Bristol Sister City Partnerships
in China: Guangzhou

Bristol City Council has partnered with Guangzhou in Guangdong, China to facilitate close Sister City and Sister School Partnerships through TEP.

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Bristol Council & Education Partnerships

True Education Partnerships work closely with several British councils and the Chinese Ministry of Education to provide a range of government-backed, immersive education experiences.

These experiences are designed to not just enhance the skills and development of students and teachers, but also promote cultural diversity and economic growth across cities and regions across the UK. We do this by facilitating strong sister partnerships between cities and schools, enabling greater connection and exchange of ideas and resources.

Bristol Council China Sister Cities

Bristol is linked with Guangzhou in the Guangdong Province.

Bristol Guangzhou

Though they differ greatly in size – Bristol has a population of 450,000 whereas Guangzhou’s is nearly 14 million, nearly twice that of London – the two are an excellent pairing in the shape of their economy and the challenges they face.

Both cities have long trading histories and sit within high-tech clusters.  Much like Bristol, the future of Guangzhou will depend on innovation, technology and harnessing the creative power of an educated population. The region is rapidly moving away from the low-cost, low-wage manufacturing China is associated with China and is moving towards more of a purposeful, conscious economy.

We help create Sister City Partnerships through our close ties with the Chinese government. If you’d like to create a partnership with China, contact us.

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Want to know more about how TEP can support your region’s Sister City Partnerships?

Bristol Sister School Partnerships

Commercial and education links between the cities are managed by The West of England China Bureau. TEP works with Bristol Learning City to share our programme information with schools.

So far we have created Sister School Partnerships for eight schools in the region including Wallscourt Farm Academy, St Christopher’s Catholic Primary and Sefton Park Infant & Junior Schools. Many of them have since hosted their Chinese sister schools this summer and will soon embark on a life-changing trip to China to visit them.

If you’re interested in supporting your region’s links with China, why not start up a Sister School Partnership for your school or trust? As part of the partnership, we help you facilitate immersive learning experiences for both students and teachers including school visits, student hosting and joint projects.

Sister City Partnership Process

Partnership Initiation

We plan and launch Council Delegation visits to establish Sister City Partnerships between councils in the UK and China.

Economic Impact

A Sister City Partnership can encourage inward investment and has many bilateral benefits that make a significant economic impact.

Partnership Support

We support existing Sister City Partnerships between the UK and China through business, education and sport.

Education Opportunity

We invite schools to be part of rewarding Sister School Partnerships, which have mutual student benefits for both the UK & China.

Benefits of a Sister City Partnership

The UK and China have a long history of engagement and are now entering a ‘golden era’ of deepening relations between the two countries.

With two thirds of the global population projected to live in cities by 2050, it is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the needs of urban areas. The academic consensus is that it is getting harder to achieve governance, economic and well-being goals without engaging with partners in the wider international community.

The China International Friendship Cities Association counts 52 formal Sister City Partnerships between Chinese and British cities.

Partnering with a Chinese city has significant measurable benefits such as:

  • Increased city-wide cultural awareness
  • Educational partnerships and developments
  • An influx of business, tourism & trade
  • The sharing of valuable resources and approaches
  • Increased desirability and raised social profile
  • More investment in the local economy.

We have facilitated many Sister City Partnerships, including the iconic relationship between Liverpool and Shanghai, for which we championed the 20th anniversary celebrations in 2019.

Links like these have a tremendous impact on a region’s international awareness, bringing social benefits that reach far into local communities as well as across the region and UK.

Bristol-Guangzhou Partnership Past Activity

  • The University of West England (UWE) opened a new office in Guangzhou in 2014 dedicated to supporting southern China and promote the university as a source of higher education and partnerships. The office was built to complement the existing office that provided similar support for northern China.
  • In 2014, Bristol and Hangzhou were awarded the Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation, a recognition of their implementation of innovative urban projects.
  • The following year, Bristol City Council announced a number of opportunities around Smart Cities which would enable local businesses to benefit from investment, engage in joint ventures with Guangzhou companies and take part in a delegation visit to China.
  • Bristol was also delighted to receive Guangzhou – along with four of its other twin cities – in 2015, who came to share experiences and develop cooperation on smart low carbon city issues.
  • In celebration of the 15th Anniversary of the Sister City relationship, Guangzhou gifted a beautiful Kapok Flower sculpture which now sits proudly in UWE’s Botanical Gardens.
  • In 2018, the Peoples Government of Guangzhou met with senior figures from Bristol city council and UWE to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to ensure the continuation of the reciprocal scholarship between the two cities.
  • Hong Kong artist Bao painted some Simpsons-inspired pieces at Bristol’s 2018 Upfest.