BEIJING, April 29 (Xinhua) -- China and the United States have formed 284 pairs of sister provinces, states and sister cities over a period of several decades, according to a video dialogue between China-U.S. sister cities on Thursday.
The video dialogue, themed "Building Resilient Partnerships", was co-hosted by the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and the Sister Cities International from the United States.
The total of 284 includes 50 pairs of sister provinces and states, as well as 234 pairs of sister cities, said the dialogue.
At the opening ceremony, Chinese Ambassador to the United States Qin Gang said, "If you link each pair on the map, you will see a closely knit web of connections between the two countries. The resilience of our sister cities is the resilience of China-U.S. relations, and the closeness of our sister-city relations stands for the closeness of China-U.S. relations."
Lin Songtian, president of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, stated that China-U.S. sister provinces, states and cities focus on economic cooperation as well as cultural and people-to-people exchanges, which have promoted local development and improved people's livelihoods in both countries.
In 1983, Hebei Province and Iowa State became sister provinces and states. Former U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad, also former governor of Iowa, said that he was very proud and gratified by the long friendship between the two sides, saying it was thanks to the efforts of both sides.
Representatives from nine Chinese provincial-level regions and nine U.S. states reviewed exchanges and cooperation between the two sides, including agricultural product imports and exports, sports cooperation, and smart-city construction, among other things.
Representatives agreed that they share broad common interests and have broad prospects for cooperation in post-epidemic economic recovery, response to climate change and sustainable development. They are also looking forward to China-U.S. relations returning to a healthy and stable development track as soon as possible.
China and the United States formally established diplomatic relations in 1979. In the same year, Hubei province and Ohio State became the first province-state pair, while Jiangsu's Nanjing and Missouri's St. Louis became the first pair of sister cities, establishing the tradition of friendly exchanges between the two countries at the local level. ■