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


2002 Jan. 3, China (People's Republic): The People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) sign a contract for the purchase of two Russian Project 956EM SOVREMENNY class destroyers, deliveries slated to take place by 2006. Two SOVREMENNY class destroyers are already in Chinese service as of this date.

2002 Feb. 8, United States of America: According to a New York Times report, the National Security Archive, an independent research group, released documents today, including a transcript of a meeting on July 9, 1971, between then-Chinese Prime Minister Zhou Enlai and then-US national security adviser Henry Kissenger. During the meeting Kissinger promises the United States would not support Taiwanese independence in return for Chinese pressure on Vietnam to end the war. Kissenger reportedly says the US would remove two- thirds of its troops from Taiwan once the Vietnam War ended in return for Chinese support.

2002 March 10 - 12, United States of America: Taiwan Defense Minister Tang Yiau-ming and Chief of the General Staff Li Chieh meets informally with US Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly during a US-Taiwan non-governmental business meeting in Florida. This follows on the U.S. Pacific Command's invitation to Taiwanese military officers to attend a 12-week course on security matters at the Hawaii-based Asia-Pacific Center for Strategic Studies. Four People's Liberation Army (PLA) officers who are also scheduled to attend the same course are expected to withdraw in protest.

2002 April, China (People's Republic): According to an article in the Washington Times on April 29, earlier in the month China shipped eight rail cars loaded with missile canisters containing what are believed to be CSS-6 Mod 2 missiles intended for the missile bases at Leping and Fuzhou. According to unnamed US intelligence officials the shipments are the fifth or sixth such delivery since the beginning of 2002. "China is continuing to deploy — and in fact has accelerated recently — its deployment of missiles which range Taiwan," said Admiral Dennis Blair, commander of US forces in the Pacific, to reporters in Hong Kong April 18.

2002 May 1 - 3 United States of America: Chinese Vice-President Hu Jintao visits the United States and meets US President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as well as computer chip maker Intel.

2002 June 24, China (The People's Republic): The Washington Post reports that China has entered into talks with Russia for the purchase of eight more diesel-powered Project 636 Kilo-class submarines equipped with Klub long-range anti-ship missiles, the export version of the Russian SS-NX-27 Novator Al’fa anti-ship missile.

2002 July 1, China (The People's Republic): According to a Washington Times report, China's air force test-fired a new air-to-air missile during the last week in June identified by U.S. intelligence agenciesas the Russian-made AA-12 Adder. Two Chinese Su-30 fighters were used to launch the missiles in flight.

2002 July 2, China (The People's Republic): According to a Washington Times article, Israeli "Harpy" Lethal Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), equipped with a small warhead and functioning as an anti-radar weapon are identified in service with the People's Liberation Army (PLA) while conducting large-scale exercises in southern Fujian province opposite Taiwan.

2002 July 10, Taiwan (National Republic): Taiwan is slated to receive US$570 million to finance the uncompleted supersonic antiship missile project in 2003. The surface-to-surface Hsiung Feng 3 is designed to outperform China's Russian-made SS-N-22 Sunburn supersonic antiship missile. The missile has a reported range of 186 miles (300 km), within reach of China's Zhejiang and Fujian provinces and the waters east of Guangdong province.

2002 July 12, United States of America: The US Department of Defense releases its Annual Report on the Military Power of the People's Republic of China. It concludes that China is modernizing its military, particularly its missile technology, with an eye towards a potential conflict with Taiwan. The modernization program is said to be "heavily reliant upon assistance from Russia and other states of the former Soviet Union."

2002 July 15, United States of America: US Senators, including Republican Sens. Jon Kyl of Arizona, Robert C. Smith of New Hampshire and Jesse Helms of North Carolina and Democrat Sen. Robert G. Torricelli of New Jersey send a letter to Secretary of State Colin L. Powell urging the sale of AIM-120 to Taiwan, despite a ban on their export to Taiwan. The ban is the result of US policy not to be the first to introduce advanced missile technology to the region, however, China recently test fired two Russian-made AA-12 air-to-air missiles, which prompted the Senators' action. "We believe that China's test of the AA-12s should trigger the transfer of the AIM-120s to Taiwan as soon as they are produced," the senators said in the letter.

2002 July 19, Taiwan (National Republic): Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian proposes to the national stabilization alliance that they reject the 'one China' principle and 'one country, two system.' "All members in the cross-party national stabilization alliance should reject 'one country, two systems,' the 'one China' principle, and reject Taiwan becoming a Siamese twin with China."

2002 July 23, China (The People's Republic): The Washington Times reports that early in July China test fired a CSS-5 medium-range missile from a missile base in southern China. The CSS-5 flew approximately 1,300 miles (2,092 km). Satellite photographs of the impact revealed that in addition to the main warhead there were also six or seven decoy warheads, dubbed "penetration aids."

2002, August 3, Taiwan (National Republic): Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian calls for a referendum to be held regarding the question of independence saying, "Taiwan is not part of another country, nor is it a regional government or a province." Chen also said that Taiwan would maintain the current state of relations and not encourage independence if China renounced the possibility of using force.

2002, August 8, Taiwan (National Republic): Taiwan calls off naval exercises in a gesture to ease tensions with China raised by the recent pro-independence remarks by President Chen Shui-bian. The exercises, code-named Sea Shark, were slated for August 15 in waters off Hualien and were to involve anti-submarine, air defense and naval combat forces, according to the China Times.

2002 October 22 - 25, China (The People's Republic): Chinese President Jiang Zemin visits the United States and meets with US President George W. Bush.

2002 November 5, China (The People's Republic):.Taipei-based United Daily News reports that the PLA intends to order Russian Akula nuclear submarines as China's own development of SSNs has been delayed by technical difficulties. Two Slava-class cruisers armed with 16 P-500 antiship missiles which, with a 341 mile ( 550 km) range, are also part of the intended acquisition.

2002 November 27, Taiwan (National Republic): Taiwanese Lt Gen Shen Kuo-jen, director of the Ministry of National Defense's Integrated Assessment Office claims Taiwan has the ability to shoot down Chinese C-803 missiles . "The C-803 missile will not be a threat to taiwan no matter how far it can fly," said Kuo-jen. "As far as we know, the missile cannot fly ... 250 km [155 mi]. Even if it could fly that far, we have the ability to shoot it down before it reaches us." [Editorial note: The C-803 is the export name of the C-802, mistakeningly referred to by Kuo-jen in the original media report]

2002 November 23, United States of America: The US Department of Defense notifies Congress of its intention to sell Taiwan four Kidd-class destroyers and missiles for US$875 million. Also included with the potential sale are 248 SM-2 Block IIIA Standard missiles and 32 RGM-84L Block II Harpoon missiles.

2002 December 23, Taiwan (National Republic): According to Jane's Missiles and Rockets, Taiwan announces its opposition to a proposal put forward by Chinese President Jiang Zemin during talks President George W. Bush in October 2002, that China would remove all or some of the missiles targeting Taiwan if the US reduces arms sales to the island. Taiwan Foreign Minister Eugene Chien referred to the proposal as "unreasonable and unfair," as US weapons sales to Taiwan involve defensive rather than offensive systems.

Latest Update: September 9, 2003