Austria

Note: This column mainly includes countries along the Belt and Road and countries that have signed cooperation agreements with China on Belt and Road Initiative.

In 2013, relations between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Austria achieved a smooth transition on the whole.

Political relations between the two countries stabilized and turned for the better. On 29 August, the Austrian Foreign Ministry stated that the Austrian government attaches great importance to growing friendly and cooperative relations with China, adheres to the one-China policy and recognizes Tibet as part of China. Austria does not support any separatist act that seeks Tibet independence and undermines China's territorial integrity. On 5 September, Chinese Foreign Ministry spoke positively of the statement by the Austrian side. The two sides agreed to push forward the bilateral relations on the basis of mutual respect, equality, mutual benefit and respect for each other's core interests and major concerns. China- Austria relations, which were severely impaired by the meeting between Austrian Federal Chancellor Werner Faymann and Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger and Dalai in May 2012, began to recover steadily.

Business cooperation between the two countries continued to deepen with initial success of Chinese enterprises in establishing their presence in Austria. On 13 November, the government of the State of Upper Austria awarded the Golden Order of Merit to Geng Ruguang, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Future Advanced Composite Components (FACC) (91.25% of its shares are held by the Chinese side) and Vice President of Aviation Industry Corporation of China, to recognize his outstanding contribution to the economic development of the State of Upper Austria and China-Austria business cooperation. This is the first time that this award was given to a non-Austrian in its 30 years of history. On 13 December, the 24th meeting of China-Austria Economic and Trade Joint Commission was held in Vienna.

Local and people-to-people friendly exchanges were fruitful. From 24 to 31 October, the State President of Burgenland Hans Niessl led a delegation to China. Governor of Hunan Province Du Jiahao met with the delegation. The two sides reached agreement on deepening mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields under the sister province/state relationship. The delegation also visited Beijing and Shanghai.

On 14 August, a pair of giant pandas in the Schonbrunn Zoo in Vienna gave birth to a cub. On 9 November, the Agreement Between the China Wildlife Conservation Association and the Schonbrunn Zoo on the Extension of Research Cooperation on the Protection of Giant Pandas was signed in Chengdu, Sichuan Province.

By the end of 2013, 18 pairs of sister provinces/cities had been established between the two countries.

Editor: liuyue