1. Political relations
China established diplomatic relationship with Tunisia on January 10, 1964. The friendly cooperative relationship between the two countries in all fields is developing steadily. Tunisia attaches importance to the relationship with China, follows China's reform and open policy with interest, maintains high-level visits and other exchanges and develops cooperative partnership with China. Tunisia shares common views with China on many important international issues, and the two countries cooperate and support each other in international affairs. The Foreign Ministries of the two countries set up the periodical political consultation mechanism in December, 1996.
Year Chinese officials
Sept., 1958 Lei Renmin, Vice Minister of Foreign Trade (A trade Agreement was signed).
Jan., 1964 Premier Zhou Enlai, and Vice Premier Chen Yi,
May, 1984 Vice Premier Li Peng,
Jul., 1986 Premier Zhao Ziyang,
Sept., 1989 State councillor and Foreign Minister Qian Qichen,
Jul., and Jun., 1992 President Yang Shangkun,
Zhang Lianzhong, Commander of the Navy
Feb., 1993 Vice Foreign Minister Yang Fuchang,
1995 Wu Yi, Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation
Jan., 1996 Vice Premier and Foreign Minister Qian Qichen,
Oct., 1998 Vice Chairman of National People's Congress
Mar., Sept., Oct., Nov. 1999 Qian Shugen, Deputy Chief of General Staff,
Ji Peiding, Vice Foreign Minister, Dai Bingguo, Minister of the International Liaison Department of the Central Committee of the CPC, and Peng Peiyun, Vice Chairman of the NPC and Chairman of the All-China Women's Federation
Feb. and Nov., 2000 Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan, Dai Bingguo, Minister of International Liaison Department of the Central Committee of CPC, Vice Chairman of NPC Tian Jiyun, Vice Chairman of Central Military Commission and Defence Minister, Chi Haotian.
In April 2002, President Jiang Zemin visited Tunisia.
year Tunisian officials
1961 Masmoudi, Minister of Information and Tourism
Mar., 1975 Nouira, Prime Minister
Oct., 1984 Mzali, Prime Minister
Apr., 1991 Ben Ali, President
Dec., 1991 Neffati, General-Secretary of the Constitutional Democratic Assembly Party
May, 1993 Yahia, Foreign Minister
Feb., 1997 Mhenni, Minister of Health
May, 1999 Mustafa, Foreign Minister
Apr, Jun, Aug, Oct, 2000 Minister of Trade, Minister of Culture, General-Secretary of the Constitutional Democratic Assembly Party Abdorrahim Zouari, Minister of National Defence, Foreign Minister Yahia and Minister for International Cooperation and Foreign Investment(to attend Conference on China-Africa Cooperation Forum)
In June 2002, Tunisian Speaker of the Parliament Mebbadja and Minister of Women Affairs Naziha Ben Yeddl visited China.
In April 2002, President Jiang Zemin visited Tunisia and held talks with Tunisian President Ben Ali. The two countries signed the following documents:
The Agreement between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Republic of Tunisia on Economic and Technological Cooperation.
The Maritime Agreement between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Republic of Tunisia.
The Agreement between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Republic of Tunisia on Civil Air Transport.
The Agreement between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Republic of Tunisia on the Avoidance of Double Taxation on Income and on the Prevention of Tax Evasion.
The 2002, 2003 and 2004 Plans for the Execution of the Agreement between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Republic of Tunisia on Cultural Cooperation.
The Protocol between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Republic of Tunisia on the Dispatch by China of Medical Teams to Work in Tunisia.
Bilateral trade has been developing steadily. China has provided certain amount of economic aid to Tunisia since 1959. The volume of trade between China and Tunisia in 2001 was US$109,380,000. China mainly exports tea and light industrial products while imports phosphate fertilizer. From 1984, Chinese companies of labor service entered Tunisia, involving themselves in the infrastructure building, agriculture, light industry and other relater fields.
Important events in bilateral trade:
1958 The first trade agreement between the two countries was signed.
1960 The second trade agreement on implementing trade settlement by open account was signed.
1974 Open account was substituted with spot trade.
1979 The third trade agreement was signed.
1983 The Sino-Tunisian Joint Committee of Economic, Trade and Technological Cooperation was established.
1984 The first meeting of the Joint Committee was held in Tunisia.
1984 The two countries signed a protocol on barter trade, implementing double trade systems, i.e., barter trade and spot trade.
1991 The third meeting of the Joint Committee was held in Tunisia.
1993 The fourth meeting of the joint committee was held in Beijing.
1995 The fifth meeting of the joint committee was held in Tunisia.
1999 The sixth meeting of the joint committee was held in Beijing.
At present, China has contracted projects in gymnasium, water supply and sewage, environmental protection, energy and some other fields. Projects under construction include ceramic factory and others.
3. Exchanges and cooperation in culture, education, health and sports
The two governments signed an agreement on cultural cooperation in 1979. Tunisian Foreign Minister visited China in May 1999, and signed The 7th Executive Program of 1999, 2000 and 2001 in accordance with the Agreement on Cultural Cooperation between the two governments. During President Jiang Zemin's visit to Tunisia in April 2002, the two countries signed 'The 2002, 2003 and 2004 Plans for the Execution of the Agreement between the Chinese and Tunisian Governments on Cultural Cooperation'. China has sent groups to participate in activities like art festivals and film weeks in Tunisia. China and Tunisia have sent students to study in the other country since 1976. China has sent medical teams to Tunisia since 1973. The two countries signed agreement on exchanges in sports field and summary of talks. China began to send table tennis and gymnastics coaches to Tunisia in 1984. Tunisia has also sent teams of table tennis and gymnastics to China for training.
In July, 2000, the Chinese Ambassador to Tunisia Lu Guozeng completed, his term of service and left for China. He was replaced by the new China ambassador Mu Wen in Aug.
(Chinese Foreign Ministry October 10, 2006)