1. Political relations
The Republic of Congo gained its independence on Jun. 30, 1960. At the time Premier Zhou Enlai and Foreign Minister Chen Yi sent a respective message to Lumumba Government, expressing the congratulation and recognition. In August, the two governments of China and Congo began to talk on the establishment of diplomatic relations but came to a stop due to the coup staged by Mobutu. In October, the Congolese Kasavubu government "established diplomatic relations" with the Taiwan Authority. On February 19, 1961Chinarecognized the government headed by Gizenga as the sole and legitimate government of the Congo and established diplomatic relations between the two countries on February 20 that year. On September 18 the same year as Gizenga went to Adula and the government had so called "diplomatic relations" with the Taiwan Authority, China decided to call back its embassy, hence the temporary suspension of the relations between China and Congo. In 1964, the Congolese government headed by Tshombe Moise changed the country name into the Republic of Congo, shortened as the Congo (Li). In November 24, 1965, Mobutu, commander of the national army turned down the Kasavubu government and assumed president himself with the name of the capital city changed into Kinshasa in 1966 and later on October 27, 1971changed the country name into the Republic of Zaire. China and Zaire realized normal relations on November 24, 1972and since then the relations between the two countries saw a constant development. President Mobutu visited China for five times (January 1973, December 1974 March 1980, June 1982 and October 1994). The other Zaire leaders and officials who visited China include: Nguza Karl-I-Bond, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (November 1973), Kassongo Mukumgi, Speaker of the National Assembly (July 1984), Wa Dondo Kengo, First Member in charge of the State Affairs (June 1986).
Chinese leaders and officials who ever visited the Congo include: Huang Hua, Minister of Foreign Affairs (June 1978), Li Xiannian, Vice-premier of the State Council (January 1979), Zhao Ziyang, Premier of the State Council (January 1983), Tian Jiyun, Vice-premier of the State Council (December 1984), Rong Yiren, Vice-chairman of the NPC (January 1985), Zhang Jinfu, Member of the State Council (November 1986), Li Tieying, Member of the State Council and Director-General of the National Education Commission (November 1989), Qian Qichen, Vice-premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs (January 1995).
In May 1997, the Mobutu government was toppled by Laurent-Desire Kabila who assumed the head of the state and resumed the name of the country "The Democratic Republic of the Congo". The two countries continued to consolidate and develop the friendly and cooperative relations. In December 1997, President Kabila paid a state visit to China. In January 2000, Machako Mamba, Congolese minister of health visited China, and in October the same year, Leonard She Okitundu, Minister of Foreign affairs and International Cooperation headed a delegation to attend the Beijing Ministerial Meeting 2000 of the Sino-African Cooperation Forum. In January 2001, Kabila was assassinated and his son Joseph Kabila succeeded him as president. In April 2001, Yang Wenchang, Vice-minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs paid a visit to the Congo and in December the same year Leonard She Okitundu, Congolese minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation visited China. In March, 2002 President Joseph Kabila paid a state visit to China. In January 2003, Tang Jiaxuan, Minister of Foreign Affairs visited the Congo.
2. Economy and trade relations and economic and technological cooperation
China has provided the Congo (DRC) with some economic aids, taking up such complete sets of project as: the people's palace, stadium, sugar-refinery combine, handmade agricultural tool plant, rice-planting technique promotion station, trade center and Kinshasa mail distribution center and so on.
The two countries started the mutual-benefit cooperation in 1982. The Chinese company of agriculture, animal-husbandry and fishery for international cooperation, Chinese import and export co. (Group) of complete sets of equipment and the headquarter of China architectural engineering co. as well as some such provinces and cities as Heilongjiang, Hunan, Beijing and Jiangsu all signed contracts for workforce undertakings with the Congo one after the other. China also opened up the solely-owned Huamao Forest & Timber Co. Ltd and the New Oasis Coffee Co. in Congo (DRC). In 1997, the two sides signed an "agreement on mutual protection and encouragement of investment". In 2000, China Zhongxing Telecommunications Co. Ltd made a joint decision with the Congolese government (DRC) to use the preferential loans of China Import and Export Bank for setting up the China Telecommunications Co. Ltd in Congo.
In 1973 and 1988, the two countries signed two trade agreements, stipulating the trading between the two Parties to be on cash payment basis, granting to each other preferential treatment. The year of 2002 saw China's goods import and export value come up to US$ 31.46 million, a rise of 51.4 percent as compared with that of the same period of 2001, of which the Chinese export value taking up US$ 18.99 million, an increase of 44.6 percent over that of 2001 while the import value registered US$ 12.47 million, a growth of 62.2 percent as against that of 2001. The major exports from China are machines, light industry products, and the imports are some mineral ores of copper, cobalt and zinc etc.
3. Other exchanges
The two countries signed cultural agreement in March 1980, and further signed agreement for cooperation in higher education and scientific researches in November 1989. Now every year China provides the Congo (DRC) with a quota of 5 scholarships and up to 2002 there are 21 Congolese students studying in China. Starting from 1993 China began to send medical team to the Congo (DRC) numbering 12 batches with a total of 360 medical personnel. But they were withdrawn during its civil war period and now it is ready to resend them there.
4. Important bilateral agreements
The "Joint Communiqué on the Normalization of Relations Between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Zaire". (November 19, 1972)
Through friendly consultations the two governments of the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Zaire agreed to normalize the relations of the two countries on the principles of mutual respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other's internal affairs and equality and mutual benefit and peaceful coexistence and send foreign representatives at the ambassadorial level to each other's country as from November 24, 1972 onwards.
(Chinese Foreign Ministry October 10, 2006)