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Chongqing, Aswan Forge Strong Sister City Relations | Sister Cities

By YAN DENG|Mar 25,2024

Chongqing - In recent years, Chongqing has seized the opportunity to accelerate building the city into a Hub for International Exchanges in Central and Western China, continuously integrating and expanding foreign affairs resources.

The city has increased efforts to invite foreign entities and expand its presence globally. As a result, Chongqing's international network has grown, fostering broader exchanges with sister cities, solidifying partnerships, and paving the way for a wider path of friendship.

During the Asia Pacific Cities Summit & Mayors' Forum on October 11, 2005, Chongqing and Egypt's Aswan Province officially forged sister city relations, exchanging gifts and establishing a bond of friendship, thus ushering in an era of cooperation.

Aswan Province is located on the southern bank of the Nile in Egypt, bordering Sudan. The provincial capital, Aswan City, serves as Egypt's gateway to the African interior and a key trading hub for Sudan, Ethiopia, and other countries.

Philae Temple. (Photo/Foreign Affairs Office of Chongqing Municipal People's Government)

Aswan Province is a renowned tourist destination in Egypt, boasting over 20 significant attractions, including the Aswan High Dam, one of the world's seven largest dams, and the famous ancient Egyptian temples of Philae and Abu Simbel, designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The province's industries primarily focus on steel and aluminum production, fertilizers, sugar refining, textiles, leather production, cement, paper manufacturing, and fishing boats.

Nestled along the banks of the Yangtze River, Chongqing boasts the Three Gorges Reservoir, while Aswan, situated by the Nile, is renowned for the Aswan High Dam. Despite geographical divides, these two provinces have fostered a profound friendship, laying the groundwork for shared development and economic exchanges.

Aswan Province became Chongqing's first sister city in North Africa. Over the past two decades, the bond between these regions has only strengthened, with frequent interactions in tourism, cultural heritage preservation, and trade, showcasing a vibrant tapestry of collaboration.

The diplomatic roots of this relationship date back to 1999, when the Egyptian Ambassador to China visited Chongqing. He proposed Aswan Province as a potential partner, thus sowing the seeds for future collaboration.

In February 2000, a Chongqing municipal delegation visited Egypt to explore tourism, manufacturing, and trade opportunities. Intent agreements and memorandums for economic cooperation were signed, laying the foundation for future endeavors.

In April 2000, representatives from Aswan Province attended the Chongqing Investment and Trade Fair alongside the Three Gorges International Tourism Festival, further solidifying their commitment to mutual economic growth.

May 2002 witnessed a cultural exchange as a Chongqing delegation visited Aswan Province to study the relocation of residents due to the Aswan High Dam construction. Discussions ensued on advancing bilateral relations and economic cooperation.

In July 2005, a Chongqing delegation visited Aswan Province, marking the signing of a memorandum aimed at strengthening bilateral ties, thereby setting a timeline for establishing formal sister-city relations.

In October 2005, during the Asia Pacific Cities Summit & Mayors' Forum, the Mayor of Aswan, representing the provincial governor, officially sealed the sisterhood between the two regions, cementing their commitment to collaboration.

High-level exchanges continued, with Chongqing leaders exploring avenues for Chongqing's automotive products to enter the southern Egyptian market through Aswan and collaborating on publishing Chinese introductions for the Nubia Museum.

The director of the Nubia Museum in Aswan visited Chongqing, engaging in academic exchanges with the Chongqing China Three Gorges Museum regarding preserving cultural relics in the Three Gorges Reservoir Area and the Aswan Reservoir Area. They signed a "Friendly Cooperation Agreement between the Chongqing China Three Gorges Museum and the Egypt Nubia Museum," establishing a long-term cooperation mechanism.

Representatives from the Aswan Provincial Government visited Chongqing to participate in the 9th China International High-tech Expo and the 5th China International Military-Civil Fusion Expo. They attended the opening ceremony of the Egyptian Pavilion and the opening event of the "Splendors of the Sun—Exhibition of Cultural History Photographs of Egypt's Aswan" held at the Chongqing China Three Gorges Museum.

Chongqing hosted the 8th China (Chongqing) International Garden Expo, marking the opening of Chongqing Garden Expo Park. Concurrently, Aswan Province's Aswan Garden, constructed within Chongqing Garden Expo Park, debuted at the expo. Aswan became the first foreign city to establish a presence in Chongqing Garden Expo Park. 

Aswan Garden in Chongqing Garden Expo Park. Photo/Foreign Affairs Office of Chongqing Municipal People's Government)

The design of the Aswan Garden draws inspiration from ancient Egyptian palace gardens, showcasing the country's ancient relics and modern civilization achievements. During the construction phase, a delegation from Aswan Province's government visited Chongqing to discuss the selection and design of the Aswan Garden.

In November 2023, a delegation from Chongqing visited Aswan Province, engaging in in-depth discussions on the development of sister-city relations between the two regions. They agreed to promote cooperation in various fields, including trade, infrastructure, education, and cultural tourism.


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