Shandongs sister-city relations prove fruitful

Traditional Chinese music and dance performances are held at a ceremony in Munich, Germany on Nov 20, 2017 to mark the 30th anniversary of the partnership between Shandong province and Bavaria State. [Photo/]

A classic Peking Opera was held in Montevideo on Sept 26 in celebration of the 15th anniversary of the establishment of a partnership between the Uruguayan capital and Qingdao in East China's Shandong province.

This year marks the 40th year since Shandong began promoting sister-city relations around the world. Over the past four decades, Shandong has forged ties with 222 local governments in 61 countries, ranking second in China in terms of number of sister cities.

A variety of activities involving culture, sports, education, and tourism have been held between the province and its international partners to promote cooperation.

In 1986, Shandong held the first cultural relic exhibition in Yamaguchi Prefecture of Japan, its first provincial-level partner. A total of 150,000 Japanese citizens took part.

"Cultural exchanges can help enhance Shandong's international profile and promote its opening-up in a modest way," said Sun Yebao, deputy director of the provincial foreign affairs office.

According to Sun, the province has organized a wide range of cultural events around the world, including a Shandong-themed cultural festival in Australia, a portrait-rubbing exhibition in Romania, a New Year photo exhibition in Poland, and a Confucius festival in Austria.

Shandong has also established partnerships with 1,167 educational, medical, and other institutes in 75 countries. A number of international governmental and trade organizations have also been set up in the province to facilitate stronger communications.

The International Friendship Cities Trade Fair will be held in Jinan, capital of East China's Shandong province, from Oct 15 to 17.

Covering an area of nearly 4,000 square meters, the fair will display a wide range of commodities including cosmetics, food, arts and crafts, tourism products, household necessities and agricultural products from sister cities.

Officials said that 27 international sister cities from 17 countries and regions have confirmed that they will be participating in the event.

The fair will set up 40 booths meeting international standards, and booths for five countries V Germany, Russia, Australia, Thailand, and South Korea V will be decorated to present diversified cultures and customs.

Featured products from Jinan as well the cities of Jining, Weihai, Rizhao and Heze will be featured at the Shandong booth in an effort to showcase Shandong's culture to foreign guests.

The fair will also launch an online channel for residents to purchase international products.

As part of the Shandong International Friendship Cities Conference for Cooperation and Development, the event aims to further enhance exchange between Jinan and its sister cities, deepen international cooperation, and facilitate the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative.