deal for a total 18 F-16 aircraft. The first batch, which consisted of a similar number of aircraft, was received by Pakistan’s Air Force in June this year.

: November 2010

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with US President Barack Obama in New Delhi on November 8

n Taiwanese officials arrested one of their senior military officers Colonel Lo Chi-Cheng on charges of spying for China. The arrest was made on November 10. The arrested spy is believed to have passed on a number of military secrets to the Chinese authorities, possibly including a list of Taiwanese spies in China. The disclosure is believed to have endangered the lives of Taiwanese spies operating in China. n According to Chinese state-run media, the Chinese Navy conducted a major drill in the South China Sea on November 2. An estimated number of 1,800 troops and more than 100 ships, submarines and aircraft took part in ‘Jiaolong 2010’ naval exercise involving live-fire display, a show of China’s growing military power. n Quoting the country’s Defence Minister Phung Quang, Vietnam’s state media reported on November 2, that Hanoi would provide repair facilities to foreign navies at its Cam Ranh Bay port, a former US military base. Promised repair facilities include maintenance of aircraft carriers and submarines. Strategically important Cam Ranh is close to potentially oil-rich, but highly disputed Spratlys and Paracel islands. A similar offer was made by Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung at the conclusion of the Seventeenth ASEAN summit. n Protesting Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to Kuril Island on November 2, Tokyo recalled its ambassador to Moscow the very next day. Russia and Japan have contesting claims over Kuril group of four islands situated north of Japan. n On November 3, Saudi Arabia’s Assistant Minister of Defence and Aviation for Military Affairs Prince Khalid bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz and Spanish Defence Minister Carme Chacon discussed ways of improving bilateral relations and cooperation in the defence and military fields in Madrid, Spain.

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Calendar of Events  // Asia-Pacific Region // April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2011 n In a meeting held between the Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping and the visiting German Federal Minister of Defence Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg on November 3 in Beijing, both China and Germany agreed to strengthen bilateral military ties. Prior to his meeting with Xi, Guttenberg also had a meeting with the Chief of the General Staff of PLA, Chen Bingde. n The US President Barack Obama undertook a ten-day four-nation economic and goodwill tour of Asia which commenced on November 6. The four nations covered by Obama during his Asia tour included India, Indonesia, South Korea and Japan. Obama’s Asian voyage culminated with the APEC summit which was held in Japan on November 13 and 14. n As part of his historic Asia tour, the US President Barack Obama arrived in New Delhi on November 6, marking a crucial phase in the bilateral relationship between the two nations. During his visit to India, Obama inked crucial trade and defence-specific agreements. The US President also addressed a joint session of India’s Parliament and endorsed India’s bid for a permanent seat in any expanded future United Nation’s Security Council. n The US Defence Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joined their Australian counterparts; Foreign Minister Stephen Smith and Defense Minister John Faulkner in Melbourne on November 8, for a crucial consultation on security affairs under the framework of Australian-US Ministerial Meetings (AUSMIN). Considered to be the most significant meeting held in the last 25 years, AUSMIN this year, signified America’s renewed focus on the security of Asia-Pacific. n During Russian President Anatoly Serdyukov’s visit to Beijing on November 10, Russia and China signed an agreement on supply of spare parts for air defence systems, aviation and navy

