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Porto and Shenzhen bolster ties

A Chinese delegation to Portugal aims to increase cooperation in a variety of areas between the twinned cities
  • Shenzhen and Porto, Portugal’s second largest city, twinned in 2018, establishing cooperation in areas from culture and tourism to heritage conservation





A delegation led by the deputy mayor of Shenzhen has travelled to Porto, Portugal, to bolster relations between the twin cities in a variety of areas.

Filipe Araújo, the deputy mayor of Porto, and Catarina Santos Cunha, councillor for tourism and internationalisation, welcomed the large entourage at City Hall. Headed by Wang Shourui, Shezhen’s deputy mayor, the group included 11 other officials, as well as two representatives of the Chamber of Commerce Portugal-China SME Associations.

Shenzhen twinned with Portugal’s second largest city back in October 2018, establishing cooperation in areas such as culture, tourism, education, trade and industry, technological innovation, heritage rehabilitation, health, technological innovation, industry, transport and investment.

[See more: Portugal has inaugurated its first made-in-China metro]

The modern practice of twin cities – variably known as sister cities – dates back to World War II, with Coventry, England, reaching out to Stalingrad (now Volgograd) to establish solidarity with an ally that had experienced similarly devastating bombing in the war. Today, such bonds are often based on recognising migration links, encouraging trade and tourism or other common interests.

Twinning has become an important part of Chinese diplomacy, establishing cultural links and encouraging investment, particularly under China’s flagship infrastructure project, the Belt and Road Initiative. Chinese cities have twinned with hundreds of cities all over the world. 

Alongside Shenzhen, Shanghai has also twinned with Porto, making an agreement in January 2023. Macao twinned with Porto in 1997 and has the most twin cities in Portugal of any Chinese city.

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