1. Political relations
Central Africa once established "diplomatic relations" with Taiwan, a part of China's territory, in 1962. On September 29, 1964, China established diplomatic relations with Central Africa when the country severed its "diplomatic ties" with the Taiwan authority. However when Bokasa came to power, the Central African regime decided to cut off its diplomatic relations with China in January 1966 and resumed its "diplomatic relations" with Taiwan in May 1968. The relations between China and Central Africa were normalized following the signing of a joint communiqué between the two countries on August 20 1976. When Kolingba assumed the power of Central Africa in September 1981, bilateral relations between the two countries had made some advancement. In July 8, 1991, the Central African government again resumed its relations with Taiwan. Therefore, China had to announce the suspension of its diplomatic relations with Central Africa.
On January 29,1998, the two countries resumed ambassadorial-level diplomatic relations after signing the joint communiqué on the resumption of diplomatic relations.
Senior Chinese leaders and diplomats who visited Central Africa are: Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) Liu Ningyi (March 1965), Vice Foreign Minister Ji Pengfei (June 1965), State Councilor Zhang Jinfu (December 1986), State Councilor and Minister of Education Commission Li Tieying (November 1989), Vice Foreign Minister Ji Peiding (June 1998), Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan (January 2001).
Central African leaders and senior officials who visited China are: President Bokasa (November 1976), Chairman of Military Committee Kolingba (July 1983), Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Psimhis (May 1987), Foreign Minister Michel Bezzera-Bria (July 1988), President Kolingba (April 1990), the Speaker of the Parliament Michel Doku (July 1990), Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Mete-Yapende (September 1998), President Ange Patasse (June 1999).
Mr. Jacob Mbaitadjim, ministerial Delegate of the Premier Palacein Charge of Economic Planning and International Cooperation of Central Africa came to Beijing to participate in the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation/Ministerial Conference from October 10-12, 2000.
In April 2003, Vice Foreign Minister Yang Wenchang left for Central Africa to express sympathy and solicitude for the Chinese nationals, China-funded enterprises, as well as Chinese diplomatic staff who suffered from the turbulence taken place in the Central African Capital Bangui in March.
2. Trade relations and economic cooperation
Before July 1991, China had provided substantial aids to Central Africa and has undertaken numerous projects in the Central African country, e.g. Poyali agricultural technological station, the extension work of the Pingpo Radio Transmitting Station, a training center for straw-bamboo weaving handcrafts, a clinic in the presidential house, the Bangui hospital and agricultural project, etc. Since the resumption of diplomatic relations in January 1998, the trade and economic relations between the two countries have been gradually resumed. The projects being undertaken by in Central Africa are 100 sets of low-cost houses, small-scale schools and stadiums. The two countries will continue to cooperate on such projects as Mpoko Farmland, Poyali Agricultural Technological Station, and Pingpo Broadcasting Transmitting Station.
In November 2000, China and Central Africa signed an agreement on trade, economic and technical cooperation.
The trade volume between the two countries in 2002 reached US$ 1.944 million, of which China's export was US$ 0.687 million and the import US$ 1.257 million. China mainly exports textiles, footwear and mechanical and electrical products to Central Africa, and imports cotton and timber from the country.
3. Exchanges in other fields
China and Central Africa signed an agreement on cultural cooperation in June 1980. The two countries renewed the agreement during the visit of Central African Minister of Tourism, Art, and Culture Gbandi to China in June 1998.
Since 1997, China has begun to accept Central African students for on-the-job training and study. Since the resumption of bilateral diplomatic relations, China has resumed its scholarship provision to Central African students. Currently, China annually provides five quotas of scholarship for Central Africa. In 2002, there were 18 Central African students studying in China.
In November 1976, the governments of China and Central Africa signed an agreement on dispatching Chinese medical teams to Central Africa. According to the agreement, China had dispatched seven medical teams comprising 97 personnel successively from 1978 to 1990. The two countries renewed the agreement in May 1998. Currently, there are 16 Chinese medical personnel working in Central Africa.
In August, Deputy Head of the International Liaison Department of the CPC Central Committee Ma Wenpu led a CPC delegation to visit Central Africa.
4. Important bilateral agreements
(1) The Joint Communiqué between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Central Africa on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations (September 29, 1964):
The Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Republic of Central Africa, in accordance with the interests and wishes of the people of the two countries, decide to establish diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level. The two Governments have common consensus to develop bilateral relationship of friendship and cooperation on the basis of the five principles of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence.
(2) The Joint Communiqué on the Normalization of the Relations between the People's Republic of China and The Republic of Central Africa(August 20, 1976):
The Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Republic of Central Africa, on the basis of the principles of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence decide to normalize their relations and resume bilateral diplomatic ties from August 20, 1976, after holding friendly discussions. The two countries also decide to mutually exchange accredited ambassadors.
(3) The Joint Communiqué on the Resumption of Diplomatic Relations between the People's Republic of China and The Republic of Central Africa(January 29,1998)
(a)The Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Republic of Central Africa reaffirm to stick to the purpose and principles of the United Nations Charter and agree to develop and strengthen bilateral friendly relations of cooperation. The two Governments, in conformity with the interests and desire of the people of the two countries, decide to resume diplomatic relations between the two countries from January 29, 1998, They also agree to establish their respective embassies in Beijing and Bangui.
(b) The Republic of Central Africa realizes the reality and validity of the Resolution No.2758 adopted in the UN General Assembly in 1971, and recognizes the Government of the People's Republic of China as the sole legitimate Government representing the entire Chinese people, and Taiwan is a part of China.
(c) The Government of the People's Republic of China supports the Government of Central Africa in its lofty cause of safeguarding national independence and state sovereignty, and in its efforts for national reconstruction and social development.
(d) The Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of Central Africa agree to provide each other with necessary convenience for the normal performance of the embassies in their respective capitals on a reciprocal basis.
(Chinese Foreign Ministry October 10, 2006)