equipment. The agreement was signed during a meeting of the Russian-Chinese Inter-Governmental Commission on Military Cooperation in Beijing. n Myanmar’s Pro-Democracy Leader and Nobel Laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi, was released from house arrest on November 13. Aung San Suu Kyi who symbolises Myanmar’s people’s fight for democratic rights, has been in and out of prison over the last 20 years. Her release came exactly one week after the pro-military party had swept the recently held general elections in Myanmar. n The rollout ceremony of the first of the four Chinese-built airborne warning and control systems (AWACS) ZDK03 aircraft for the Pakistan Air Force was held at Hanzhong in China on November 13. The rollout ceremony coincided with Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari’s visit to China, his sixth since assuming office in May 2008. Pakistan and China signed an agreement in 2008 for joint development of four AWACS which were to be configured to Pakistan’s specifications. n The Foreign Ministers of the China, the Russian Federation and India held their tenth meeting in Wuhan, China, on November 15. The meeting concluded with a joint communiqué, confirming that the trilateral cooperation did not target any specific country. The joint communiqué however stressed that coordinated global efforts were needed to promote strong, sustainable and balanced world growth. n Held in Lisbon, Portugal, on November 20, the Russia-NATO Council Summit resulted in three crucial agreements, with both sides agreeing to broaden the scope of military cooperation in Afghanistan, including greater transit facilities for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) troops through Russia’s territories, to resume Theatre Missile Defense Cooperation and not to pose threat to each other. n The British Defence Secretary Liam Fox

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visited New Delhi on November 22 and 23, ostensibly to promote broad-based defence cooperation as envisaged by both the countries. While promoting Eurofighter Typhoon for the Indian Air Force, Liam Fox, during his visit to India, also flagged his concern over China’s rapid military rise. n The militaries of two Koreas exchanged artillery fire across the Yellow Sea on November 23. The South Korean Government blamed the North for starting the artillery exchange, saying that dozens of rounds of artillery shells were fired at its Yeonpyeong Island. The attack by North Korean artillery shells reportedly left at least four South Koreans dead and 18 injured. n South Korean and American military forces conducted war games exercises from November 28 to December 1 in East China Sea, third in a series of joint large-scale exercise since the sinking of the South’s Cheonan warship in March 2010. South Korea, however, postponed planned artillery drill on the frontline island which was shelled a week earlier by North Korean forces.

: December 2010

Armed Forces of the US and Japan launched their biggest joint exercise ‘Keen Sword’ with the South Korean military on December 3 n In a show of solidarity between the US, Japan and South Korea, the armed forces of the US and Japan launched their biggest joint exercise ‘Keen Sword’ on December 3, with South Korean military acting as observers. The exercise, conducted off Japan’s southern


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islands, marked the 50th anniversary of Japan-US alliance. Around 34,000 Japanese soldiers, along with 40 warships and 250 aircraft joined their 10,000 US counterparts for the exercise which concluded on December 10. Close on the heels of US President’s historic trip to India, the President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, made a four-day official visit to India which began on December 4. During his visit to India, Sarkozy signed seven crucial agreements relating to atomic energy, space and defence. The French President also reiterated his country’s support for India’s claim for a permanent seat in the United Nation’s Security Council. Signaling a triple strategic alliance in the offing, Foreign Ministers of the US, South Korea and Japan met in Washington on December 6. The three Foreign Ministers ostensibly discussed common security challenges in the Asia-Pacific region. The meeting however coincided with a bilateral military exercise ‘Keen Sword’, held between the US and the Japanese forces off Japan’s southern island. The Prime Minister of Pakistan Yousaf Raza Gilani and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan co-chaired the first High-Level Cooperation Council meeting in Ankara on December 7. After the meeting, the two Prime Ministers agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation and take it to ‘greater heights’ through enhanced cooperation in a range of areas, including defence. Turkey reportedly offered military hardware and assistance in infrastructure building to Islamabad. The Chief of Philippines’ Armed Forces Ricardo David undertook a five-day visit to China which commenced from December 7, onwards. The visit marked the signing of the first Military Logistics Agreement between Beijing and the Philippines, a key US ally in South East Asia. The agreement allows the Philippines to source military equip-

