STA, 19 January 2022 - Many Slovenian cities and towns are twinned with cities all over China, with the oldest link being between Ljubljana and Chengdu, lasting over 40 years, and the most recent one being the twinning of Kranj and Zhangjiakou, one of the host cities of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in China.
The mayors of Kranj and the Chinese city of Zhangjiakou, which has 4.7 million inhabitants and lies 200 kilometres north-west of Beijing, signed a document twinning the two cities in December, focusing mainly on cooperation in sport and business.
Zhangjiakou will be one of the venues for the Winter Olympic Games in February 2022, with teams competing there in ski jumping, cross-country skiing, biathlon, Nordic combined, snowboarding and freestyle skiing.
Zhangjiakou boasts state-of-the-art winter sports infrastructure, while Kranj is passing on experience gained through a well-established school system for young athletes, quality work in sports clubs and its experienced coaching staff.
The twinning with a Chinese city is a historic step, as it is the first time that Kranj became twinned with a non-European city.
"Sport is the strongest link between our two cities, and we look forward to working with our Chinese friends, exchanging experience and knowledge," Kranj Mayor Matjaž Rakovec said upon the signing of the twinning document in December.
Zhangjiakou, also known as "Beijing's northern gate" due to its strategic location, has seen an accelerated focus on tourism in recent years, including winter sports tourism. This is an aspect that can provide opportunities for Slovenian partners as well.
Many Slovenian cities and municipalities have already established links with China in the past. The oldest is Ljubljana's link with Chengdu, and the list of twinned cities is quite extensive.
Ajdovščina is twinned with Jorung, Črna na Koroškem with Harbin, Koper with Jiujiang, Novo Mesto with Yixing, while Maribor is twinned with a total of eight Chinese cities: Wuxi, Yancheng, Huai'an, Nanchang, Nanjing, Ningbo, Chongqing and Hangzhou