(Last Update: 2003/10/12)
I. Political relations
China and Spain established diplomatic relations on March 9, 1973.
After the establishment of the diplomatic relations it has witnessed a smooth progress in the development of the bilateral relations with an ever-growing expansion of cooperation and exchanges in the fields of politics, economy and trade, science and technology and culture as well. The political relations between the two countries became closer with every passing day and the frequent mutual visits of leaders of the two sides going on.
Since 1990s, Chinese leaders who visited Spain include: Member of the State Council and concurrently minister of foreign affairs Qian Qichen in February 1991, Vice-premier of the State Council Zhu Rongji in April 1991 and in October 1994, Premier of the State Council Li Peng in February 1992, President of the PRC Jiang Zemin in June 1996, Vice-premier of the State Council Li Lanqing in February 1998, Chairman of the NPPCC Li Ruihuan in May 1998, Vice-premier of the State Council Hu Bangguo in June 2001, Vice-president of the PRC Hu Jintao in November 2001 and Minister of foreign affairs Tang Jiaxuan in November 2002. Spanish leaders who visited China include: Minister of foreign affairs Francisco Fernandez Ordonez in November 1990, Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Felix Pons in November 1991, Prime minister Felipe Gonzalez in February 1993, Deputy Prime minister Narcis Serra in July 1994, Speaker of the Senate Juan Jos¨¦Laborda Martin in February 1995, King of Spain Juan Carlos I in March 1995, Minister of foreign affairs Abel Matutes Juan in May 1998, Second deputy prime minister and concurrently minister of economy Rodrigo Rato in November 1998, November 2001 and October 2002, Speaker of the Senate Juan Ignacio Barrero in November 1998, Prime minister Jos¨¦Maria Aznar in June 2000, Crown prince Felipe de Barb¨®n y Grecia in November 2000, Foreign minister Josep Piqu¨¦in May 2001 and Queen of Spain Sofia in March 2003.
II. Trade relations and economic and technological cooperation
1>Bilateral trade relations: Since the establishment of the diplomatic relations the trade relations of China and Spain gained a speedy development with the trade value witnessing a continuous increase. According to the statistics of the General Administration of Customs of China the bilateral trade value in 2002 registered US$ 3.479 billion, an increase of 16.9 percent as against that in 2001, of which the Chinese exports took up US$ 2.579 billion, a rise of 14.1 percent as compared to that of the same period before while the imports were US$ 0.9 billion, a growth of 26 percent.
The major exports from Chinato Spainare: garments, textile goods, shoes, mechanic and electric products, pottery and porcelain, household electric appliance, cultural and sports products, chemical products, leather goods and cereal and oil produces. The commodities China imported from Spain mainly consist of mechanic equipment, steel materials, chemical products and cereals, oil and animal husbandry products.
2>Bilateral economic-technological cooperation: Although the economic-technological cooperation between China and Spainsaw a late startup yet it has obtained great achievements. In 2002, the newly approved projects for Spainto invest in Chinacame to 97 in number with an agreed value of US$ 195 million, of which the actual investment accounted for US$ 0.92 million. The projects invested by Spain in China are mainly scattered in the municipalities and provinces of Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Guangdong and Zhejiang. The major invested trades cover light industry, textile, transportation and food-processing, etc. The projects China invested in Spainare mainly concentrated in textile products, fishery, tourism industry, Chinese traditional medicine and real estate and so on. Up to now, China has set up some 17 joint-venture or solely-owned enterprises of a somewhat large scale.
III. Exchanges and cooperation in the fields of culture, science and technology, education and military affairs
In April 1981, the Chinese and Spanish governments signed the "Agreement for Cultural, Educational and Scientific and Technological Cooperation", according to which seven plans were signed one after another for the execution of the cultural, educational and sci-tech exchanges between China and Spain. In 1985 the two countries signed the "Fundamental Agreement for Sci-tech Cooperation". In 1989, the two sides held the first session of the sci-tech mixed commission and up to now the commission has held 6 meetings while the cultural and educational mixed commission has held 7 meetings so far. There sees a favorable progress in the cooperation of broadcasting, movie, TV and sports of the two countries. In 2002, Chinasent through government channel 22 students to study in Spainwhile Spain sent 13 students to study in China.
In the initial years of 1980s, the two armies of Chinaand Spain began their exchanges. However, it saw a suspension for a period of time after 1989. In 1995, Member of the State Council and concurrently Minister of National Defence Chi Haotian paid an official visit to Spain and the Spanish Chief of the General Staff for National Defence paid a formal visit to China. This marked the complete recovery of the high-ranking exchanges of the two armies. Vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission Zhang Wannian visited Spain in 2000.
IV. Bilateral important agreements
On behalf of the respective government of their own, the joint communiqu¨¦on the establishment of the diplomatic relations was signed in Parisby the Chinese and Spanish ambassadors to France(March 9, 1973)
Chinaand Spainsigned the trade agreement and agreement for civil aviation and air-transportation (June 19, 1978)
The two sides signed agreement for cultural, educational and sci-tech cooperation (April 4, 1981)
The two countries signed agreement for developing economy and industrial cooperation (November 15, 1984)
The two sides signed the fundamental agreement for sci-tech cooperation (September 5, 1985)
The two countries signed agreement on avoiding dual taxation and prevention from tax-evasion (November 22, 1990)
The two sides signed agreement for mutually encouraging and protecting investment (February 6, 1992)
The two countries signed the treaty on the aid and assistance of civil, commercial and legal affairs (May 2, 1992)
The two sides signed the agreement on the cooperation for the two governments to clamp down on the organized criminal activities (June 25, 2000)