China-Austria Relations 2009-05-12 14:41:29   Print

    BEIJING, May 12 -- The following is description of China-Austria Relations:

    I. Political relationsundefined

    Chinaestablished formal diplomatic relations with Austriaon May 28, 1971and in September that year, the two sides appointed respectively its own ambassador to the other side. The setting-up of diplomatic relations between Chinaand Austriahas opened up a broad perspective for the development of the relations between the two countries. In April 1974, Austrian foreign minister Kirchschlager paid a visit to China. It is the most important delegation from Austrian side to visit Chinaat the beginning of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

    In 1980s, Chinabegan to implement the policy of reform and opening to the outside world in which Chinatook the strengthening of diplomatic relations with western European countries including that with Austriaas an important component part of its foreign policy and so it has injected in new vitality for the development of Sino-Austrian relations. The two countries have witnessed a speedy increase of exchanges in every field with an increasing expansion of cooperation. In April 1984, Member of the State Council and concurrently minister of foreign affairs Wu Xueqian visited Austria, being the first visit of Chinese foreign minister to Austriaafter the establishment of the diplomatic relations between the two countries. In September 1985, Austrian president Kirchschlager paid a visit to Chinawho's the first Austrian President ever visited Chinain history.

    In 1990s, the relations of the two countries showed a tendency of favorable development with the cooperation of the two countries in every field to see a speed-up development. In October 1991, Member of the State Council and concurrently minister of foreign affairs Qian Qichen paid an official visit to Austria. Speaker of the Austrian National Assembly Fischer visited Chinain January 1992. In April 1993, Austrian Prime minister Vranitzky visited China, the first Austrian prime minister who visited Chinain the history after the setting up of the diplomatic relations between the two countries. Chairman of the NPC Qiao Shi and Premier Li Peng paid respective visit to Austriain January and June 1994. In September 1995, Austrian President Klestil visited China. Chairman of the NPPCC Li Ruihuan visited Austriain September 1996. And in October that year, Austrian Prime minister Vranitzky visited Chinafor the second time. In March 1997, Speaker of Austrian National Assembly Fischer visited Chinafor the second time. In March 1998, Austrian Deputy prime minister and concurrently minister of foreign affairs Schussel visited China. And in May that year, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, Secretary of the Secretariat Ding Guangen paid a visit to Austria. In March 1999, President Jiang Zemin of the PRC paid a state visit to Austria, the first visit by the Chinese head of the state to Austria, thus forming another high tide in the history of relations between the two countries.

    In May 2001, the two sides gave a grand celebration on the 30thanniversary of the founding of the diplomatic relations between the two countries and Austrian President Klestil paid his second visit to China. In April 2002, Member of the State Council Simayi Aimaiti visited Austriaand July the same year, alternative member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, Secretary of the Secretariat, Chief of the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee Zeng Qinghong and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tang Jiaxuan paid respective visit to Austria. In August that year, Speaker of the Austrian Federal Assembly Bieringer visited China. In September Premier Zhu Rongji visited Austria. In November, Austrian Vice-prime minister and concurrently minister of public affairs and sports, Lady Ries-Passer visited China. In April 2003, Deputy speaker of the Austrian Federal Assembly, Lady Haselbach paid a visit to China.

        II. Trade relations and economic-technological cooperation

    In September 1964, Chinaand Austriasigned an exchange of letters on mutually setting up a commercial representative office. In October 1972, the two countries signed the "Agreement on Trade and Payment", which helped upgrade the trade relations among the people to that between the two governments. And afterwards the trade relations of the two countries witnessed a constant development.

    In September 1996, the two governments signed a new "Agreement for Cooperation in the fields of Economy, Industry, Techniques and Crafts and Technology". The trade value of the two countries came to US$ 1.37 billion in 2002, an increase of 35.3 percent as compared to that of the year before. The Chinese exports to Austriamainly include textile goods, garments, grain and oil foodstuff, animal husbandry products, arts and handicrafts, nonferrous metals while the Chinese imports from Austriamainly cover technological equipment, machinery, products of minerals, chemical and light industry products. Multifarious cooperation has been carried out between Chinaand Austriain hydropower, railway, metallurgy, machine-building and environment protection and highway construction and manufacturing of special vehicles as well.

