Shaanxi has Established 88 Pairs of International Friendship City Ties with 35 Countries

2018-05-30 22:08:31 , Source : The Government Website of Shaanxi Province

“Currently, Shaanxi has established 88 pairs of international friendship city ties with 35 countries. In addition, another 8 have been approved and will be signed in the near future, 29 letters of intent have been signed to establish relationships, and 15 cities have previously been in contact.” Yao Hongjuan, the director of the Foreign Affairs Office of the People’s Government of Shaanxi Province, said in the report on the friendly cities construction in the third plenary session of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress of Shaanxi Province held on the morning of May 29th. It was reported that under the guidance of considering the country’s overall diplomatic situation and assisting the development of economic and social sciences in Shaanxi, Shaanxi has turned the focus of building the friendship cities from “quantity” to “quality”.

While considering the country’s overall diplomatic situation and promoting friendly exchanges between the people, Shaanxi has worked hard to develop friendly relationships with cities around the world. It has also provided an effective guarantee to integrate itself into the construction of the Belt and Road and create a new platform for reform and opening up. Since Xi’an established its first international friendship city relationship with Nara, Japan in 1974, the Shaanxi international friendship cities construction work has continued to advance and develop rapidly. Especially after the proposal of the Belt and Road Initiative, Shaanxi has increasingly expanded exchanges with cities along the Belt and Road, adding 19 new friendship cities in the past three years. At present, the international friendship cities of Shaanxi have spread over five continents. It completed the full establishment of the five-nation friendship cities of Central Asia in August, 2017.

Shaanxi is exploring the common and complementary features between the friendship cities, so as to integrate itself into the building of the “Belt and Road” on all fronts. It is pushing forward with the overseas deployment of its agricultural, energy, mineral, construction material and textile industries, helping quality Shaanxi enterprises invest, develop and transfer production capacity to countries along the Belt and Road with the “project-oriented friendship cities” as the bridge. Shaanxi has also been dedicated to paving the road and building the bridge for the economic and trade cooperation with countries along the Belt and Road by inviting the government, economic and trade delegations from friendship cities in countries along the routes to the province and taking part in activities including the Silk Road Expo, the Agricultural Hi-Tech Fair, the Euro-Asia Economic Forum and other themed exhibitions, encouraging and offering support for Shaanxi enterprises to establish trade and investment cooperation with friendship cities in countries along the routes, and contributing to signing of a large number of letters of cooperative intention and agreements. There has been an effort to enhance the people-to-people and cultural exchanges between Shaanxi and countries along the routes through promoting the interactions and exchanges in the fields of media and information, education and culture of public servants, young people, college students and women representatives between Shaanxi and friendship cities in countries along the routes, establishing close ties between different people.

Shaanxi has played an active role in utilizing the advantageous characteristics of its local cities and the resources of the friendship cities and building new collaborations with the friendship cities in a diversified way. With its advantages in its profound cultural legacy, abundant tourist resources and plenty of major international events, Xi’an has established friendship with 31 cities in 26 countries. Yan’an, a place full of red cultural resources, has also been actively establishing friendship ties with foreign cities with the international friends who have lived and worked in the city. In 2017, Yan’an established friendship ties with Kansas City, Missouri, US, the hometown of Edgar Snow (1905 – 1972), an American journalist. And in 2018, Yan’an signed the letter of friendship establishment intention with Trier City, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, the hometown of Karl Heinrich Marx.

According to Yao Hongjuan, the next priority will be given to the governmental communication, enterprises cooperation, non-governmental exchanges and exchanges among friendship cities. From now on, the province will endeavor to build a platform of “integrating the province and cities, and linking the upper and lower levels” for friendship cities to share resources, so as to carry out the communication and exchanges among friendship cities in more fields with a larger scale and a higher level, and give a better play to friendship cities’ role as the platform for developing the economy, culture, foreign cooperation and other aspects.

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