Northeast Tarrant

Chinese group recognizes sister city relationship with Southlake

Southlake Mayor John Terrell and Wuzhong District Director Jin Jie sign the new Friendship City Agreement.
Southlake Mayor John Terrell and Wuzhong District Director Jin Jie sign the new Friendship City Agreement. Courtesy photo

Chinese leaders now recognize Southlake’s relationship with its friendship city Wuzhong, China.

Dignitaries from Wuzhong recently came to Southlake to sign a Friendship City Agreement now acknowledged by the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries.

The two municipalities have had a relationship since 2010, but Wuzhong leadership decided to have its relationship recognized by the association because of the benefits of doing so. Electronics service company Variosystems has its US facilities in Southlake and a facility in Suzhou, China.

Jeff Wang, Southlake Sister Cities President, said while the Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries is separate from the government, it has close ties to the Chinese government. He said the recognition acknowledges how beneficial the relationship has been for Wuzhong.

Of Wuzhong’s 21 friendship city partnerships, only three are recognized by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries. Southlake also has a relationship with Tome, Japan.

During their visit to Southlake, six Wuzhong officials met with Southlake leaders and discussed policies and experiences. In addition to seeing Town Hall, the foreign officials visited Watermere Senior Living and Forest Park Medical Center.

Wang said the importance of the Sisters Cities Program is that it allows people to connect despite politics or government. He said the relationship also is important for today’s youth. Carroll students have had weeklong visits to Wuzhong in 2013 and 2014, and Chinese students visited Southlake last year with plans to visit again in March 2015.

“Give them another 15-20 years, and they will be the leaders of the community or the country,” he said about the youth who have participated in the program. “They will understand other countries, and it will be a lot easier for us to achieve world peace.”

Dustin L. Dangli, 817-390-7770

Twitter: @dustindangli

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