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Hong Jinhua (Chairman of Yangzhou CPPCC, Vice President of Yangzhou Public Diplomacy Association)
发布时间:2015年01月09日  来源:察哈尔学会  作者:Hong Jinhua  阅读:1034

Distinguished guests, Mr. Zhao Qizheng, Dr. Han Fangming, ladies and gentlemen,


Good afternoon.

 

If we compare the national image of a country to an album, the images of each city would be the pages of this album. Cities are gradually walking toward the center of world stage as the carrier of national image. As a historic city, Yangzhou has been dedicated to developing city diplomacy strategy both in theory exploring and in practice. In displaying the national image of China, Yangzhou has played and will play an important role with its city diplomacy.

 

Yangzhou holds a very important water transportation position in China. Surrounded by rivers and sea, Yangzhou was an international port of Maritime Silk Road and it has a history of more than 1500 years to connect with the outside world. Yangzhou has been in friendly relations with more than 70 cities successively in the history by carrying out political, economic, religious, cultural exchanges. There are a lot of wide-known writers, celebrities, governors, national heroes and businessmen in the history who had great influence on China's economic and cultural development for a long time, and which have become the important human resources for Yangzhou's city diplomacy. Yangzhou, a garden city, has not only natural sightseeing, but also a lot of historic sites, all of which are heritage from the history as well as resources for city diplomacy nowadays. Yangzhou is functioning better and the quality of the city is improving. It has been awarded the UN Residential Award, the National Civilized City and National Forest City, etc. All of the titles lay a very good foundation for Yangzhou's city diplomacy. As a world famous city, Yangzhou should carry out the city diplomacy with its own characteristics.

 

Firstly, taking historical celebrities as the bridge for city diplomacy. Yangzhou has a long history of external communication and has a lot of famous historical figures. Monk Jianzhen and poet Cui Zhiyuan in the Tang Dynasty made a lot of contribution for China and Japan ,China and Korea relations. Monk Jianzhen was respected as the forefather of the Vinaya school and culture saver in Japan. Yangzhou has built up the memorial museum, library, Buddhism college, Avenue, art museum for Monk Jianzhen and has successfully organized the international Half-Marathon for 9 consecutive years. Yangzhou also co-organized activities with Cultural Department of Japan and Nara County to promote the relationship between China and Japan. Fuyushiba Tetsuzo has taken Yangzhou as the origin of China-Japan relation. Cui Zhiyuan, another historical celebrity in Yangzhou, has been regarded as the best representative of the Confucius culture in Korea. In 2007, the first museum named after a foreigner in China, Cui Zhiyuan Museum was set up in Yangzhou, and on the 15th of October every year, there will be activities memorizing Cui Zhiyuan by his descendants from Korean. If Beijing is the political center of China, Shanghai is the economic center of China, Yangzhou is the cultural center. When we talk about the communication with Japan and Korea, another good example is Puhaddin, the Arabian in Song dynasty, who played a great role in connecting China and Arabian world. Since 2010, the Yangzhou-Arabian Petro Industry Collaboration Forum was held in Yangzhou. The ambassador, consulate, representatives from six countries joined in this forum. Li Jinjun, deputy minister of the International Liaison Department of the Central Committee of the CPC, pointed out that Yangzhou had found a tie with Gulf countries. In Yuan Dynasty, Marco Polo traveled around Yangzhou and started our friendship with European countries. To memorize him, Yangzhou constructed the Marco Polo Museum. Stjepan Mesic, president of Croatia attended the opening ceremony of the museum. The Marco Polo Museum has become a must-go place for delegation from Croatia, Italy and other European countries. Owing to Marco Polo, Yangzhou established close links with many European cities like Rimini city of Italy.

 

Secondly, friendly relations between Yangzhou and foreign cities pave the way for city diplomacy. When Yangzhou first became sister cities with Karatsu, Japan in 1982, Yangzhou has built up sister city relations with 20 cities in 11 countries, and built friendship with 33 cities in 22 countries. The friendship network covers 5 continents now. Our communication and cooperation involve fields from culture, sports, and education to trade, technology, talents etc. We have held Yangzhou Day in sister cities and invited them to Jianzhen Marathon, football matches and exchange programs. For example, the young envoy of friendship exchange program between Yangzhou and Kent, the US, has been carried on for 19 years. Through these contacts, Yangzhou has developed its open economy, cooperating and trading with over 160 countries and regions all over the world. 30 out of the Top 500 Global corporations set office in Yangzhou. Meanwhile, cultural groups from Yangzhou have been to over 40 countries since 1980s. Over 10 schools have built up sister school relations with schools from America, Europe and Australia.

 

Thirdly, canal culture contributes to city diplomacy. In 486 B.C, King Foo Chai of Wu in Ancient Warring States Period built the canal, which started the development of Yangzhou City. For thousands of years, Yangzhou has grown with the canal. To promote the inheritance of canal culture, Yangzhou has held Yangzhou World Canal Cities EXPO for 8 years as well as the 25th World Canals Conference. We have also invited hundreds of scholars, experts and officials from over 60 foreign canal cities. Yangzhou has developed friendly relations with Ismailia, Strasbourg, Amsterdam and etc., through which Yangzhou has become more influential worldwide. Yangzhou World Canal Cities EXPO is now an excellent platform for cultural communication and has contributed to Yangzhou Canal's successful application for the list of world heritage. Under the leadership of State Administration of Cultural Heritage, Yangzhou has undertaken the leading role to protect and develop the canal. As a result, 6 sites of the canal in Yangzhou are listed as world heritage.

 

Fourthly, international conferences provide platforms for city diplomacy. In recent years, Yangzhou has focused on attracting conferences, competitions as well as talents and investments. For example, we have held Yangzhou World Canal Cities EXPO, the fifth cultural exchange forum of China, Japan and Korea, the eighth Chinese and French Major Roundtable Meeting, the World Bonsai Convention, the fourteenth World Conference of Historical Cities, etc. These conferences have helped Yangzhou going out to the world. Yangzhou has become the 189th member of ICCA and joined WTCF along with London and Athens.

 

As President Xi pointed out on the 60 anniversary of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, we should promote civil diplomacy, city diplomacy and public diplomacy. Yangzhou has made achievements in city diplomacy. But we still have a long way to go. We should:

 

1.Align with the general strategy of diplomacy and promote the superimposed effect of city diplomacy and general diplomacy.

2.Make the most of history, culture, and celebrities to reinforce the brand effect of city diplomacy.

3.Integrate resources of NGOs and other foreign relations; carry out city diplomacy both governmentally and non-governmentally.

 

Yangzhou is an open city with a promising future. 2016 would be the 2500th anniversary of the establishment of this city, please accept my invitation to learn more about this wonderful city.


Thank you. 

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