ment from China to combat domestic (Maoist) threats. n The US and South Korea agreed to establish a joint committee that would seek to enhance effectiveness of extended deterrence capability on the Korean peninsula. The terms of reference for the Extended Deterrence Policy Committee was signed during the 27th Security Policy Initiative meeting, held in Seoul on December 13. n China’s Primer Wen Jiabao visited India from December 15 to 17. The visit however yielded no major breakthrough in bilateral relations as contentious issues like border disputes, stapled visa for residents of Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, export of terrorism to the Indian soil from across the border were not addressed meaningfully. Both sides however agreed to reach a target of $100 billion in bilateral trades by 2015. n Japan’s Parliament approved new guidelines for its armed forces on December 17. The new guidelines titled ‘National Defense Programme Guidelines’ is the fourth such document and the first since 2004. Japan’s review of her defence guidelines comes at a time when Tokyo is facing renewed threats to its maritime security. Tokyo’s new security policy focuses on new capabilities for its armed forces. n Following the recent visits to New Delhi by the Heads of State of the four permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, the United States, Britain, France and China, the President of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Medvedev paid a two-day visit to India from December 20, onwards. Russia and India agreed to partner, among other things, for the joint development of a fifth generation ­ fighter aircraft. n On December 20, South Korea conducted a Live-Fire Military Exercise on Yeonpyeong Island which was attacked about a month back by North. The Artillery Exercise, lasting for about 90

minutes, was held 30 km away from the heavily fortified borders between the two Koreas. Three days later, South Korean Navy also conducted its own exercise in the Sea of Japan, about 100 km south of the border with the North. South Korea conducted a series of military exercises the sinking of their naval vessel ‘Cheonan’ by a reported torpedo attack by North in March 2010.

: January 2011

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates talk with General Liang Guanglie on his visit to Beijing, January 10 n Defence Minister of South Korea Kim Kwan-jin and his Japanese counterpart Toshimi Kitazawa held bilateral discussion on defence cooperation in Seoul on January 10. During the talks, the two Ministers agreed to pursue agreements relating to sharing of intelligence and cooperation in military supplies and services. Facing common security threats, especially missile threats from North Korea and China’s assertive diplomacy in East Asia, Japan and South Korea are increasingly amenable to bilateral defence cooperation. n India’s Defence Minister A.K. Antony laid the foundation stone for a new research and development centre for defence shipbuilding, the National Institute for Research and Development in Defence Shipbuilding (NIRDESH), at Chaliyam in Kerala on January 4. The new facility, which would design warships for the Indian Navy and the Coast Guard, is expected to be raised over the next two years at an estimated cost of $133 million. n The US Defence Secretary Robert

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Calendar of Events  // Asia-Pacific Region // April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2011

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Gates held crucial consultations with his Chinese counterpart General Liang Guanglie in Beijing from January 10 to 12. The discussions reportedly centred on defence and security-related matters, especially Iran and North Korea. Gates’ visit to China was essentially aimed at preparing grounds for the Chinese President Hu Jintao’s state visit to the United States for summit level talks with the US President Barack Obama beginning January 19. The Indian Air Force (IAF) inducted the indigenously-developed multirole combat aircraft Tejas for initial operational clearance on January 10. The ceremony to hand over the new fighter aircraft was held at Bangalore and was attended by Defence Minister A.K. Antony. The LCA Tejas is expected to form a 200-strong fleet for the IAF, replacing the ageing Russian-made MiG-21 fleet. During a meeting with the US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates in Beijing on January 11, China’s President Hu Jintao confirmed the flight-testing of a stealth fighter aircraft by its armed forces. The flight testing of a stealth fighter by China however surprised many Western military analysts who had long speculated about the Chinese military’s interests in developing a stealth fighter but did not expect it to happen so early. Taiwan’s armed forces held a Live-Fire Air Defense Exercise on January 18, at the Jiupeng Air Base in the southern county of Pingtung, part of a regular training exercise. Nearly 30 per cent of the missiles fired however missed their targets. Taiwan’s President Ma Yingjeou later commented that he was not impressed with the air defence tests. China’s State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping released a disputed online map of South China Sea’s maritime boundaries on January 18, which gave nearly 80 per cent of the maritime rights in South China Sea to Beijing. The South China Sea is home to Paracel and

