TYLER, TX (KLTV) - A city in southwest China is closer to being named the sixth official sister city of Tyler.
The Tyler Sister Cities program is exploring a new partnership with Qujing, a city of more than six million residents located in southwestern China, located about 700 miles west of Hong Kong.
Earlier this year, the Tyler City Council formally approved the international partnership, which would provide East Texas with educational and business opportunities.
“The exchange of education has been particularly beneficial, especially with Japan,” said Tyler Sister Cities president Russ Jackson. “We have a great relationship with both teaching English and with the working of our nursing programs together.”
The mayors of both cities will need to meet and hold a formal signing of acceptance to make the partnership official."
Our understanding is that they are planning on coming to Tyler sometime in the next year or two," Jackson said.
The relationship between the two cities first developed in 2001. Groups of business leaders and college students visited Qujing the following year.
Representatives of the Tyler Sister Cities board of directors made an official visit to China earlier this Summer.
Organizers says they are looking to expand business partnerships through the exchange.
“There are possible opportunities for our local manufacturers to move product to other countries and likewise from other countries to our area,” Jackson said.
“We are also looking, in both directions, opportunities for business investments. All of these have to be healthy and built upon a strong foundation of trust.”
In May, Tyler Sister Cities installed a peace pole at the Tyler Rose Garden, featuring directional signs pointing to sister cities around the world. Qujing was already featured in the project.
More than 2,400 communities are involved with Sister Cities International, representing 130 countries.
Tyler has already partnered with Yachiyo City, Japan; Jelenia Gora, Poland; Liberia, Costa Rica; San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and Lo Barnechea, Chile.
KLTV & KTRE’s Lane Luckie is traveling to Asia to explore the current issues related to the important bilateral relationship between the world’s two largest economies, the United States and China. Click here to follow Lane’s travels and explore our special coverage, China In Focus.