Jiangsu expands "circle of friends" in the world
2018-10-23 15:20:00

Jiangsu Province kicked off the Exchange and Cooperation Month of Exchanges and Cooperation in Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of Jiangsu’s International Friendship City Relations, in Nanjing City on October 22, which attracts delegations from 36 cities in 22 countries including the United States, Japan, Germany and Switzerland for economic, trade and cultural exchanges.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening up as well as the 40th anniversary of Jiangsu's launching of international sister city program. To mark the occasion, a photo exhibition, themed “Joining Hands with Friends of the World for a Shared Future,” took place at the Nanjing Library, with 410 photos, 34 objects and valuable documents on display. The exhibition summarized briefly Jiangsu’s history and progress of developing sister city relationships, showed the project’s important roles in promoting China’s diplomacy and the “Belt and Road” initiative, and unveiled the outstanding results made in the province’s economy, science and technology, education, culture, sports, healthcare and other fields.

It has been 40 years since Jiangsu forged the first international sister city relationship in 1978. Now the province has established friendship with 317 provinces/states/cities in 60 countries, and formed friendly exchange mechanisms with 423 regions, taking the lead in China.

In the exhibition hall, gifts from sister cities in India, Italy, South Korea and other countries reflected their rich art and culture. Jiangsu’s signature crafts, such as traditional Chinese silk brocade Yunjin and lacquerware, also have reached the world through the sister cities.

Among the photos, an image about Spring Festival celebrations in Prague in February 2018 attracted a lot of visitors. The picture showed Zhang Jun, a master of intangible cultural heritage Jinling Paper-cutting, talked about his works with the Chinese Ambassador to the Czech Republic. Zhang said he hopes artisans like him and creations can become a bridge for foreigners to understand Chinese culture and become interested in the country.

Patrick Gerard Murphy, mayor of Cork County, Ireland, was the first among representatives of sister cities to arrive in Nanjing. At the photo exhibition, he said that Ireland is the only English-speaking country in Europe except the UK and Chinese visitors who understand English will have no language difficulty in Ireland. Ireland welcomes more Chinses tourists while more Irish people are also learning Chinese or visiting China for exchanges and cooperation.

As part of the anniversary celebrations, the camphor forest at the Yuzui Wetland Park near the Yangtze River in Nanjing City was renamed as Jiangsu International Sister Cities Friendship Forest from October 22. It’s hoped that Jiangsu’s friendship with foreign cities will flourish like the green trees in the days to come.

At the opening ceremony of the friendship forest, Johanna, deputy mayor of Bocholt, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, announced the adopting of a tree in the park on behalf of the city and expected that the friendship between Germany and China will be like a lush tree rooted deep in the soil, adding a German saying goes that trees always bring people happiness.

Pictures in the exhibition have recorded the profound friendships between Jiangsu and foreign cities as well as the deepening cooperation in four decades. It’s expected that Jiangsu will continue expanding its circle of friends in the world and make more fruitful cooperation.

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Source: jschina.com.cn Editor: Nicky