The city view of Shijiazhuang, capital of Hebei province, is shown here. Shijiazhuang has made big changes in recent years by developing partnerships in various arenas with cities in the US. Photos provided to China Daily
Shijiazhuang will expand exchanges with Des Moines, its sister city in the United States, to promote education and trade in the coming year, according to the local government.
The year 2013 will be a time of tremendous progress in the fields of business, education and other major realms of cooperation as the US state of Iowa and China's Hebei province prepare to celebrate the 30th year of their partnership.
Meanwhile, Shijiazhuang and Des Moines, major cities in Hebei and Iowa, respectively, will mark the 28th anniversary of the establishment of sister city ties, paving the way for more cooperation in the future.
In September, companies from Shijiazhuang will go to cities in the US to seek more business opportunities.
Shijiazhuang, the capital city of Hebei province, became the sister city of Des Moines, Iowa, in 1985 shortly after an official visit by Xi Jinping, China's current president, who was a Party official in Hebei's Zhengding county at the time.
Xi's visit mainly focused on education, agriculture and technology.
Since then, frequent exchanges have been held between the two cities.
In April, a delegation of agricultural and service companies led by the governor of Iowa visited the province to further develop the partnership.
In addition, Shijiazhuang will explore new markets for business cooperation.
Over the past decade, Shijiazhuang has held a number of fairs in Des Moines to promote trade and investment.
"The local government will continue its efforts to build more new projects in the future," said one local official.
"The good relationship between the two not only boosts the economy but also plays a bigger role in enriching people's lives in other sectors."
In February, about 65 students and teachers from the Shijiazhuang Foreign Language Education Group performed traditional Chinese arts in Des Moines.
The visit won Shijiazhuang students a chance to represent China to attend the World Food Prize Award Party and Youth Forum in Des Moines in October.
The educational exchanges include translation and medical study as well. "The partnership also improves the city environment," said local officials.
Shijiazhuang imported a total of 7,500 flowers from Des Moines in 2005. Now, residents in Shijiazhuang can enjoy these beautiful, exotic flowers and other plants in city parks.
Shijiazhuang also built a special American-style park to present the exotic plants.
The city government said the anniversary between the two sister cities will witness the full flowering of cooperation in such areas as agriculture, business, and education, allowing companies and locals in the city enjoy the fruits of closer bonds with Des Monies.
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