        III. Exchanges and cooperation in the fields of culture, science and technology, education and military affairs

    Along with the development of the political and trade relations between Chinaand Austriathe cultural exchanges of the two countries became quite active with frequent mutual visits of cultural groups. The Chinese acrobatic, children' and Tibetan artistic troupes paid visits to Austria one following the other and also held there was the "Chinese Modern Painting Show" while Austria held its "Painting Show of Austellung Max Weiler", etc. Straus Philharmonic Orchestra, Vienna Boys' Choir and Wiener Philharmonie and Vienna National Opera House paid their visits to China. Starting from 1998, the Chinese Central Folk Melody Troupe began to stage "Spring Festival Concert" every year in the Vienna Golden Hall. In October 1999, The CCTV together with the Austrian National TV held an Evening Party of Artistic Stage for Musicians in front of the Meridian Gate of the ImperialPalacewith almost 1000 artists from China, Austria, Germanyand Switzerlandtaking part in the performance and the program was televised live by the TV of the four countries. In November 2001, the two countries signed agreement for cultural cooperation.

    In 1984, after the Chinese and Austrian governments signed "Agreement on Sci-tech cooperation", the two sides carried out extensive project cooperation in the fields of medicine, remote-sensor, forestry, new materials and environment protection and for exchange of sci-tech personnel. In September 2001, the two sides held the 6thjoint meeting for intergovernmental sci-tech cooperation with 44 items for cooperation made known at it. The newly increased ones mainly cover such high-tech aspects as IT industry, nanometer science and biology, etc. The health, environment protection, agriculture, forestry, patent rights and tourism departments signed agreements with each other's counterpart for exchange and cooperation. In September 2002, the departments concerned of the two countries signed an "Agreement on Sino-Austrian Cooperation for Research and Proliferation of Giant Pandas". In March 2003, A pair of pandas Chinaleased to Austriawas transported to Viennawith a grand ceremony for handing over the giant pandas held in the Schonbrunn Zoo with Austrian Prime minister Schussel and Minister of Health Rauch-Kallat and others of over 2000 people attending the ceremony.

    The Chinese Ministry of Education and the Austrian Department for Sci-tech Researches began to exchange personnel for postgraduate studies. The cooperation between the institutes of higher learning of the two countries witnessed a favorable development with 15 Chinese institutes and colleges and 8 on the Austrian side having cooperation relations set up, and sending scholars and language teachers to lecture has become a sort of mechanism.

    In July 1973, Chinasent its first military attach®¶ to Austria. In July 1997, Austriasent its first military attach®¶ to China. In May 1997, the Austrian Minister of National Defence Fasslabend paid a visit to China, this being the first time for Austrian minister of national defence to visit Chinaafter the establishment of the diplomatic relations between the two countries. In May 1998, Member of the Central Military Commission, Chief of the General Staff of the PLA, General Fu Quanyou visited Austria. In March 1999, the 3rdAustrian Vice-minister of national defence, General Probst visited Chinaand In May 2001, the 4thAustrian Vice-minister of national defence General Corrieri visited China. In November 2001, Political Commissar of the General Logistics, General Zhou Kunren paid a visit to Austria. In September 2002, Assistant to Chief of the General Staff, Lieutenant General Li Yu visited Austria.

    Since 1983, Chinese cities and provinces formed into friendly cities and provinces with those of Austria. They are as follows: Chengduwith Linz, Guizhouprovince with Styria, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region with Karnten, Xuzhouwith Leoben, ShandongProvince with Upper Austria, Henanprovince with Tirol, Hunanprovince with Burgenland, Hainanprovince with Salzburg, Jinhua with Hollabrunn, Nanningwith Klagenfurtand Zhejiangprovince with Lower Austria.

    In June 1994, Chinaand Austriareached an agreement on the mutual setting up of general consulate in Salzburgand Shanghai. The Austrian General Consulate was opened at the end of that year.

    IV. Important bilateral agreements

    In September 1985, the governments of the two countries signed "Civil Aviation and Air-transportation Agreement"; In May 1989, China and Austria signed "Agreement on Cooperation of Health Work"; In July 1994, the two ministries of agriculture signed "Memorandum of Technological Cooperation in Agricultural Field"; In June 1997, the Sino-Austrian governments reached Agreement on the Exchange of Notes about the Retaining of Austrian General Consulate in Hong Kong after July 1, 1997; In October 2000, China and Austria signed the "Agreement for Tourism Cooperation between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Austrian Federal Government", In November 2001, the two governments signed the "Agreement on Cultural Cooperation".undefined

    (Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs website)

Editor: Wang Hongjiang
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