Suzhou, China, 2 November(TDI) Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a message to the fifth China-US Sister Cities Conference on Friday, which was held in the city of Suzhou in Jiangsu Province, located in the eastern part of China, stating that close cooperation between sister provinces/states and sister cities has been fruitful over the past four decades.

He commended the achievements of the collaboration between sister provinces/states and sister cities in various fields over the past four decades.

He also stressed that the people are the foundation and the driving force of the China-US relationship and that the friendship between the people is the key to maintaining and developing bilateral ties.

The conference, themed “Build Green Cities for the People,” is co-hosted by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and the Jiangsu provincial government.

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It aims to promote the development and cooperation between sister cities in various fields, such as environmental protection, education, culture, health, and tourism.

In his message, Xi highlighted that the essence of the relationship between China and the U.S. is rooted in its citizens, with the power of this bond stemming from their mutual friendships.

He pointed out that since establishing the first sister province/state and city partnership in 1979, a total of 284 such partnerships have been created.

Over the past many years, these collaborations have been intimate and fruitful, yielding real advantages for the populations of both nations.

He emphasized that the China-U.S. Sister Cities Conference is a vital platform for the dialogue and collaboration among different levels of government and it has helped to advance the growth and partnership between sister cities.

He urged the conference attendees to keep facilitating the communication and cooperation between different levels of government so that the provinces/states and cities can contribute more to the stable and positive growth of the relations between the two countries and the welfare of their people.