I. Overview of Overseas Friendship Cities
Friendship city relationship is an important part of China’s civil and local diplomacy. By the end of 2016, Deyang had obtained totally 5 overseas friendship cities, including, geographically, 2 in Europe, 2 in Asia and 1 in North America. Meanwhile, Deyang had obtained 7 partnership cities for international friendly exchanges and cooperation, including 3 in Europe, 2 in North America, 1 in South America and 1 in Africa.
Since 1993, Deyang has set up friendship city relationships respectively with Higashi Hiroshima of Japan (October 14th, 1993); Muncie of the USA (September 15th, 1994); Siegen-Wittgenstein of Germany (August 4th, 1996); Lahti of Finland (September 7th, 2000); and Gangneung of Republic of Korea (November 28th, 2013), and is carrying out friendly exchanges and cooperation with oversea cities, including Konin of Poland, Prilep of Macedonia, Camaari of Brazil, Montclair and Auburn of the USA, Ouidah of Benin and Northampton of Britain, etc. In recent years, Deyang has been actively developing substantial diplomatic relationships through official and civil channels to promote external exchanges and cooperation on economy, trade, science, technology, education and health, and to introduce and train foreign talents.
II. Exchanges and Cooperation with Overseas Friendship Cities in Recent 3 Years
1. Friendship cities in Germany
(1) Official exchanges and cooperation. From October 12th to 21st, 2015, on invitation of the government of Siegen-Wittgenstein, Germany, a 6-member government delegation led by Zhao Hui, Mayor of Deyang, visited Siegen-Wittgenstein. During the visit, the delegation paid a courtesy call to Mr. Andreas Moller, Speaker of Siegen-Wittgenstein, discussed issues related with deepening cooperation on areas such as vocational education, civil exchange and visits, and machine manufacturing, and paid visits to local tire, plastic equipment and machine factories. In the bilateral meetings, Mayor Zhao Hui talked about the development of Deyang’s manufacturing industry and emphasized the important role Siegen-Wittgenstein played in Deyang’s diplomatic relationship. Through negotiation, both sides agreed that, the improvement of intelligentialization had become a new trend of the global manufacturing industry, and the Industry 4.0 launched by German Government had entered the new era of China-Germany cooperation and will play a vital role in the future economic development. As equipment manufacturing bases, Deyang and Siegen-Wittgenstein should enhance cooperation further to provide enterprises of both sides with policy support to actively participate in the process, and to accelerate the establishment of production and service models of highly flexible, personalized and digitalized products through close cooperation among relevant enterprises. Besides, cooperation on social management should also be actively expanded. Both sides discussed how to balance the infrastructure development of urban and rural areas through taxation, and issues related with the partnership agreement signed by Siegen-Wittgenstein and Deyang Foreign Languages School, especially how to get the green light of German Department of Education and to launch exchange projects. All the negotiations deepened and opened up new lines of thinking for the development of the friendship and cooperation between both sides.
