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CCFAO Delegation Attends 5th Symposium on China-Germany Urbanization Held in Ji’nan

The 5th Symposium on China-Germany Urbanization, which was sponsored by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and Konrad Adenauer Foundation, and organized by the Foreign Affairs Office of Shandong Province, Shandong Provincial Department of Housing and Urban-Rural Development and Shandong Provincial Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, was opened in Ji’nan on November 7, 2017. The delegation of Changchun City consisting of representatives of Changchun Foreign Affairs Office (CCFAO), Changchun Municipal Bureau of Planning and Jiutai District attended the symposium.

The theme of the symposium is Urban-Rural Integration, which attracted the participation of some 150 people from all walks of life from Germany and China. Among the guests invited to address the event included Song Jingwu, Vice President of Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, Wang Chengbo, Deputy Secretary General of the Standing Committee of Shandong Provincial People’s Congress, and the Chief Representative of Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Beijing. Eight representatives of law legislative departments, local governments, research institutes and think tanks of the two countries shared their ideas on Development of Small and Medium-sized Cities, Reconstruction of Villages in Cities, Transformation of Rural Population and Urban-Rural Infrastructure Construction.

At the opening ceremony, the senior official in charge of climate and urbanization from the Embassy of Germany in China indicated that the China and Germany could jointly deal with such issues as urbanization construction and sustainable development through the friendship provinces and cities established by the two sides.

“Urbanization is not to make all cities look like each other but to give them the same development incentives according to their cultural features,” a German representative said in his speech, adding, “urban-rural equality is of great significance to socioeconomic stability and development. The rich economic features of small and medium-sized enterprises of Germany enable rural areas to provide more jobs which in turn attract people back to the countryside. With the increase of population and housing in cities, Germany is also facing the issues brought by urbanization to which the two countries need to find solutions.”

“Small towns are treasures which need to be preserved in the course of urbanization. Villages shall be treated equally,” said an official from Jiutai District who also believed that China and Germany should explore for the establishment of urban-rural integration and equality mechanism to attract more young people back to the countryside for employment, entrepreneurship and thus add vitality to rural development.

The official from CCFAO indicated that experience of others can help solve our own issues. Urbanization is the intrinsic power for social development. Changchun is also building up a new pattern for urban-rural integrated development, and thus need to learn from the countries like Germany with a high rate of urbanization.

This year marks the 45th anniversary for the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Germany. It has been the 11th anniversary for the establishment of friendship city relationship between Changchun and Wolfsburg. Changchun held the celebration for the 10th anniversary of the two cities last year. There has been a long history of friendship between Changchun City and Germany, with pragmatic cooperation and exchanges carried out in economy, trade, culture, science, technology, education, urbanization construction, land resource planning and sport. CCFAO was said to have decided to take the meeting as a chance to kick-start connections with Konrad Adenauer Foundation and push forward the urbanization of Changchun City.

The Symposium on China-Germany Urbanization is an important measure for the implementation of building up urbanization partnership between China and Germany. It has been held for four editions in Xuzhou, Shenyang, Baotou and Chengdu respectively.