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Shanghang and Penjikent in Tajikistan become sister cities


Shanghang county in China's province of Fujian and Tajikistan's city of Penjikent became sister cities after the two countries recently signed a cooperation memorandum, and Shanghang's Zijin Mining Group, a large State-owned mining group, played a crucial role.

In 2007, Zijin Mining Group invested in Zeravshan Gold Company - Tajikistan's largest gold producer - and a joint venture in Penjikent with the government of Tajikistan. The group has continued to promote exchanges and cooperation in trade with Penjikent over the past few years.

Penjikent is a mining city, and 86 percent of its mining industry concerns nonferrous metals. It is also one of the most important political, economic and cultural centers in Tajikistan, and it was a very prosperous city on the famous Silk Road.

Shanghang is a thousand-year-old county and it is known as the cradle of Hakka culture. In 2003, the local government launched Zijin Mine ecotourism with the aim of attracting tourists to Shanghang. The following year, the central government also gave its support, recognizing Zijin Mine as one of China's top national mine model ecotourism parks. And, in 2006, the government founded Fujian Zijin Hotel Property Management LTD to manage the mining group's hotel, tourist agency, and sightseeing spots.

The authorities expect that the sister city relationship between Shanghang and Penjikent will help promote awareness of Shanghang's Hakka culture as well as Penjikent's ancient sites, and will lead to further cooperation and exchanges in culture and tourism.

By Wang Lianqing

Edited by Chen Zhilin and Niva Whyman