Official Name: The Islamic Republic of Mauritania (La République Islamique de Mauritanie)
Area: 1.03 million sq km
Mauritania had a population of 3.36 million in 2010.
Mauritanians can be generally divided to Moors and Black Africans. Thirty percent of Mauritanians are White Moors (Arab-Berbers), 40 percent are Haratins (also known as Black Moors) with traditions of Arabic culture and language, and the rest are Black Africans. The country's official language is Arabic, and French is widely used. Other ethnic languages include Hassaniya, Pulaar, Soninke and Wolof. About 96 percent of the residents are Islamists.
Capital: Nouakchott, with a population of 820,000 in 2010.
The capital's hottest month is September when the temperature is about 24 to 34 degrees Celsius. December is the coldest month, with a temperature ranging from 13 to 28 degrees Celsius.
Head of State: Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, who took office in August 2009
Major Holiday: Independence Day (also the National Day): November 28
Geography and Climate: Mauritania lies on the west of Sahara in Africa. It borders Western Sahara, Algeria, Mali and Senegal. It has a 667 km coastline bordering the Atlantic Ocean. It has a tropical desert climate, hot and dry. The annual average temperature is 25 degrees Celsius.
Bilateral relations with China:
The traditional friendship between the People's Republic of China and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania has a solid foundation. In 2010,the bilateral friendly relations continued to move forward steadily.
The two countries maintained friendly exchanges in all areas. Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz sent messages of condolence to President Hu Jintao in the wake of the earthquake in Yushu,Qinghai Province,and the mudslide disaster in Zhouqu,Gansu Province. In May, Mauritanian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Naha Mint Mouknass attended the fourth ministerial conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum in China. In July, Mauritanian Minister of Commerce, Handicrafts and Tourism Bomba Ould Daramane came to China for Mauritania's National Pavilion Day during World Expo 2010 Shanghai.
Business ties between the two countries continued to grow steadily. The two sides expanded mutually beneficial cooperation in fishing, infrastructure, telecommunications, mining and other sectors. On 29 December, China's Deputy International Trade Representative of the Ministry of Commerce Chong Quan and Mauritanian Minister of Economic Affairs and Development Sidi Ould Tah co-chaired the opening ceremony of the Second China-Mauritania Joint Committee of Economy and Trade, during which the two sides signed the Agreement on Economic and Technological Cooperation between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, thus basically completing the implementation of the Mauritania-related outcomes of the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.
Cooperation and exchanges in education and news media kept deepening. The Chinese language was taught as a major in the University of Nouakchott. China Radio International set up its radio station in Mauritania.