A summit to foster relations . . .
The fourth U.S.-China Sister Cities Mayors' Summit is being held today in Houston, Texas, as part of an annual conference organized by Sister Cities International (July 17-19) under the theme “Cities Mean Business.” Sister city relationships between the U.S. and China have grown significantly in number since the first one was signed 40 years ago; the two countries now enjoy more than 200 sister city relationships. This annual summit is a venue for mayors and community leaders to discuss threads of common interest and to reinforce their partnerships.
Offering underappreciated benefits . . .
Sister city partnerships are long-term associations between two communities based on cultural, technological, educational, and business exchanges. Sister city connections can provide a number of benefits including helping facilitate direct business collaborations, boosting tourism, and fostering intercultural and educational exchanges and partnerships. Central and subnational governments can also leverage such agreements to achieve foreign policy goals.
The state of Canadian sister city partnerships in Asia . . .
Canada enjoys an array of vibrant sister city partnerships with China (42) as well as with other Asian counterparts; 78 twinning agreements with Japanese cities, 10 with South Korean cities, 3 with Taiwanese cities, and 13 with other cities in Asia. Canadian provinces and even ports also have twinning agreements with counterparts in Asia. With two-thirds of the world’s population living in cities by 2025, building Canada-Asia ties at the municipal level is more important than ever and doing so can help Canada internationally, especially in times of tensions between central governments.
- Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada: Enhancing Trans-Pacific people-to-people ties: Japan-Canada twinning (sister) relationships
- Foreign Policy: Cities will determine the future of diplomacy
- Xinhua: Houston to hold U.S.-China sister cities summit