[China and Azerbaijan]
The year 2013 witnessed steady and healthy growth of the friendly and cooperative relations between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Azerbaijan.
The two sides enjoyed deepened political mutual trust and close exchanges in various fields. In March, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev sent a congratulatory message to Xi Jinping on being elected President. Prime Minister of Azerbaijan Artur Rasizade sent a congratulatory message to Li Keqiang on being elected Premier of the State Council. Speaker of the Azerbaijani National Assembly Ogtay Asadov sent congratulatory messages to Zhang Dejiang and Yu Zhengsheng on being elected the NPC Chairman and the CPPCC Chairman respectively. In October, President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message to President Aliyev for his reelection, and Premier Li Keqiang sent a congratulatory message to Prime Minister Rasizade for his reelection. From 12 to 14 April, Cao Jianming, Procurator-General of the Supreme People's Procuratorate of China, visited Azerbaijan. From 25 to 28 April, Zhang Sujun, Deputy Minister of Justice, visited Azerbaijan. From 18 to 23 January, Farkhad Mamedov, Director of the Center for Strategic Studies under the President of Azerbaijan, visited China. From 27 February to 4 March, Ziyafat Asgarov, First Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Azerbaijan, visited China and met with CPPCC Chairman Jia Qinglin. From 24 to 30 June, Bahram Khalilov, Chairman of the Civil Service Commission under the President of Azerbaijan, visited China. From 7 to 13 December, Urkhan Alekperov, Rector of the National Academy of Public Administration under the President of Azerbaijan, visited China. The government of Azerbaijan is committed to the one-China policy and has supported China's position on major issues concerning China's core interests. The two sides maintained sound communication and coordination at the UN and other international organizations.
China and Azerbaijan enjoyed smooth economic cooperation and trade. The two countries made positive progress in their cooperation in such areas as energy, telecommunication, electricity, chemical engineering and building materials. Azerbaijan has become China's biggest trading partner in Transcaucasia, and China is the fifth biggest importer of Azerbaijani goods. In August, Azerbaijan Airlines officially launched direct flights between the two capitals. From 11 to 13 September, Minister of Industry and Energy Natig Aliyev and Minister of Communications and Information Technologies Ali Abbasov attended the Summer Davos in Dalian, China.
The two countries enjoyed fruitful cultural exchanges and cooperation. From 24 to 26 June, Liu Guchang, Executive Director of China Foundation for International Studies, visited Azerbaijan and attended the ceremony for the publication of a collection of essays China in the Eyes of the Azerbaijanis. From 31 October to 1 November, the China Institute of International Studies sent delegates to the Baku International Humanitarian Forum. In December, the Chinese translation of Heydar Aliyev, former Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev's biography, was published in China. On 1 June 2013, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region started to grant visa exemption to diplomatic and service passport holders of Azerbaijan.