Spratley Islands whose sovereignty has remained disputed among a number of South East Asian countries, including Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Taiwan, Vietnam and China. n China’s Premier Hu Jintao undertook a three-day state visit to the US which began from January 19. The visit was apparently aimed at finding out issues of bilateral concerns, including trade, North Korea, and Iran. With no major breakthrough achieved, the summit was dubbed by experts a damp squib. The talks were held behind tightly closed doors. n Pakistan’s Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani explored possibilities of sharing military strategies with his Sri Lankan Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya in a meeting held in Colombo on January 20. The two service Chiefs also explored avenues of receiving further training opportunities for Sri Lankan military officers in Pakistan. n On January 22, military personnel from the US and Japan commenced an annual bilateral exercise ‘Yama Sakura 59’ at the Kengun base on the southern island of Kyushu, Japan. An estimated number of 5,500 Japanese army personnel and 1,500 US marines from Okinawa and the Seventh US fleet participated in the bilateral security exercises. The exercise, the 29th iteration of the Japan-based series was simulation driven. n One Indian fisherman was brutally killed on January 22, allegedly by the Sri Lankan Navy off Vedaranyam coast in Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu, leading to strong diplomatic protest by New Delhi over the incident. n The US Department of Commerce (DoC) removed a number of export controls on Indian state-owned defence entities including the four subsidiaries of the Indian Space Research Organisation and Defence Research and Development Organisation from the export control entities. The removal

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is expected to facilitate easy transfer of key US military and dual-use technologies to the Indian companies. The Bureau of Industry and Security published a Federal ­Register which notified these changes on January 24. n A fully operational frigate of the Indian Navy, INS Vindhyagiri capsized on January 31, after colliding with a Cyprus flag merchant vessel MV Nordlake near Sunk Rock lighthouse at the entrance of Mumbai harbour. The collision which had occurred one day before had led to a major crack in the hull of the ship. No causalities were however reported.

: February 2011

Defence Minister A.K. Antony receiving a memento of C-130 J Super Hercules transport aircraft on February 5 n The Indian Air Force inducted into its fleet the first of the six C-130 J Super Hercules transport aircraft on February 5. The transport aircraft was acquired from the United States as part of an agreement signed in 2008 for purchase of six transport aircraft at a cost of $1.2 billion. n A naval exercise concluded near the disputed Paracel Islands in the South China Sea by China’s South Sea Fleet on February 3. The exercise however drew sharp criticism from Vietnam which believed that the conduct of naval exercise by China was a serious violation of her sovereignty. n India’s Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and her Pakistan counterpart Salman Bashir met on February 6, on the sidelines of the Standing Committee meeting of the SAARC in Thimpu, Bhutan,


Calendar of Events  // Asia-Pacific Region // April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2011 apparently hoping to find a roadmap to start the dialogue that stopped after the 26/11 attacks. Describing the talks as ‘good’ and ‘useful’, India’s Foreign Secretary said that all major issues were discussed. “It was not a discussion dominated by one issue but we talked about the process and to chart the way forward, what the best modalities would be,” the Foreign Secretary said. n The Chairman of Nepal’s ruling Communist Party Jhalanath Khanal was sworn in as Nepal’s new Prime Minister on February 6. Nepal’s President Dr Ram Baran Yadav administered the oath of office to the new Prime Minister and his mini-cabinet after a sevenmonth-long crisis of leadership. n Border Guards of Thailand and ­Cambodia exchanged fire on February 6. The exchange took place near Preah Vihear, an 11th century temple around which a 4.6 sq km land is claimed by both countries. The crossfire was reported barely a day after a truce was reached between the two countries. The border between Thailand and Cambodia has never been completely demarcated and the issue of Preah Vihear temple has been an age-old dispute. n Extended over February 8 and 9, South and North Korea held their working-level military discussions in the demilitarised zone between the two countries. The talks had remained suspended earlier due to the artillery shelling by North Korea’s troops on Yeonpyeong Island three months ago. With North Korea refusing to apologise for the incident, the talks failed to break the impasse between the warring Koreas. n Aero India 2011, the sixth air show in the biennial series and South Asia’s largest air show was held in Yelahanka at the outskirts of Bangalore, India from February 9 to 13. An astounding number of 675 arms manufacturers from 30 countries including India displayed their military hardware. n The Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security

