Liverpool Sister City Partnerships
with China: Shanghai

Liverpool Sister City Partnerships are an integral part of the city’s economic and educational development. Liverpool has shared a long-standing twin city relationship with Shanghai, for which TEP championed the 20th Anniversary celebrations in 2019.

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Council Partnerships in Liverpool

True Education Partnerships works closely with British councils and the Chinese Ministry of Education to provide a range of government-backed, immersive education experiences for schools and trusts nationwide.

Through these experiences, we aim to create strong, meaningful partnerships between schools and cities, giving way to a shared understanding in business, education and culture.

Through our Sister School Partnerships, we create well-rounded, employable global citizens who go on to become valuable assets to businesses. Research from the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development showed how students exposed to international study at a young age show a greater potential for foreign language acquisition, increased knowledge of different cultures and development of cross-cultural skills.

TEP’s programmes also help to contribute to the wider economy on a local and national level. An influx of international visitors stimulates growth in local businesses, as we use local providers for as much as possible including accommodation, restaurants, travel and tourist attractions.

Liverpool Sister City Partnerships with China

Liverpool’s sister city partnership with Shanghai is its most prominent and historic. Liverpool has five twin cities in total with whom it has active and beneficial links.

Liverpool Shanghai
Liverpool Kunming
Liverpool Qingdao
Liverpool Tianjin
Liverpool Xi’an

We help create Sister City Partnerships through our close ties with the Chinese government. If you’d like to create a partnership with China, or would like operational support in reinvigorating your links, get in touch with us.

Liverpool China Partnership

True Education Partnership’s CEO, Thomas Camilleri, is a director of the Liverpool China Partnership (LCP). The Liverpool China Partnership was formed to expand, strengthen and deliver greater benefit from the Liverpool City Region and Isle of Man’s trade, investment, tourism, education, cultural, civic and other links with China.

Liverpool Sister Cities

As well as sharing several sister city partnerships with China, Liverpool is also twinned with three other cities – Cologne, Dublin, and Rio de Janeiro.

The first of the twinning arrangements was with Cologne in 1952. A deal with Dublin followed in 1997, with both cities enjoying strong tourism, cultural and arts links.

Liverpool later forged a sister city partnership with Brazilian city Rio de Janeiro in 2003.

Liverpool council partnerships
Liverpool China Partnership

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

Liverpool Sister School Partnerships

Our Sister School Partnership programme brings a wealth of benefits for students, transcending the standard student exchange model. Participating students develop a new level of cultural awareness and appreciation, learn new skills and become more motivated, intuitive and self-sufficient than before. The programme’s benefits can also be seen to have a wide-reaching impact on the rest of the school, with teachers discovering new pedagogies and programme values becoming embedded in whole-school policy.

TEP has created life-changing experiences for several schools in Liverpool including All Saints Primary, Sacred Heart Catholic Primary, St Christopher’s Catholic Primary and St John Bosco.

If you’d like to support your region’s links with China, consider setting up a Sister School Partnership for your school or trust. TEP will help you every step of the way – from establishing the initial partnership to facilitating immersive learning experiences for schools.

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 bilateral 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.

The sister link between the two cities is a special relationship which goes back not just 20 years, but 200 years. Cllr Gary Miller, Deputy Mayor of Liverpool, says the partnership has had fantastic results in the city, going from strength to strength and offering support for education, health and the creation of local jobs and opportunities.

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.

Liverpool-China Partnership Past Activity

  • In October 1999, a delegation from Liverpool visited Shanghai to organise ‘Liverpool Week’ activities. This led to Shanghai Mayor Kuangdi Xu and Chairman of the Liverpool Municipal Council Mike Stolligan to sign an agreement which twinned the two cities.
  • In 2010, a Liverpool delegation was invited to the opening ceremony of the Shanghai World Expo – the only British city outside of London to be invited. It also opened the Liverpool Pavilion in the city’s best practice area.
  • In March 2015, Liverpool Vision signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Invest Shanghai – their equivalent organisation in Shanghai. The MOU enforced the long-standing relationship between the twin cities.
  • Liverpool signed a friendship agreement with Kunming in 2016 to build on existing ties and work together to create a positive, mutually beneficial relationship.
  • Business delegations from Kunming attended the International Festival for Business in June 2016.
  • Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson visited Shanghai again in 2017 to engage ion talks on strengthening friendly cooperation between the two cities.
  • 10 leading contemporary Shanghai artists took over the Liverpool waterfront in 2018, showcasing their work in a free exhibition produced by Culture Liverpool in partnership with Open Eye Gallery to mark the creative link between the two cities.
  • In 2018, LFC International Academy launched a programme in Kunming in partnership with the Kunming Municipal Bureau of Education. The programme was a combination of player development and education for local coaches, teaching them how to play and coach ‘The Liverpool Way’.
  • Later that year, Liverpool FC renewed its commitment to support the youth coaching programme in a long-term partnership with Kunming Municipal Bureau of Education, continuing to deliver football coaching to school children during term-time in a professional environment.
  • In 2019, three primary schools from Liverpool partnered with primary schools in Qingdao through the True Education Partnerships Sister School Partnership programme. The new partnerships will allow the schools to take part in overseas school visits, student hosting and joint projects.
  • December 2019 saw Liverpool government officials embark on a delegation visit to Kunming, to further strengthen relationships and promote more sister school partnerships.