[China and Benin]
In 2013, the friendly and cooperative relationship between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Benin continued to deepen, yielding fruitful results in exchanges and cooperation in various fields.
The two countries enjoyed frequent exchanges at all levels and deepening political mutual trust. In March, President of Benin Thomas Boni Yayi and President of the National Assembly of Benin Mathurin Nago sent congratulatory letters separately to Xi Jinping on his election as President of China. And President Yayi and Prime Minister Irénée Pascal Koupaki sent congratulatory letters separately to Li Keqiang on his election as the Premier of the State Council. President of the Economic and Social Council Nicolas Adagbe sent a congratulatory letter to Yu Zhengsheng on his election as CPPCC Chairman. Also in March, President Yayi attended the breakfast meeting for Chinese and African leaders on the sidelines of the fifth BRICS Leaders' Meeting in Durban, South Africa. In August, Minister of Health Akoko Kindé Gazard came to China for the Ministerial Forum on China-Africa Health Development and attended the celebration activities in Ningxia marking the 35th anniversary of Chinese medical teams in Benin. In September, Nassirou Arifari Bako, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration, Francophonie and Overseas Beninians, attended the third round of Political Consultation between Chinese and African Foreign Ministers on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. In October, Martial Sounton, Minister of Public Function, Work, Administrative and Institutional Reform and Social Dialogue, visited China.
Progress was made in practical cooperation between the two countries. In January, construction of Akassato-Bohicon highway, a Chinaassisted project, was started. Also in January, groundbreaking ceremonies were held for the secondary technical school project and the well-digging project under the framework of eight new measures introduced at the fourth Ministerial Conference of the FOCAC. In July, the China-assisted office building for the Beninese government was completed and handed over to the Beninese side.
The two countries had vibrant people-to-people exchanges in diverse forms. The cultural events "Happy Spring Festival, Beautiful China", themed on "Spring Festival for the Beninese", were successfully held from January to February. Featuring gourmet evening, singing and dancing performances, China Film Week, dragon and lion dances and martial art performances, these events were well received by all sectors of Benin. In November, Jilin Provincial Art Troupe staged performances in Benin.