(ISIS) in a report released on February 9, confirmed about the construction of a fourth military nuclear reactor by Pakistan at its Khusab nuclear site in Punjab province. The agency based its report on DigitalGlobe commercial satellite imageries which were received on January 15. Pakistan is believed to have recently concluded an agreement with China for the construction of its fourth nuclear reactor. n After weeks of protest in Cairo and other cities, Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak was finally forced to step down from his office on February 11. The fleeing President chose to hand over the reins of power to the Army which had played largely a neutral role in the nationwide protests. n The Chief of Japan’s Ground Self Defence Forces General Yoshifumi Hibako undertook a three-day visit to India which commenced from February 14, onwards. In the first-ever Army-toArmy contact between India and Japan, Yoshifumi Hibako interacted with the senior military officials from India, including India’s Defence Minister A.K. Antony. Discussions were reportedly held on a wide-range of subjects, including terrorism and sea piracy. n In what could be seen as a provocation for Israel, Egypt’s new government allowed two Iranian naval warships to sail through the Suez Canal en route to Syria on February 22, the first such occasion over the last three decades. n Amid signs of improvement in US-China ties, the US Navy’s Seventh Fleet Command Ship, USS Blue Ridge, was allowed to dock in Hong Kong on February 19. Military exchanges between the US and China remain considerably strained since January 2010 over the resumption of arms sale to Taiwan. n During the eighth round of ChinaPakistan Defence and Security Dialogue held in Beijing on February 23, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Chief General Chen Bingde

reportedly stressed on the need for joint action for the development of sophisticated weapon systems including aircraft and tanks and those related to anti-terrorism operations. n At least four persons were killed and six others injured while 13 containers reduced to scrap when unknown armed militants attacked huge supply of NATO oil tankers in Jamil terminal near Garhi Qamar Din area on the outskirts of Pakistan’s Peshawar on February 25. n On February 25, Russia’s Parliament approved a deal struck with the United States allowing for the transit facilities for the NATO military equipment and personnel across the Russian territories while easing the reliance of NATO on Pakistan as a transit route. Eighty per cent of NATO’s supplies expectantly pass through Pakistan, giving the country an enormous leverage over the United States in the war on terrorism. n Key Resolve, an annual command post exercise conducted between the armed forces of South Korea and the US, was held over 11 days starting from February 28. The computer simulated exercise, conducted throughout South Korea, drew together some 2,00,000 South Korean and 12,800 US troops.

: March 2011

DRDO successfully launched ballistic missile interception in Orissa on March 6

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Calendar of Events  // Asia-Pacific Region // April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2011 n Australia’s new National Security Strategy was unveiled on March 1. Shaping Security in a New Decade, the strategy document was presented by Chancellor Werner Feymann and Deputy Chancellor Josef Proell. The new strategy however has been dubbed as too NATO friendly by critics who believe that it does not sufficiently address the threats like cyber security, terrorism, natural disaster and illegal migration. n A day after Russia had reportedly announced its plan to deploy Yakhont anti-ship cruise missiles and Tor-M2 missile shield to the Southern Kurils, Japanese and Russian officials met in Tokyo on March 3, ostensibly to discuss the disputed island chain amid increasing tensions between the two countries. n A two-day meeting of Defense Policy Group between the US and India was held in Washington from March 3 to 4, ostensibly to discuss the regional security dynamics, including mutual concerns and maritime security issues. India’s Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar led the Indian side of the delegation, while the US Under Secretary of Defence for Policy Affairs Michele Flournoy led her country’s delegation. n As part of an exercise to develop indigenous missile defence capabilities, scientists of India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully carried out a ballistic missile interception test on March 6, in the eastern state of Orissa. The incoming ‘’enemy’’ ballistic missile was intercepted at an altitude of 16 km and was destroyed through ‘’a direct kill.’’ n Japan protested strongly officially at the “extremely dangerous” behaviour of a Chinese helicopter which buzzed a Japanese destroyer in the East China Sea on March 7. According to Japan’s Defence Minister, the heli-

