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, the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Malta saw a smooth transition of their bilateral ties and deepening of exchange and cooperation in various areas after a new government was established in the two countries.
Exchanges were maintained at the top level. In March, Maltese President George Abela, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and Foreign Minister George Vella sent letters of congratulation to President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and Foreign Minister Wang Yi respectively on their assumption of office. Premier Li Keqiang, NPC Chairman Zhang Dejiang and Foreign Minister Wang Yi sent messages of congratulation to Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, Speaker of the House of Representatives Angelo Farrugia and Foreign Minister George Vella respectively on their new posts. In October, CPPCC Vice Chairman Du Qinglin visited Malta. He met with President Abela and held talks with Parliament Speaker Farrugia. In September, Maltese Prime Minister Muscat attended the 2013 Summer Davos Meeting in China and met with Premier Li Keqiang.
New highlights emerged in business cooperation. In September, China Power Investment Corporation and Malta's Ministry of Energy and Conservation of Water signed an MOU on purchasing Enemalta's shares and other issues related to cooperation.
Fruitful results were achieved in people-to-people, military, educational and agricultural exchanges. The China Cultural Center in Malta organized art troupe's performances and photo exhibitions in celebration of the 10th anniversary of its establishment. In March, the 13th Escort Taskforce of the Chinese Navy visited Malta after completing its escort mission in the Gulf of Aden. In May, a Maltese delegation headed by Minister for Education and Employment Evarist Bartolo visited China. The two sides signed the agreement on mutual recognition of higher education degrees and diplomas by the two education ministries. In December, Malta's Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Rights Roderick Galdes visited China. He exchanged views with the Chinese side on promoting the two countries' agricultural cooperation, and attended the China Agricultural Trade Fair in Wuhan.