Cyprus Mail

Cultural show seals twinning of Limassol with Chinese city (photos)

Coastal city and Guangzhou share astonishing similarities says mayor


The Limassol municipality on Monday will sign a memorandum of cooperation with the Chinese city of Guangzhou, as the two towns are set to officially become twin cities.

The formal decision was announced on Sunday night during the Chinese Culture Day and Cultural Exchange Show event held at Patticheio Theatre in Limassol, attended by mayor Nicos Nicolaides and China’s Ambassador to Cyprus Liu Yantao.

“Both Guangzhou and Limassol are major economic powerhouses in their respective countries, as well as two very important ports,” Yantao said before the show. “They are indeed a perfect match.

“The twin city cooperation is just the beginning of a long friendship and will bear further fruits in the future.”

Limassol has already been twinned with the Chinese city of Nanjing since 1992.

Yantao also revealed that the Chinese government is working to improve visa entry policies and to remove the remaining Covid-19 restrictions, which he said will make it easier for Cypriots to visit China.

“We want to welcome you in China,” Yantao said addressing the Cypriot audience at the theatre. “We want you to see with your own eyes our home and to explore our culture.”

Last week, he also engaged in discussions on bilateral maritime matters and broader global shipping issues with Deputy Shipping Minister Marina Hadjimanoli, underlining the excellent cooperation between the two countries.

Nicolaides echoed the ambassador’s words, reiterating the importance of the agreement between the two towns.

“The memorandum of cooperation is of vital importance to us,” he said. “Despite being thousands of miles apart, Limassol and Guangzhou share astonishing similarities.

“Both cities have a very rich history and both are prominent ports in their respective countries. Guangzhou is a financial hub with a strong economy and Limassol is also a business point of reference in the region.”

He then thanked the Chinese audience in the theatre “for helping developing the town even further.

“Hundreds of Chinese people chose to settle in Limassol and make it their home away from home and I want to thank them. They are our fellow citizens and they strongly contribute to the social, economic and cultural life of our town.”

Only days after the episodes of violence against migrants and their businesses that marred parts of the town, Nicolaides emphasised that “Limassol is an open city.”

“We welcome friends from other countries that want to live here with us. We have been living with them for years in harmony and mutual respect,” he said.

The show featured a 12-member ensemble of dancers, musicians, acrobats and puppeteers from Guangzhou. Among them there were Chinese children living in Cyprus, who also performed on stage.

“It was wonderful to see how China and Cyprus are forming strong ties,” Wang, a Chinese resident of Limassol told the Cyprus Mail.

“I have been living here for the past seven years and each year more and more Chinese people choose to move to Cyprus.

“We are a strong community. Events such as this one are very important for us and are a perfect way to show our culture to the people of this island.”

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