On invitation of Mayor Zhao Hui, a 12-member government delegation led by Mr. Andreas Moller, Speaker of Siegen-Wittgenstein, paid a visit to Deyang from October 10th to 14th, 2017. On October 11th, Mayor Zhao Hui met the delegation and both sides talked on deepening friendship and expanding cooperation areas in an amicable manner. Zhao Hui expressed warm welcome to the guests and said that, Deyang attaches high value to the deep friendship with Siegen-Wittgenstein in the past 30 years, especially frequent exchanges and harmonious cooperation on areas including education and industry. With world-class manufacturing technologies, Germany is always a model for China to learn from. As a manufacturing base of major equipment, Deyang still has a lot of cooperation room with enterprises of Siegen-Wittgenstein, such as SMS Group. Zhao Hui hoped that both sides shall keep on expanding exchange channels and cooperation areas, and deepening friendship to achieve mutual benefit and win-win. Specially, Zhao Hui extended the sincerest appreciations to Ms. Isolde Gomberg, Chairwoman of China-Germany Friendship Association of Siegen-Wittgenstein, for her great contribution to the civil exchange between both sides. Mr. Andreas Moller recalled the visit of Mr. Luo Wenquan, member of Standing Committee of Deyang Municipal Party, to the 200th Anniversary of Siegen-Wittgenstein in June of 2017 as the official representative of Deyang. Besides, the city logo of Deyang designed by a German designer was unveiled by a student delegation from Deyang in August of 2017, and is currently placed in Siegen-Wittgenstein. He said that, all these were testimonies of the friendship between Siegen-Wittgenstein and Deyang. He hoped that, through the visit, mutual understanding between both sides shall be further deepened, exchanges on different areas promoted, and friendship inherited by generations. During their stay in Deyang, the delegation participated in the 9th Germany-China Friendship Scholarship Awarding Ceremony in the Qianqiu Middle School in Yangjia Town, Jingyang District, in which scholarships of RMB6,000 were awarded to 30 students by the Deputy Consul-General of German Consulate General in Chengdu. After the ceremony, the delegation visited the comprehensive teaching building donated by Siegen-Wittgenstein. Later, the delegation, along with the Deputy Consul-General, visited the Huashan Road Elementary School, the Experimental Elementary School, and the Hong Kong Jockey Club No.5 Middle School, and interacted with the students. The delegation also paid visits to enterprises including China National Erzhong Group and Dongfang Electric Machinery Co., Ltd. and cultural sites such as the Sanxingdui Museum, the Mianzhu New Year Paintings Museum, and the relics of the Three Kingdoms in Baimaguan Town. During the visits, the industrial development, as well as history and culture of Deyang, were highly praised by the guests.
2. Civil exchanges. From August 5th, 2015, a pen-friend delegation of middle school students organized by Deyang Friendship Association with Foreign Countries paid a friendly visit to Siegen-Wittgenstein. During their stay, the students lived with German pen-friends and their families, learned about society, cultures and people of Germany, further deepened mutual understanding and trust between the youth of both sides, and laid a solid foundation for long-term friendly exchanges between people of Deyang and Siegen-Wittgenstein.
From October 7th to 11th, 2015, on the invitation of Deyang Friendship Association with Foreign Countries, a delegation led by Ms. Isolde Gomberg, Chairwoman of China-Germany Friendship Association of Siegen-Wittgenstein, paid a visit to Deyang, during which the delegation visited Deyang Foreign Languages School, Qianqiu Middle School and Sichuan Engineering Technical College, and discussed opportunities of exchanges and cooperation. Friendship associations of Deyang and Siegen-Wittgenstein held working meetings, and discussed issues related with planned business visits of Deyang’ entrepreneurs to Siegen, and short-term trainings on the Industry 4.0 launched by German government for front-line teachers of Sichuan Engineering Technical College in Siegen. Through untiring efforts of friendship associations of both sides, a sister partnership was established between Fürst-Johann-Moritz Gymnasium of Siegen and Deyang Foreign Languages School, and in the signing ceremony held on October 9th, 2015 in the campus of the latter, Mr. Kaeuser Ruediger, President of Fürst-Johann-Moritz Gymnasium, invited Deyang Foreign Languages School to pay exchanges and visits to the Gymnasium to enhance exchanges and cooperation on teacher training, school administration and student exchanges. During their stay, the delegation led by Ms. Isolde Gomberg participated in the 7th Germany-China Friendship Scholarship Awarding Ceremony in the Qianqiu Middle School in Jingyang District, and 30 students were awarded totally scholarships of RMB6,000 by the China-Germany Friendship Association of Siegen. As gifts in return, writings and paintings were given by teachers and students of Qianqiu Middle School. Group photos were taken and exchanges organized. On October 10th, 2015, the delegation paid a visit to Jinhe Phosphate Mine, Shifang, and called on the 10 earthquake orphans who had been financially aided by the China-Germany Friendship Association.
