2020 marks the 15th anniversary of the formalisation of the Nottingham-Ningbo city friendship and a launch ceremony has been held at University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC) to kick off a series of events to celebrate this milestone.
Entitled A Tale of Two Cities, the programme of activities will incorporate online dialogues, public lectures and exhibitions devoted to culture and history of Ningbo and Nottingham. The events will run until the end of the year.
The launch event saw the participation of representatives from municipal offices, Ningbo Museum and UNNC.
Professor Gary Rawnsley, Dean of UNNC Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, hosted the event. He told participants: “The first 15 years have been exciting, productive, inspiring, and I am happy to celebrate this important milestone. But it is only the end of the beginning. Now we must move our friendship to the next level, and my colleagues and I look forward to working with you all over the coming months and years to develop a legacy of which we all – from Ningbo and Nottingham – can be proud.”
Shuanglin Jiao, Deputy Director General of Ningbo Foreign Affairs Office expressed his confidence that the two cities would weather the difficult times caused by COVID-19 pandemic and further strengthen ties. He said: “We all face the tough task to defeat the virus, stabilise the economy and protect people’s livelihoods. I do believe these cultural events will strengthen our resolve to tide over this crisis in solidarity. I look forward to meeting our friends from Nottingham, UK, face to face in the near future to deepen our friendly exchange and cooperation.”
Also at the event, a plaque was unveiled to launch an academic cooperation base between UNNC and Ningbo Museum.
Ningbo’s relationship with Nottingham began to flourish in 2004 when UNNC became the first-ever Sino-foreign university to open its gates in China. The following year, UNNC’s present campus opened in the Ningbo district of Yinzhou and the two cities established official sister-city status.