Beijing and New York celebrate 44th year of sister-city relationship

2024-06-26 Editor : Mo Honge ECNS App Download

Xia Linmao, executive vice-mayor of Beijing Municipality, speaks at the Beijing City Promotion and Beijing-New York Sister Cities concert at the Chinese General Consulate in New York on Monday. (Mingmei Li/China Daily)

A delegation from Beijing celebrated the 44-year sister-city relationship with New York City with musical performances and speeches from representatives of both cities at China's New York Consulate General.

More than 150 people participated in the event on Monday, aimed at enhancing city tourism, cultural exchange and economic cooperation.

"Welcome to New York, it's been waiting for you," lyrics from a song by popular American singer Taylor Swift could be heard at the event. The song has garnered more than a million streams across China's top three music platforms and highlights New York's status as one of the most popular tourist destinations for Chinese travelers.

As a "must-visit" destination for Chinese tourists in the US, New York mirrors the importance of Beijing for American tourists visiting China. The two cities have enjoyed the sister-city relationship established soon after China and the US formalized diplomatic relations.

"Over the years, the two cities have enjoyed close economic cooperation, cultural exchanges and frequent interactions among the people. Together, the two cities have witnessed the development of our state-to-state relations, serving as a model of friendly exchanges," said Xia Linmao, executive vice-mayor of Beijing municipality.

He also noted previous cooperation and exchanges on music, including the strategic partnership between Beijing's National Center for the Performing Arts and New York's Carnegie Hall. Those led to the establishment of the World Association for Performing Arts and tourist attractions like the Universal Beijing Resort, jointly developed by New York City-based NBC Universal, which has attracted more than 20 million visitors since opening in 2021.

"These are vivid illustrations and splendid reflections of the interactions between the two countries and cities," Xia said, adding that he welcomed New Yorkers to share development opportunities in Beijing, strengthen business and trade cooperation, deepen cultural exchanges and contribute to subnational exchanges between China and the United States.

"These relationships between New York City and Beijing are a powerful example of how international cooperation can lead to shared success. Both cities benefit immensely from their collaborative spirit," said Edward Mermelstein, commissioner for international affairs of New York City. He listed several bilateral cooperation examples such as cultural performances, education and program exchanges and mutual business opportunities.

"Having Beijing and New York sisters is even more interesting because they're both dynamic and influential in their own ways, and that's why they're more like sisters because two sisters are never really completely the same," Gabby Gabriel, the founder and CEO of Gab China, told China Daily. "So one is older and has a rich history. One is newer and brings a lot of dynamism to the world.

"One of the things that I think that I love about America and China, what makes us the same is we're both very hardworking. I think that both Americans and Chinese are very interested and committed to trying their best to push, push their goals forward," she said.

Gabriel said the two cities and two countries can learn from each other: "They are two leading economies in the world, and there's lots of opportunity between the two regions."

Tourism and travel between Beijing and New York are resuming, with 27 direct flights from Beijing to major US cities each week, including five weekly flights from Beijing to New York.


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