Backgrounder: Basic facts about Austria
Backgrounder: China-Austria relations
| Visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao (L) shakes hands with Austrian President Heinz Fischer in Vienna, Austria, Oct. 31, 2011. Chinese President Hu Jintao held talks with his Austrian counterpart Heinz Fischer in Vienna Monday. (Xinhua/Rao Aimin)|
Chinese, Austrian presidents hold talks on closer ties
VIENNA, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao met with his Austrian counterpart Heinz Fischer here Monday to discuss ways to further strengthen cooperation between their two countries.
During the meeting, Hu recalled Fischer's fruitful state visit to China early last year, and noted that China-Austria ties have deepened further despite complicated and profound changes in the international situation.
The Chinese leader also expressed the hope that his ongoing visit will strengthen the friendship between the two peoples and promote the all-around development of China-Austria friendship and cooperation.
Noting that 2011 marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Austria and China, Fischer said that Hu's visit culminates the celebration events and will be a great success.
Since Austria and China forged diplomatic ties 40 years ago, the two countries have maintained stable development in bilateral relations and carried out cooperation in economic, trade and other fields, he said.
Following their talks, the two leaders are scheduled to attend the signing ceremony for a number of cooperation agreements and meet the press.
The agreements cover such areas as economy and trade, environmental protection, water conservation, education and culture, according to Chinese diplomats.
In the afternoon, Hu will meet with Chancellor Werner Faymann and National Council President Barbara Prammer on ways to strengthen bilateral ties.
The Chinese president will then travel to Salzburg on Monday evening to continue his state visit to the central European country.
Over the past 40 years, China-Austria relations have developed continuously with frequent exchanges of high-level visits, increases in bilateral trade and more visitors traveling to each other's countries.
China became Austria's biggest trading partner outside Europe in 2010, and two-way trade rose to 6 billion U.S. dollars, a 26 percent increase over the previous year.
Last year, about 200,000 Chinese tourists visited Austria, while some 80,000 Austrians traveled to China.
"President Hu Jintao's visit to Austria, the first one by a Chinese head of state in the last 12 years, aims to deepen political mutual trust, summarize and plan the development of bilateral ties, expand mutually beneficial cooperation in economy and trade, and promote people-to-people exchanges and cultural cooperation," Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying told a press briefing last Friday.
Following his Austria visit, Hu will fly to France to attend a summit of the Group of 20 major economies slated for Nov. 3-4.