2. Friendship cities in Japan and Republic of Korea
(1) Official exchanges and cooperation. In August of 2015, an education delegation of Higashi Hiroshima, Deyang’s friendship city in Japan, paid a visit to Deyang, and exchanges and activities were organized to promote friendship. During the visit, Japanese students lived in families of their Deyang fellows, and students of both sides exchanged writings, paintings, handcrafts, and photos.
On the invitations of Mr. Yoshio Kurata, Mayor of Higashi Hiroshima, and Mr. Choi Myeong Hee, Mayor of Gangneung, Deyang’s friendship city in Republic of Korea, a 6-member delegation led by Yang Zhen, Deputy Mayor of Deyang, paid visits to the friendship cities from November 24th to December 1st, 2015, and talked on issues related with all-dimensional and multi-sectoral cooperation. During their stay in Japan, the delegation paid official calls on Mr. Hidehiko Yuzaki, Governor of Hiroshima Prefecture, Mr. Yoshio Kurata, Mayor of Higashi Hiroshima, and the government of Higashi Hiroshima, and both sides exchanged views on deepening friendship and cooperation between Deyang and Higashi Hiroshima, and reached cooperative intentions on areas including education, environmental protection, and modern agriculture, etc. During their stay in Gangneung, the delegation met Public Information Officer and director of the Agriculture Bureau, discussed opportunities to deepen cooperation of different areas, such as people exchange, investment in agriculture, agricultural product trade, and construction of new countryside, etc., and paid field visits on local markets of agricultural products and manufacturing plants of agricultural equipment and machines. Later, the delegation called on the Yulgok Institute, and had an informal meeting with the president of the institute to further deepen mutual understanding, and seek for opportunities for both sides to expand cooperation in education and culture.
In September of 2016, an 8-member education delegation visited Higashi Hiroshima, and conducted friendship activities with teachers and students of 4 elementary and 1 middle schools. Students of Deyang’s elementary and middle school students lived in families of Japanese ones, and both sides interacted through exchanging writings, paintings, handcrafts and photos, etc.
On the invitation of Mr. Zhao Hui, Mayor of Deyang, a 5-member delegation led by Mr. Kim Duk-Rae, Deputy Mayor of Gangneung, paid a visit to Deyang from September 22nd to 25th, 2016. During the visit, the delegation met Mr. Zhao Hui, Mayor of Deyang, and the Promotion Conference of Tourism in Gangneung, Republic of Korea for Chinese Tourists, which was attended by Mr. Lu Ye, Deputy Mayor of Deyang, and other attendants included a dozen of representatives of travel agencies and more than 30 representatives of enterprises and labor unions. A propaganda film was broadcast to advertise scenic spots of Gangneung, especially ice events of the Pyeong Chang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, which will be held in Gangneung. In the film, preferential policies have been promised by Gangneung government, who will also help travel agencies deal with visa and chartered flight issues for tourists from Deyang to enjoy charming scenery and the Olympic Games in Gangneung. The Promotion Conference was strongly supported by Deyang government, which hoped that, local travel agencies would deepen understanding of Gangneung’s tourism market and seek for business opportunities, and labor unions would recommend their members to choose Gangneung as one of choices for vacation. During their stay in Deyang, the Gangneung delegation visited the Mianzhu New Year Paintings Village, the Jiulong Mountain-Lutang Mountain Scenic Area, and the Sanxingdui Museum in Guanghan to investigate tourism resources of Deyang.
(2) Civil exchanges. From June 9th to 14th, 2016, a delegation was organized by Deyang Friendship Association with Foreign Countries to visit Gangneung, Republic of Korea. During the visit, the delegation paid courtesy calls on and talked with Gangneung’s Speaker, Mayor, Deputy Mayor, and persons in charge of relevant departments and organizations, visited 2 middle schools, 2 enterprises, 1 college, and 1 hospital, and finally facilitated the signing of 6 cooperative agreements for Guanghan Middle School, Foreign Languages School and People’s Hospital of Deyang respectively with Korea Kwandong University. The delegation attended the 2nd Chinese Language Competition for Guanghan Middle School Students, during which Mr. Zhao Xujin, head of the delegation and Vice Chairman of Deyang Friendship Association with Foreign Countries gave a speech, presented awards and gifts to some winners, and took group photos. The visit, which was covered by media of Gangneung and Gangwon-do, had left tremendous implications.
