The Turkish city Izmir established sister-city relations with Xiamen on January 18, 2018, becoming the Chinese city's 20th sister city in the process.
Izmir is a metropolitan city in the western extremity of Anatolia and the third most populous city in Turkey, after Istanbul and Ankara. It is the second most populous city on the Aegean Sea coast after Athens, Greece.
The city boasts a thriving tourist industry thanks to its attractive scenery and warm climate.
Industry and agriculture are also well developed in the city with gross production second in Turkey only to its largest city Istanbul and Izmir's four other sectors - textile, food processing, steel, and oil refining, all leading the country.
The annual Xiamen International Stone Exhibition is the most influential Chinese exhibition in Turkey while the Turkish city also holds the third largest marble exhibition in the world once a year.
In addition, Izmir shares similarities with Xiamen in population, economic development and geographical location, which creates potentially huge cooperation opportunities for them in taking part in the Belt and Road Initiative.
China now enjoys comprehensive mutual visa exemption with 23 countries after reaching an agreement on mutual visa exemption with Thailand on Jan 28.
China and Thailand signed an agreement on mutual visa exemption for holders of ordinary passports and passports for public affairs on Jan 28.