3 Taiwan cities show interest in sister city ties with Oxford

Image taken from Pixabay

TAIPEI (CNA) — Hsinchu, Taichung and Tainan have expressed interest in setting up sister city ties with Oxford in the United Kingdom after the Oxford city council passed a motion earlier this week to establish a twinning agreement with a Taiwanese city.

The Taichung City government said Tuesday it will seek assistance from Taiwan’s representative office in the U.K. and from the British Office Taipei to help the city establish ties with Oxford.

The city government’s Secretariat said Mayor Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) has forged good relationships with many sectors in the U.K. and visited the country last year to push for closer ties.

Hsinchu Mayor Lin Chih-chien (林智堅) said he would love to see Hsinchu and Oxford set up sister city ties, and he felt it would be a good match because Oxford is a college town and Hsinchu is home to five top universities.

Echoing Lin, Yen Ta-jen (嚴大任), vice president for Global Affairs at National Tsing Hua University in Hsinchu, said that as the city seeks sister city ties with Oxford, his university will seek a sister university tie with Oxford University.

National Chiao Tung University (NCTU), another top university in Hsinchu, also expressed the hope of setting up academic exchanges with more top colleges in the U.K.

To date, NCTU has signed cooperation agreements with several British counterparts, including King’s College London, the University of Leeds, the University of Southampton and Swansea University.

Tainan Mayor Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲) said Tainan is a city rich in history as is Oxford, and he will have Tainan’s Department of Information and International Relations push for sister city ties with the British city.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it was willing to help any Taiwanese city that wants to set up a sister city relationship with Oxford.

On Monday, the Oxford City Council overwhelmingly passed the motion to sign a sister city agreement with a city in Taiwan.

The motion, which asked that the Cabinet under Boris Johnson “explore the possibility of negotiating a twinning agreement with an appropriate municipality on the island of Taiwan,” was passed by a 42-1 vote, with two abstentions.