Chinese and Israeli government officials attend the sister city relationship signing ceremony between Xiamen and Netanya on Jan 18. [Photo/fao.xm.gov.cn]
The Signing Ceremony of the Agreement on the Establishment of Sister City Relationship Between Netanya City, the State of Israel and Xiamen City was held on Jan 18.
Huang Wenhui, mayor of Xiamen, addressed the ceremony. He said that although Xiamen and Netanya are far away from each other geographically, they have many things in common.
Both cities are popular tourist destinations that boast a pleasant climate, unique natural scenery and cultural resources, said Huang, adding that the cities are also hotbeds for innovation and start-ups and have booming high-tech industries.
Miriam Fierberg-Ikar, mayor of Netanya, said that Xiamen is a beautiful city and there is ample room for cooperation between Xiamen and Netanya in high-tech industries. She expressed hope that the two sides can grasp the opportunities brought about by the establishment of the sister city ties to deepen cooperation in more fields.
Wang Yongjun, counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Israel and Peleg Lewi, Israeli consul general in Guangzhou, also attended the signing ceremony. Both said that the new sister city ties are a great gift to mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Israel.
Netanya is located in the central part of Israel, which is 30 kilometers north of Tel Aviv-Yafo, a cultural and commercial center in Israel. It boasts a pleasant climate and has a 14-km coastline with many well-known beaches on the Mediterranean Sea.
The city was initially built in 1929 and is 34.75 square kilometers. It had a population of 221,000 in 2019, ranking seventh in the country.
It is hailed as an innovative city with more than 300 emerging high-tech companies in the city and surrounding areas.
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.