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1. Political relations

The People's Republic of China and the Republic of Benin established diplomatic relations on November 12, 1964, yet in January 1966, Benin unilaterally severed the relations with China and the April that year found it to "resume relations" with Taiwan. On December 29, 1972, the Mathieu Kérékon Government restored the relations with China and then the relations saw a favorable development afterwards.

Since the restoration of the diplomatic relations, Chinese leaders and officials who visited Benin mainly include: Ji Pengfei, Vice-chairman of the NPC standing committee (December 1978), Tian Jiyun, Vice-premier of the State Council (December 1984), Qian Qichen, Vice-premier and concurrently minister of foreign affairs (January 1995), Bu He, Vice-chairman of the NPC standing committee (December 1996), Tang Jiaxuan, Minister of Foreign Affairs (June 1998), Chen Jinhua, Vice-chairman of the NPPCC (December 1998), Wu Yi, Member of the State Council (January 2000) and Wang Guangya, Vice-minister of Ministry of Foreign Affairs (January 2002), etc.

Leaders and officials who visited China from Benin mainly include: Michel Alladaye, Minister of foreign affairs (December 1972), Kérékon, President of Benin (July 1976, December 1986, January 1998), Ifede Simon Ogouma, Minister of foreign affairs and cooperation (October 1981), Tianiou Adjibade (June 1984), Frederic Affo (June 1986), Pierre Osho (December 1991, February 1997), Antoine Kolawole Idji (October 2000 for attending the "Beijing Ministerial Meeting 2000 of the Sino-African Cooperation Forum"), Nicephore Soglo, President of Benin (May 1992), Desire Vieyra, Minister of National Defence and concurrently Minister of State Affairs (October 1993), Bruno Amoussou, Minister of State Affairs (October 2000), Adrien Houngbedji, Speaker of the National Assembly (March 1994), Abraham Zinzindohoue (April 1997), Abraham Zinzindohoue, President of the Supreme Court (April 1997), Valentin A Agbo, President of Economic and Social Council (October 1997) and Raphiou Toukourou, President of Economic and Social Council (April 2002).

2. Bilateral economy and trade relations and economic and technological cooperation

China and Benin signed agreements on trade, economic and technological cooperation, and set up a mixed committee for economic and trade cooperation, which called its third meeting in Beijing in November 1997.

Since the restoration of the diplomatic relations in 1972, the Chinese government has aided Benin one after another with such projects as farmland development, friendship stadium, Lokossa Spinning and Weaving Mill, Lokossa Hospital, Government office building, conference building and the expansion project of the Lokossa spinning and weaving mill. Now that are under implementation are the Marlanville Reclamation Area and technical cooperation for the Deve and Cove two reclamation areas and the technical cooperation project for the friendship stadium, etc.

In recent years it has witnessed a faster development of trade between China and Benin. The year of 1997 saw for the first time the bilateral trade value break US$ 100 million and 2001 found to rise to US$ 520.49 million, of which the Chinese export made up US$ 520.43 million. In the year of 2002, the value reached US$ 437.85 million, of which the Chinese export accounted for US$ 420.85 million. The Chinese exports mainly cover textile goods, light industry and mechanic and electric products while the imports are the cotton and cashew-nut with shells, etc. At present the Chinese companies registered in Benin include: Shanghai Representative Office in Benin, Pan-Africa (Benin) Group Co. Ltd, Jianhua Industry and Commerce Co. Ltd of Fujian Foreign Trade Center, China ? Africa Agricultural Machinery Center, Guangzhou Representative Office for Import and Export Companies in Benin, Representative Office for Zhejiang Zhongda Garment Import and Export Co. in Benin, Representative Office for Shanghai Huayuan Group Co. in Benin, and Representative Office for Shenzhen Huikai Co. in Benin and so on.

The mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Benin was started in 1985. The Chinese companies have undertaken one after another such projects as Save - Parakou Highway, Islamic Cultural Center, Small-sized Water Dam and well-sinking and so on.

3. Cooperation in the fields of culture, education, medical work, consular and military affairs

China and Benin signed the cultural agreement. According to it the Chinese side has set up the "China Cultural Center" in Cotonou. China started to accept Benin students to study in China from 1973 and now there are a total of 25 Benin students studying here in China.

The two countries signed a protocol for China to send medical team to help work in Benin. Since 1978 till now China has sent a total of 13 batches of medical team to Benin, and now there are 26 Chinese medical personnel working in Benin.

In May 1992, China signed with Benin the agreement for mutual-exemption of visas for persons with passports for diplomatic, service, public affairs and private business, which came into force in November 1993. Benin has established an honorary consulate in Hong Kong SAR of China.

China and Benin have friendly exchanges and cooperation in the military field. Amoussou, Chief of the General Staff and Osho, Minister of National Defence and State Affairs paid visits to China respectively in 1993, 1998, 2000 and 2002. Liu Kai, Assistant to the Chief of the General Staff of the PLA, General Liu Jingsong, Commander of Lanzhou Military Zone and General Zhou Kunren, Political Commissar of the General Logistics Department of the PLA, and General Jiang Futang, Political Commissar of Shenyang Military Zone headed the Chinese military delegations to visit Benin respectively in 1982, 1995, 2000 and 2002.

In 1987, the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region formed into friendly regions with Borgu Department of the Republic of Benin.

4. Important bilateral agreements

A "Joint Communiqué on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations of the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Dahomey " was signed between the two countries in December, 1972.

(Chinese Foreign Ministry October 10, 2006)

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