Taipei and Houston, Texas, on Friday celebrated the 60th anniversary of their sister city relationship in an online ceremony, with the two cities pledging to reaffirm and bolster their partnership.
Taipei’s sister city agreement with Houston, signed on June 15, 1961, was the first such agreement for both cities.
On Friday, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said that he is proud of all his city’s sister city relationships, adding that cities enter such ties to promote friendship, peace and citizen diplomacy through exchanges, and culture, education, business and community development.
“There has to be a first, and that first was Taipei in 1961. You are Houston’s first sister city, and we were likewise your first sister city,” Turner said. “In Taiwanese culture, the significance of the 60th anniversary marks five complete cycles of the Chinese zodiac.”
The 60th anniversary is proof of the long-lasting friendship between the two cities, Turner said, adding that he is confident that the ties set a positive example for sister city relationships worldwide.
There is an active Taiwanese community in Houston, with approximately 20,000 Taiwanese in the city and 80,000 in the greater Houston area, Turner said.
“We are truly grateful for the support and contributions received from the Taiwanese community in Houston during COVID-19, including generous donations of PPE [personal protective equipment] and masks for those in need. On behalf of all the people in Houston, we want to say thank you,” Turner said.
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said that the two cities can learn from each other’s achievements, such as Taipei’s COVID-19 response and Houston’s smart city initiatives.
Ko invited Turner to Taipei’s Smart City Summit and Expo next year.
The celebration was delayed by more than a month due to Taiwan’s nationwide level 3 COVID-19 alert, which was in effect from May 19 to Monday and made larger indoor gatherings impossible.
Taipei has 48 sister cities, two partner cities and two friendship cities in 32 countries around the world, Taipei City Council data showed.
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