Xi’an Expands Its French “Circle of Friends”

As the first stop of French President Macron’s visit to China, the ancient city Xi’an has drawn the wide attention from the world. Serving as the starting point of the ancient Silk Road, the city has made many friends worldwide with friendly and inclusive attitude since ancient times till now. Over the years, with its intensive exchanges and close ties with French cities, France has become one of the important members of the “circle of friends” of the great Xi’an.

One is the ancient capital of 13 dynasties with rich history and unique cultures, the other a garden city of agreeable climate and nice landscape. On Sept 15, 1986, Pau City of France formed friendship officially with Xi’an as sister cities, becoming the first of its kind in France with Xi’an.

In additional to Pau City, Jaignes of Great Paris also tied friendship with Xi’an—in early 2017, Cai Yinuo, a native girl of Xi’an born after 1985 and a painter based in France, was conferred the title of “honorary citizen” by Jaignes, where she also held an exhibition of her works. Pierre Cardin, the famous French fashion designer, was awarded by Xi’an Municipal Government the title of “Honorary Citizen of Xi’an” in 2009 in praise of his great efforts to promote the bilateral exchanges of designs.

Nowadays, thanks to the “Belt and Road Initiative”, Xi’an is placed at the forefront of opening up to the outside world and meets with new historical opportunities, which has seen more companies from France settle in Xi’an including Danone Group and SAFRAN Group. In Sept 2014, the first direct flight of Shaanxi Province to a central European city—the Xi’an to Paris flight opened. On May 14, 2016, the visa office (Xi’an) of France was in operation, making Xi’an the first city in northwest China to have visa office of France.

From Sept 25-28, 2017, as part of the Chinese national delegation, Shangguan Jiqing, Mayor of Xi’an, led the delegation of Xi’an to visit France, where they attended the 2nd Sino-French Cultural Forum. At the closing ceremony of the forum, Xi’an was officially handed over the sponsorship of staging the 3rd edition of the forum, which is expected to be built into a bridge of people-to-people connectivity, a platform of openness and inclusion, a bondage of integrated development between Xi’an and France. It is predicted that with the visit of French President Macron to Xi’an, the city will have more intensive exchanges with its counterparts of France in many fields and will make more contributions to the strengthened cooperation between China and France under the framework of the “Belt and Road Initiative”.

[Source:Xi’an Daily]