copter flew dangerously close to the destroyer at an altitude of about 40 metres. The Japanese ship reportedly was on patrol mission near a disputed gas field that both countries want to exploit. Japanese official declined to give details of where the latest incident occurred, but denied media reports that it was near the controversial Chunxiao gas field. n Taiwan’s Ministry of Defence announced on March 7, that it planned to cut the number of service personnel by 9,200 this year. The cutbacks are part of President Ma Yingjeou’s plan to downsize the country’s armed forces by more than 60,000 or 20 per cent over the next year. n A five-day multinational naval exercise “Aman 2011” was held off Pakistan’s coast in the Arabian Sea from March 8 to 12. The exercise, structured around non-traditional maritime threats such as piracy and terrorism, etc involved warships, aircraft, special operation forces from 39 countries n The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) approved the safeguards agreement between Pakistan and China for building two new nuclear power reactors at the existing facility at Chashma in Pakistan. The IAEA approved the agreement at a meeting of its Board of Governors held in Vienna on March 8. n The Dalai Lama, the spiritual and political leader of millions of Tibetans living in Tibet and other parts of the world, on March 13 sent a formal letter to Tibet’s Parliament-in-exile, asking to be relieved of his political authority. An announcement to this effect was made by the Dalai Lama on March 10, on the occasion of the 52nd Tibetan Uprising Day. The Dalai Lama also announced that his successor would be elected democratically. n At Nepal’s Army Chief General Chhatraman Singh Gurung’s invita-

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tion, Chief of People’s Liberation Army General Chen Bingde undertook a three-day visit to Nepal which commenced on March 23. Leading a 15-member delegation, General Chen Bingde interacted with senior military officials of Nepal’s Army and pledged the largest ever military aid to the tiny Himalayan State—$19.8 million. n South Korea unveiled its third naval destroyer on March 24. The destroyer is said to be equipped with Aegis Missile Defence Technology. The launching ceremony for the destroyer was held at a shipyard in the seaside city of Ulsan. Built by Lockheed Martin, the new destroyer is expected to be deployed for maritime duties by 2013. n On March 26, a helicopter on a maritime survey ship of China’s State Oceanic Administration flew to a point at an altitude of 60 metres and a horizontal distance of 90 metres from the Isoyuki Destroyer of Japan’s Maritime Self Defence Force and circled around the ship. In a similar flamboyant action, a Chinese helicopter had buzzed a Japanese naval vessel on March 7. n The Secretary level talks between India and Pakistan was held in New Delhi on March 27 and 28. Leading a sixmember delegation, Pakistan’s Home Secretary Chaudhary Qamar Zaman interacted with his Indian counterpart Gopal K. Pillai, ostensibly discussing a range of bilateral issues including Pakistan’s reluctance to bring perpetrators of 26/11 to justice. Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh invited his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani to jointly witness the Cricket World Cup semi-final match, played between the two countries, at Mohali on March 30, an indication of further thawing of relations between South Asia’s two beleaguered neighbours. Compiled by Sanjay Kumar

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SP's Military Yearbook 2011-2012 - Calendar of Events  

SP's Military Yearbook 2011-2012 - Calendar of Events > Asia-Pacific Region [April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2011]

SP's Military Yearbook 2011-2012 - Calendar of Events  

SP's Military Yearbook 2011-2012 - Calendar of Events > Asia-Pacific Region [April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2011]

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