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The chronology will be expanded to track major cross-straits issues and events so check back often.


2000 March 6, China (People's Republic): Beijing announces a 12.7-percent increase in military spending totaling US$14.5-billion in order to modernize the PLA, now numbering 2.5-million.

2000 March 18, Taiwan (National Republic): Taiwan holds its second free presidential elections. The election of Chen Shui-bian of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), effectively ending over 50 years of Nationalist (Kuomintang) rule of Taiwan. China states in response to Chen's election that "Taiwan independence, in whatever form will never be allowed.''

2000 May 18, China (People's Republic): Russia delivers the first shipment of 24 SS-N-22 Sunburn anti-ship cruise missiles for deployment on a Chinese SOVREMENNY class destroyer. Sunburns have a range of approximately 65 miles (120 km).

2000 June 20, Taiwan (National Republic): Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian invites Chinese President Jiang Zemin to a peace summit. China insists that Taiwan accept the "one China" principle before talks begin. Chen and the DPP called for independence from mainland China in the past but had toned down his position before the election. China adopts a cautious attitude and indicates it is open to talks with Chen.

2000 Aug. 8, United States of America: An unclassified Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) report details China's weapon's sales to foreign nations including increased missile-related sales to Pakistan in 1999, continued supply of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and ballistic missile technology to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK-North Korea), Libya and Iran. In addition, the report also concludes that China continued its relationship with Pakistan's nuclear weapons officials, a violation of an agreement made by China in 1996 to halt aid to nuclear programs in Pakistan not under direct international control.

2000 Aug. 21, China (People's Republic): China announces the end of a major military exercise that tested new tactics against Taiwan. Approximately 150,000 army, marine, air force, navy and missile troops participated in this exercise. The main amphibious assault tested new types of weapon systems including amphibious fighting vehicles and helicopter gunships.

2001 April 24, United States of America: Responding to a Chinese military build-up, President George W. Bush approves the largest package of arms sales to Taiwan in nearly 10 years. China formally protests and White House officials deny that it is related to the recent standoff over the detained crew of a US Navy EP-3 surveillance plane that collided with a Chinese F-7 fighter jet (Apr. 1).

2001 April 26, United States of America: In a television interview President Bush says that the United States would do "whatever it took" to help Taiwan defend itself from China.

2001 April 30, China (People's Republic): A Washington Times report reveals that "Russian military forces intervened in a mock nuclear conflict between China and the United States over Taiwan during strategic exercises that included Russian preparations to use nuclear weapons on U.S. forces in Asia," during war game exercises from February 12-16. According to an NSA intelligence report the exercises simulated a Chinese attack on Taiwan followed by US ground troops deploying to Taiwan. The simulated Chinese response was a series of tactical nuclear strikes against US forces which was followed in turn by a US nuclear strikes on Chinese forces. In this scenario Russia would respond with threats of nuclear strikes against US forces in Taiwan, Japan and South Korea. During the exercise Japan intercepted two Russian Tu-22 bombers and two Su-27 fighter-bombers they said had violated its airspace, which Russia denied.

2001, May 23, United States of America: Taiwnese President Chen Shui-bian arrives in New York in a stop over during his visit to Latin America. His visit was approved by the US government earlier in the month.

2001, July, Taiwan (National Republic): Chung Shan Inst conducts the first full live-fire testing of the Hsiung Feng III supersonic antiship missile this month following a three month delay. If the trials are successful, a production decision is expected by end-2001 (allowing its low-rate initial manufacture to begin in 2002). The 1,500-kg Hsiung Feng 3 can reach speeds up to Mach 2 with a range of range of 186 miles (300 km). Unconfirmed reports suggest a rocket booster and ramjet sustainer engine power the missile in flight. To be fitted to VLS mountings aboard its FFG-7 and Lafayette class frigates.

2001, July 10, China (People's Republic): Beijing rejects a confederation proposal raised by the Kuomintang (KMT), Taiwan's biggest opposition party, in a KMT policy paper released on July 11.

2001, July 10, Taiwan (National Republic): President Chen Shui-bian rejects Beijing's offer to reunify under a Hong Kong-style "one country, two systems" formula.

2001, August 17, South China Sea: Two US aircraft carriers, the USS Carl Vinson, the USS Constellation and their battle groups, carried out a one-day exercise in the sea, most of which is claimed by Beijing. This is in response to PLA exercises on and around Dongshan Island in the Taiwan Strait begun on Sunday, Aug. 12.

2001, November 11, China (People's Republic): A Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) navy task group, composed of the Luhai class guided missile destroyer Shenzhen and the Fuqing class replenishment ship Fengcang, arrive in Hong Kong for a three-day visit, the first portcall by the Chinese navy to Hong Kong PLA troops were first deployed to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) on July 1, 1997.

2001, December 1, Taiwan (National Republic): In elections, President Chen Shui-bian's Democratic Progressive Party wins 87 of the 225 seats in the legislature with 37 percent of the vote. The Nationalists (Kuomintang), who support eventual reunification with China, win just 68 seats in the legislature (down from 110) with 31 percent of the vote. This marks the first time the Kuomintang has been replaced as the majority party in the legislature.

Latest Update: September 9, 2003