on july 20th, the 2019 summit of international sister cities along the silk road, jointly hosted by china public diplomacy association (cpda) and the chinese people’s association for friendship with foreign countries (cpaffc), organized by foreign affairs office of qinghai province and xining municipal people’s government, was convened in xining. vice president chen yuming of cpda attended the summit and made opening speech as the co-host of the summit. other chinese guests included vice governor of qinghai provincial people’s government zhang li, vice president of cpaffc xie yuan, mayor of xining municipal people’s government zhang xiaorong and secretary general of china international friendship cities association qin boming. foreign guests included delegations from city of mersin, turkey, city of kalutara, sri lanka, city of patan, nepal, city of osh, kyrgyzstan and delegation from the pacific islands countries as well as representatives of sister cities or organizations from 15 countries including japan, singapore and iran.
cpda vice president chen yuming said in his speech that in recent years, “opening up and cooperation on green development” has become china’s new “name card” to the world, especially in the process of building the belt and road because the belt and road is not only a road for economic prosperity but also a road for green development. president xi jinping proposed during the first belt and road forum for international cooperation in 2017 to build an international coalition for green development on the belt and road, and put forward again in 2018 beijing summit of forum on china-africa cooperation to build the belt and road into a green development road. the purpose for hosting the 2019 summit of international sister cities along the silk road in xining is to encourage xining to continue actively participating in building the belt and road , learn from xining’s experiences of opening up and cooperation on green development, further promote broader and deeper exchanges and cooperation between chinese cities and international sister cities in the process of building the belt and road, and build the belt and road into a bridge and link for green development. chen stressed that cpda will continue to encourage and support chinese and foreign cities to build friendly relations and make more efforts to promote multi-field, multi-channel and all-round friendly exchanges and cooperation between regional and urban areas of countries along the belt and road.
vice governor zhang li said in her speech that the summit of international sister cities along the silk road, having been held in xining, qinghai for ten consecutive sessions, is an important platform for countries along the belt and road to exchange and cooperate. she hoped that this summit will further promote pragmatic cooperation between xining and international sister cities, and expand new space for countries along the belt and road to share development opportunities, deepen cooperation and exchanges and achieve mutual benefit and win-win situation.
cpaffc vice president xie yuan said that regional cooperation is an important component of and strong support for all-round and mutual beneficial cooperation between countries. china has so far established 2,653 pairs of sister city relations with 137countries in five continents, including 826 pairs of sister cities of countries along the silk road, which is an important indicator of china’s effort of developing sister city relationship. with the successful conclusion of the 2nd belt and road forum for international cooperation and the focus of building the belt and road turning to priorities and project execution, moving forward with results-oriented implementation just like an architect refining the blueprint, promoting pragmatic exchanges and cooperation between international sister cities along the silk road has important and practical significance.
foreign delegates at the meeting exchanged views on the belt and road initiative, green development and international cooperation, and fully expressed their appreciation for china's development achievements and their willingness to develop cooperation with china. vahap seÇer, mayor of mersin, turkey, expressed gratitude for the efforts qinghai province and xining city made for many years to develop exchanges and cooperation with mersin in various fields. he hoped that through joint efforts, the two countries can transform aspiration for friendship and cooperation into concrete actions that benefit the two peoples. hiria ottino, president of pacific-china friendship association, said that pacific island countries are eager to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with china and hoped to promote bilateral political, economic, cultural and education exchanges and cooperation through exchange activities. delegations from singapore and japan also shared their experiences of green development and international cooperation with china, and hoped to have further cooperation with china.
during the summit, chinese and foreign sides signed agreements including letters of intent to establish sister city relations and industrial cooperation.