Full name: The People's Democratic Republic of Algeria
Population: About 36.3 million (2010). Most are Arabas and about 20 percent Berbers. The ethnic minorities in the country are Mzab and Tuareg. Arabic is the official language and French is commonly used. Islam is the state religion.
Capital: Algiers, with a population of 3.5 million.
Head of state: President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, elected in April, 1999, reelected in 2004 and 2009.
Major holidays: Indepence Day (July 5). National Day (Nov. 1).
Geography and climate: Algeria is located in northwest Africa. It borders the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Tunis and Libya to the east, Niger, Mali, and Mauritania to the south, and Morocco and Western Sahara to the west. It has a coastline of 1,200 km. Nothern Algeria enjoys Mediterranean climate, and the middle part of the country enjoys savannah climate. In the south, it belongs to tropical desert climate. August is the month when the weather is the hottest, with the highest temperature at 29℃ and lowest at 22℃; Janurary is the month when it is the coldest, with the highest temperature at 15℃, 9℃ being the lowest.
Area: 2.4 million sq km (919,595 sq miles)
Major languages: Arabic, French, Berber
Major religion: Islam
Life expectancy: 72 years (men), 75 years (women) (UN)
Monetary unit: 1 dinar = 100 centimes
Main exports: Oil, gas
GNI per capita: US $4,450 (World Bank, 2010)
Bilateral relations with China:
In 2010, the strategic and cooperative relationship between the People's Republic of China and the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria deepened and their exchanges and cooperation made new progress in various fields.
The two sides had continuous political exchanges. In March, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee Hu Jintao sent a congratulatory message to Abdelaziz Belkhadem on his re-election as Secretary-General of the National Liberation Front, the largest ruling party of Algeria. State Councilor Dai Bingguo and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi visited Algeria in July and January respectively. In April, Abdelkader Bensalah, President of the Council of the Nation, attended the opening ceremony of the Shanghai World Expo as representative of the Algerian president and met with Vice President Xi Jinping. In May, Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci came to China for the fourth Ministerial Meeting of the China-Arab Cooperation Forum. In July, Abdelaziz Belkhadem, Minister of State and Personal Representative of the President attended the National Day event of the Algeria Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo. President Abdelaziz Bouteflika sent a message of condolence to President Hu Jintao over the Yushu earthquake in Qinghai, and the Algerian government donated US$150,000 to the quake-hit area.
Economic cooperation and trade between the two sides produced fresh outcomes. Two-way trade continued to grow and with new progress made in project contracting cooperation between the two sides in Algeria, Algeria became one of the most important overseas project contracting markets of China in Africa. Investment cooperation maintained a sound momentum of growth. The two sides signed the Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation Between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria. In June, around 150 Chinese enterprises participated in the 43rd Algiers International Fair, making China the largest source country of participants. In December, Chairman of Finance and Budget Committee of Algerian Parliament Mohamed Kennai, led a delegation to China.
Inter-party, cultural, educational, health and local exchanges and cooperation continued to develop. In March, a CPC delegation attended the ninth Congress of the National Liberation Front of Algeria. In April, Chen Jianguo, Member of the CPC Central Committee and Secretary of the CPC Committee of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, led a CPC delegation to Algeria. The two countries signed a plan on the implementation of cooperation in higher education and scientific research for 2011-2013 and the new protocol on sending Chinese medical teams to Algeria. Vice Mayor of Beijing Gou Cuwen and Chairman of the CPPCC Hubei Provincial Committee Song Yuying visited Algeria on separate occasions.
Algeria: exception in Arab turmoil