In 2010, relations between the People's Republic of China and Malta continued to advance steadily with fruitful practical cooperation in all fields.
The two countries maintained frequent high-level exchanges. In September, Vice Chairman and Secretary General Li Jianguo of China's NPC Standing Committee paid a visit to Malta and had separate meetings with President George Abela, Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi, Speaker Michael Frendo and Labor Party leader Joseph Muscat. In May, Maltese President George Abela attended the opening ceremony of the Shanghai World Expo. He had an accidental fall and was injured during the trip. Chinese President Hu Jintao went to the hospital to visit him. The Chinese side arranged a special plane to send him home. In March, Tonio Borg, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, paid a visit to China. He met with Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang and had talks with Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi. In April, Joseph Muscat, Malta Labor Party leader, paid a visit to China. He met with Vice President Xi Jinping. In the wake of the Qinghai Yushu earthquake, President George Abela, the then Speaker Louis Galea and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary Tonio Borg sent letters and verbal messages of condolences respectively. In the wake of the Gansu Zhouqu mudslide, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tonio Borg sent a letter of condolences to Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.
Bilateral economic cooperation and trade enjoyed strong growth. Despite the international financial crisis, China-Malta economic cooperation and trade grew rapidly. Bilateral trade volume in the first 9 months of year 2010 surpassed the total trade volume of year 2009, increasing at a much faster rate than the average increase of trade between China and the 27 EU member states. In February, Vice Commerce Minister Zhong Shan headed an economic and trade delegation to Malta. During the visit by Vice Chairman Li Jianguo to Malta, the two sides exchanged notes on provision of a grant of RMB 5 million by the Chinese government to Malta.
Exchanges in the financial, police and other fields further strengthened. John Rizzo, the Commissioner of Police of Malta, paid a visit to China. Shang Fulin, Chairman of China Securities Regulatory Commission, Liu Mingkang, Chairman of China Banking Regulatory Commission, and Xiao Jie, Administrator of State Administration of Taxation, paid visits to Malta. The two sides conducted close discussions on practical cooperation in various fields and signed the Memorandum of Understanding Regarding Securities and Futures Regulatory Cooperation, the Memorandum of Understanding Between the China Banking Regulatory Commission and the Malta Financial Securities Servies Authority, and the new Agreement Between the Government of People's Republic of China and the Government of Malta for the avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income.