Official Name: The Republic of Tunisia (la Répubique Tunisienne)
Area: 162,155 sq km
Tunisia had a population of 10.4 million in 2010.
More than 90 percent of the residents are Arabians, and the rest are Berbers. The official language is Arabic, and French is commonly used across the country. Islamism is the state religion, with the majority beingSunni Muslims. A few people also believe in Catholicism or Judaism.
Capital: Tunis, with a population of 2.41 million (in 2009)
Head of State: Interim President Fouad Mebazaa, who took the office on January 15, 2011
Major Holiday: The Independence Day (also the National Day): March 20
Geography and Climate:
Located in northern Africa, the Republic of Tunisia borders Algeria to the west and Libya to the southeast. It faces the Mediterranean to the north and east, and lies across the Tunisia Strait from Italy. Its coastline stretches 1,300 km long. Its north part enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with hot and dry summers and warm and rainy winters. Its south has a tropical desert climate. August is the hottest month, with an average temperature of 21 to 33 degrees Celsius. January is the coldest month, and the average temperature is 6 to 14 degrees Celsius.
Bilateral relations with China:
Steady progress was made in the friendly relations between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Tunisia in 2010.
The two countries maintained high-level exchanges. In March, Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Wang Zhaoguo paid a visit to Tunisia, during which he met with Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi, President of the Chamber of Deputies Fouad Mébazaâ, President of the Chamber of Councillors Abdallah Kallel, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kamel Morjane. In April, Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and President of the Chamber of Councillors Abdallah Kallel sent messages of condolence to President Hu Jintao and CPPCC Chairman Jia Qinglin over the strong earthquake in Yushu, Qinghai Province. In May, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi visited Tunisia, and Tunisian Foreign Minister Kamel Morjane came to China for the fourth Ministerial Meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum. In June and August, President Ben Ali sent messages of condolence to President Hu Jintao over the flooding in South China and the massive landslide in Zhouqu.
Positive progress was made in exchanges and cooperation in such areas as business, culture, education, health, the press and agriculture, and between political parties. In 2010, General Director of the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs Ji Yunshi, Deputy Governor of the People's Bank of China Ma Delun, Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Wang Weiguang, Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Shanghai Municipal People's Congress Zhou Yupeng, Vice President of the Development Research Center of the State Council Liu Shipeng, Vice President of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Zhang Hongli, Member of the Standing Committee and Secretary General of the CPC Committee of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region Cai Guoying, Vice Chairman of the National Tourism Administration Wang Zhifa, and Vice President of the Xinhua News Agency Lu Wei visited Tunisia. Member of the Standing Committee and Head of the Organization Department of the CPC Chongqing Municipal Committee Chen Cungen led a CPC delegation to the 22nd International Symposium of the Democratic Constitutional Rally. The third group of 16 young volunteers went to work in Tunisia. Tunisian Minister of Tourism Slime Tlatli visited China and attended the Tunisian Tourism Week in Beijing and Shanghai. Tunisian Minister of Culture and Protection of National Heritage Abderraouf El Basti visited China, attended the second Arabic Arts Festival, and signed with the Chinese side the Plan on Implementing China-Tunisia Cultural Cooperation Agreement 2010-2013. Tunisian Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Saida Chtioui attended the eighth China-Tunisia Joint Committee. Tunisian Minister of Trade and Handicrafts Ridha Ben Mosbah attended Tunisia's National Pavilion Day at Expo 2010 Shanghai.