Representatives from across the UK visited The University of Nottingham to attend the first UK-China twinned cities conference.
There are now 52 twinning links between the UK and China, and the University welcomed visitors from education, local authorities and businesses from cities including Liverpool, Manchester, Cambridge, Birmingham, Leeds and many other areas of the UK.
The conference theme was based on the findings of the ‘UK-China Twinned Cities’ report commissioned by the Chinese Liberal Democrats.
The report’s authors presented their views of the factors needed for success in twinning between UK and Chinese cities. Drawing on case studies of four Sino-UK twinning arrangements, namely Nottingham-Ningbo, Liverpool-Shanghai, Manchester-Wuhan and Sheffield-Chengdu.
Leadership and investment
The report highlights the need for political will and leadership from local authorities, combined with investment from businesses and assistance from the local Chinese community in order for twinning to be successful.
Professor Chris Rudd, Pro Vice-Chancellor of The University of Nottingham, discussed the Nottingham and Ningbo twinning arrangement: “I think that the twinning arrangement between Nottingham and Ningbo has worked well because of the numerous links that have been established between the two cities, by the our universities and colleges, the City Council, businesses and the wider community.
"This means that there are very strong roots between both cities in many areas and at various levels, providing a basis for a long-term and successful twinning relationship.”
Understanding the world's most populous nation
One of the other speakers at the event was Jeremy Browne MP, former Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as well as an alumnus at the University of Nottingham, who has travelled extensively in China, who shared his huge admiration for the rapid rise of the world’s most populous nation. He praised the University for ‘truly understanding the growth of Asia and the way the world is changing.’
The conference was organised by the University’s Asia Business Centre and the School of Contemporary Chinese Studies, and a number of topics were discussed during the day, including the roles of universities and local authorities in supporting twinned cities and business partnerships between the UK and China.
Forging educational links
Other subjects included ‘forging educational links’ and ‘finding the right partners’ for practical ideas on how to overcome challenges to successful twinning.
For more details about the UK-China Twinned Cities Conference, or to find about building links with China, contact the Asia Business Centre at The University of Nottingham on +44 (0)115 748 4135, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
More information is available from Nick King, Marketing Projects Manager, University of Nottingham, +44 (0)115 82 32184, or email email@example.com or from Tim Utton on +44 (0)115 84 68092 or email firstname.lastname@example.org