(Compiled according to the Audio Recording)
April 18, 2016
Changchun Foreign Language Website: Thank you Director General Qi for sparing time from your tight schedule to accept this interview. This year marks 10th anniversary for the founding of sister city relationship between Changchun and Wolfsburg. What is your comment on the relations between the two cities?
Director General Qi: This year marks 10th anniversary for the founding of sister city relationship between Changchun and Wolfsburg. Thanks to frequent contacts between the two city governments, the two sides have made a substantial progress in cooperation and exchanges in such aspects as economy and culture. Automobile links the two cities together. The headquarters of Volkswagen is in Wolfsburg, and Changchun is home to FAW. The two cities share many similarities. As our relationship grows, the cooperation among enterprises of the two sides have been deepened. This year marks 25th founding anniversary and also the implementation of FAW-VW’s second planning. All these will promote the friendly exchanges and economic cooperation between the two cities. It is safe to say that in terms of sister city relationship for the promotion of cooperation among enterprises of two cities Changchun and Wolfsburg have already become a role model around the world.
Changchun Foreign Language Website: Changchun Foreign Affairs Office will take the lead in organizing the celebrative series “Week of Germany” in which relevant departments and enterprises will be involved. Could you please introduce what activities have been designed for the celebration?
Director General Qi: To celebrate 10th anniversary of sister city relationship between Changchun and Wolfsburg, and also 25th anniversary for the founding of FAW-VW, we are going to organize the series Week of Germany. The effort is meant to deepen the understanding of the people about the two cities and meanwhile strengthen friendship and cooperation at all levels especially economic, cultural activities and exchanges among the citizens of the two cities. The series covering 10 activities were actually started last night. As the number of German visitors to Changchun grows, the cuisine culture of Germany has become more popular. There have been many communities in Changchun that are famous for German food. Changchun is now promoting the development of the third industry, which, in turn, will become a new spotlight for economic growth. Yesterday, we organized the German Cuisine Festival at the Shangri-La Hotel, and the exhibition of photos for the friendship between the two cities has been opened today. The photos tell the story of sister city friendship of the two cities which cover all achievements the two sides made over the past ten years in culture, sport-based exchanges as well as the memorable moments recorded during the visits among the citizens of the two cities. The Library of Changchun City and that of Wolfsburg established sister library relationship today, and gave books as gifts to each other. This has promoted the cultural exchanges between the two cities. In the next few days, other activities related to sport, equestrianism and opening of Bus Wolfsburg will be organized one after another to deepen the understanding and promote the friendship between the two cities.
Changchun Foreign Language Website: The 1st Work Conference on Foreign Affairs of Changchun City was held on March 23 this year. The new goal for the city’s foreign affairs was made clear at the conference. As the director general of the Foreign (Overseas Chinese) Affairs Office of the People’s Government of Changchun City, what can you share with us about sister cities’ roles in promoting government-government exchanges, serving local economic development and creating Changchun a central city in the region of Northeast Asia?
Director General Qi: It has been made clear by the CPC Changchun Municipal Committee that effort shall be made to create Changchun a central city in the region of Northeast Asia. It is also one of our ambitious goals. Changchun is situated in the geometric center of Northeast Asia. How to bring into play the role and power of our city? We have now had good foundations, and we are able to provide the best automobile, high-speed train and multiple unit train services. We have very good culture and education bases. There are many universities and research institutes in our city, which are able to provide a good guarantee for cultural promotion. In addition, food, customs and landscapes are very unique. All the aforementioned can make our city a center in this region. A long-term planning has been started to fulfil the goal, and to expand exchanges and cooperation with sister cities is one of the important aspects in such planning due to the fact that sister cities constitute an important part in diplomatic and public relations. Friendly exchanges for mutual benefits, being supplementary to each other, mutual development and a win-win progress are being conducted with friendly institutions and individuals. Therefore, we have every reason to believe that Changchun will become such an exceptional city that will make a great contribution to the economic and cultural development of Northeast Asia. We are striving to fulfil this goal!
Changchun Foreign Language Website: Last year, the delegation of internet information of Changchun City visited the headquarters of Wolfsburg. The Foreign Language Website of Changchun City and its counterpart of Wolfsburg reached a consensus on connectivity and information sharing in an effort to deepen the cultural, economic and people-to-people exchanges between the two sides. As the leader for Informationization of foreign affairs, what is your deliberation on publicity to the outside and service for local public diplomacy of new media under the strategy of internet plus?
Director General Qi: Internet plus is an important discovery to change our life in the new era. Our country is making an all-out effort to promote the development of internet plus in various fields. New media shall be used to strengthen the publicity of the image, style, development concepts and features of our city as well as the quality of the citizens to the outside world. Internet plus is the fasted and most convenient approach through which communications and cultural exchanges between two cities can be accelerated. We are going to continue pushing forward the exchanges of media and set up friendly TV and cyber cooperation mechanisms to strengthen our relations so that we can contribute to the development of the two cities.
Changchun Foreign Language Website: Thank you very much Director General Qi! May the Week of Germany succeed!