3. Friendship cities in the USA. From March 15th to 20th March, 2015, a 12-member student delegation from Ball State University of Muncie, the USA, visited Deyang, inspected urban construction, living environment and landscape, and discussed with leaders and professionals of municipal planning departments. During their stay, the delegation paid a visit to Sichuan Engineering Technical College, and exchanged with teachers and students of the Foreign Language Department. Professor Nile, head the delegation, expressed on behalf of the university the intention to build the sister-college relationship with Sichuan Engineering Technical College.
4. Expected friendship city in Poland. On invitation of the mayor of Konin of Poland, a 5-member culture delegation paid a visit to the city in March of 2015, and attended the 8th International Friendship City Culture Festival, where the delegation performed acrobatics, songs and dances which were highly praised by local people.
In April of 2015, a 4-member delegation composed of government and enterprise representatives visited Konin, and attended the Entrepreneurial Partner & Renewable Resources Exhibition, where they introduced Deyang’s enterprises, exchanged experience of organizing international exhibitions, learned about the important role renewable resources play in the new global financial environment, demonstrated their products and services, and extended invitations to enterprises of Konin.
From September 23rd to 28th, 2015, a 6-member delegation led by Mr. Wieslaw Steinke, Chairman of the City Council of Konin, visited Deyang. The delegation was met by Mr. Pu Bo, Secretary of Municipal Party Committee, who expressed warm welcome to the delegation, and introduced economic and social development of Deyang. Mr. Pu said that, Deyang is willing to keep close connection with Konin, and enhance exchanges and cooperation in areas such as industry, agriculture and culture to achieve mutual benefit and win-win. In the Investment Promotion Conference hosted by Mr. Zhao Hui, Mayor of Deyang, both sides discussed issues related with enhancing mutual understanding and deepening multi-sectoral cooperation in an amicable manner. Mr. Wieslaw Steinke said that, he hoped that both sides would seize opportunities of cooperation to build platforms, promote the establishment of international friendship city relationship, and deepen friendly exchanges and cooperation especially in power and heating supply. He earnestly expected enterprises of Deyang to invest in Konin for common development. During their stay in Deyang, the delegation visited the Hong Kong Jockey Club No.5 Middle School, where they interacted with students and attended a soccer match. The delegation also visited Dong Fang Turbine Company, Sichuan Engineering Technical College, Sichuan Institute of Industrial Technology, relics of the Three Kingdoms in Pangtong Tomb, Luojiang, the Sanxingdui Museum in Guanghan, and the Earthquake Museum in Hanwang, Mianzhu.
From October 12th to 21st, 2015, a 6-member government delegation led by Mr. Zhao Hui, Mayor of Deyang, visited Konin. The delegation called on the Mayor, the Speaker, the Chairman of Commerce Chamber, and the director of the Department of External Relations Promotion, inspected the Geothermal Power Plant, held meetings with external affairs, energy, industry and investment departments, and discussed issues related with the enhancement of understanding and exchanges, the establishment of friendship city relationship, and methods of enterprises to conduct substantial exchanges and cooperation.
On the invitation of the Mayor of Konin, a 5-member culture delegation attended the 9th International Friendship City Culture Festival in Konin, March of 2016, and performed acrobatics, songs and dances, which were highly praised by local people.
In May of 2016, a 3-member enterprise delegation visited Konin and attended the 2nd Entrepreneurial Partner Trade Fair, where they introduced Deyang’s wine enterprises and exchanged experience of international exposition.
In March of 2017, another delegation was organized by Deyang’s Bureau of Culture, Broadcasting, Television, Press and Publication to attend the 10th International Friendship City Culture Festival, where they brought performances of unique characteristics to demonstrate the culture of Deyang.
In June of 2017, a 2-member government delegation attended the celebrating activities of World Cities Day in Konin.