Mayor Bell from Toledo, Ohio in the United States meets with Mayor Zhu in Qinhuangdao, Hebei in China on May 24, 2011. This is the first time for an American mayor and his delegation from Toledo to meet a Chinese mayor and other business people in Qinhuangdao as one of Toledo’s sister cities in the history of the past 26 years.
This sister city relationship was primarily initiated by Michael Cicak of Glasstech in cooperation with Mayor Donna Owens in 1985. Since then, many Chinese and American community leaders and colleagues have developed and support various initiatives between Toledo and Qinhuangdao, including educational and cultural exchange, business and economic development, medical and health collaboration and many other areas. They have been very active and played a very important role in facilitating the friendly and successful relationship between Toledo in the United States and Qinhuangdao in China. For the recent 10 year, for example, Dr. Guangzhong Chen, Ms. Hewen Slak, Mr. John Fullen, and Dr. Yueh-Ting Lee have been very instrumental in promoting this sister city relationship. Due to the constructive cooperation between Toledo and Qinhuangdao, Yanshan University in Qinhuangdao developed a partnership agreement with the University of Toledo several years ago. Toledo Hospital developed a partnership with Qinhuangdao First People’s Hospital two years ago. In Sept 2010, Mayor Michael Bell, the first Toledo mayor visited China and met with the delegation from Qinhuangdao while in Beijing.
To better support this sister city relationship, China Committee was established by Dr. Yueh-Ting Lee and Dr. Guang-Zhong Chen about four years ago. This committee has approximately 15 members including Chinese Americans, European Americans, African and other Americans, and several Qinhuangdao natives who live in NW Ohio. Every year, this voluntary community group in Toledo helps to facilitate four to five delegations from Qinhuangdao who come to visit Toledo, and vice versa. Almost each year, Qinhuangdao sends Chinese kids to International Youth Academy. Numerous Chinese college students from Qinhuangdao also come to study in Toledo. Similarly numerous Americans from Toledo visit Qinhuangdao in China. In May 2011, Mayor Bell and his delegation visit Qinhuangdao for the first time with the help from Dr. Chen, Dr. Lee, and China Committee who have been very collaborative and instrumental in facilitating and arranging this trip to Qinhuangdao.
With over 2.5 million people, Qinhuangdao is a major port and popular vacation spot located in northeastern China and is also known as the Glass City of China. It is one of the most beautiful and pleasant cities near the Pacific Ocean. It is only about two hours away from Beijing by train.