2023 World Sister Cities Forum Opens in Shandong
September 25, 2023
Qilu, Shandong – The 2023 World Sister Cities Forum and Sister Provinces and States Leaders’ Conference kicked off this morning at the Shandong Hall. Chinese and foreign guests from over 30 countries and regions gathered in Qilu, Shandong, to strengthen friendship, discuss cooperation, and work together to create a new chapter in the development of sister cities.
The opening ceremony was attended by Lin Wu, Secretary of the Provincial Party Committee, who delivered a speech. Among the attendees were Zhou Naixiang, Deputy Secretary of the Provincial Party Committee and Governor, Ge Huijun, Chairman of the Provincial CPPCC, and Yang Dongqi, Deputy Director of the Provincial People’s Congress Standing Committee and Secretary of the Party Leadership Group.
In his speech, Lin Wu extended a warm welcome to all the guests and introduced the economic and social development of Shandong. He emphasized the importance of people-to-people friendship and the need for international sister city work to foster exchanges between Chinese and foreign local governments. Lin Wu highlighted the fruitful results of sister-city cooperation in recent years and expressed Shandong’s willingness to collaborate with sister cities in various aspects such as industrial collaboration, scientific and technological innovation, economic and trade exchanges, and regional cooperation.
Distinguished guests, including Paulette Bethel, Ambassador of the Bahamas to China, Yan Dong, Vice President of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, Alan Windy, Governor of the Western Cape Province of South Africa, Li Jie, Vice President of the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs, Mayor of Jeju City, South Korea Jiang Bingshan and Chen Yuming, Vice President of the China Public Diplomacy Association, also delivered speeches during the ceremony.
An important moment of the conference was the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Shandong Province and the Western Cape Province of South Africa. Additionally, representatives from 10 pairs of provinces, states, and cities, including Shandong Province and Bauchi State in Nigeria, Jinan City and Rostov-on-Don in Russia, and Zaozhuang City and Karakol City in Kyrgyzstan, signed contracts.
Several representatives from Baringo County in Kenya, Bauchi State in Nigeria, Da Nang City in Vietnam, Upper Austria State in Austria, Kosrae State in the Federated States of Micronesia, and Cluj Province in Romania gave promotional speeches focusing on local development and sister city cooperation.
During the opening ceremony, eight conference results were released, covering initiatives related to green and low-carbon development, such as renewable energy, urban and rural construction, transportation, and child-friendly initiatives. These initiatives aim to promote sustainable development and cooperation among sister cities.
The conference, co-sponsored by the Shandong Provincial People’s Government and the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, has the theme of “green development and low-carbon life.” It includes various activities such as plenary sessions, bilateral and multilateral talks, educational and economic exchange meetings, and cultural exhibitions.
Prior to the conference, Lin Wu and Zhou Naixiang met with representatives of foreign guests attending the meeting in Shandong Building.
The opening ceremony was attended by provincial and Jinan City leaders, as well as envoys from various countries, international sister city representatives, foreign enterprise leaders, experts and scholars, and foreign media reporters in China.
The 2023 World Sister Cities Forum and Sister Provinces and States Leaders’ Conference provide a platform for international cooperation and exchange, promoting friendship and sustainable development among sister cities worldwide.