[China and Bulgaria]
In 2013, the friendly and cooperative relations between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Bulgaria grew smoothly, with increasing exchanges across the board.
The two countries maintained exchanges at all levels. In November, Premier Li Keqiang met with Bulgarian Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski on the sidelines of the Meeting of Heads of Government of China and Central and Eastern European Countries in Bucharest, Romania. In October, CPPCC Vice Chairman Du Qinglin visited Bulgaria and met with Milhail Mikov, Speaker of the Bulgarian Parliament. In September, Prime Minister Oresharski attended the Summer Davos in Dalian and met with Premier Li. In December, Speaker Mikov visited China and had meetings with NPC Chairman Zhang Dejiang and CPPCC Chairman Yu Zhengsheng.
Notable progress was made in economic cooperation and trade. In May, Bulgaria-China Tourism and Investment Forum was held in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Bulgarian President Roasen Pleveneliev and representatives of over 150 Chinese businesses attended the forum. In June, the China-Bulgaria business forum took place in Sofia, bringing together over 100 businesses from the two countries. In November, a promotional event of the China-Bulgaria Trade and Investment Forum was held in Sofia. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce sent a trade and investment promotion delegation to the event. Chinese businesses made steady progress in investing in Bulgaria. The facility jointly run by Litex Motors of Bulgaria and Great Wall Motors of China started production. The investment project of Tianjin Farms Agribusiness Group progressed steadily. The Devania cement project of China National Building Materials Group advanced smoothly.
Bulgaria was active in cooperating with China under the framework of China-Central and Eastern European countries cooperation. In May, Bulgaria's Ministry of Culture sent a delegation to the first China-Central and Eastern European Countries Cultural Forum. In July, Georgi Peychinov, Bulgarian National Coordinator of Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries attended the Local Leaders' Meeting of China and Central and Eastern European Countries in Chongqing. In November, he attended the National Coordinators' Meeting for Cooperation Between China and Central and Eastern European Countries in Romania.
The two countries deepened cultural and educational cooperation. The "Happy Spring Festival" event was held in Bulgaria. The music and dance troupe of Ganzi, Sichuan Province gave performance in Bulgaria. The children's choir of Bulgarian national television and the folk music and dance troupe of Sliven performed in China. The "Beautiful China" photo exhibition, the China Movie Week and the lacquer works exhibition in Bulgaria attracted many locals. Smooth progress was made concerning student exchange, the Confucius Institute and Bulgaria's Chinese language and Chinese culture alliance. In September, a delegation of China's Writers Association visited Bulgaria.
The two countries had close military exchanges. In April, Simeon Simeonov, Chief of the General Staff of Bulgaria, visited China and had meetings with General Chang Wanquan, State Councilor and Minister of Defense, and General Fang Fenghui, Chief of the General Staff of the PLA. In July, Constantin Popov, Major General of the Bulgarian Air Force, visited China and met with State Councilor and Minister of Defense Chang Wanquan. In November, Lieutenant General Wang Guanzhong, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the PLA, visited Bulgaria.
Cooperation at the sub-national level and in other areas continued to expand. In June, Minister Li Wei of the Development Research Center of the State Council visited Bulgaria. In October, Liu Peng, Director of the General Administration of Sport and Chairman of China's Olympic Committee, visited Bulgaria. In December, Vice Minister of Supervision Yu Chunsheng visited Bulgaria. Delegations of Guangdong Province and Lishui City of Zhejiang Province visited Bulgaria. At the end of 2013, there were ten pairs of sister cities between the two countries.