Liverpool signs Memorandum of Understanding with Xi’an

THE City of Liverpool has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Chinese city Xi’an, following the launch of the Terracotta Warriors at the World Museum.

The agreement will see both cities actively trying to strengthen partnerships between them in a range of fields. Some of the potential activities include joint educational programmes, highlighting cultural heritage, sharing knowledge and best practice in healthcare and exploring opportunities for trade and investment.

Following a meeting at St. George’s Hall between delegations from both cities, the MoU was signed by two Vice Mayors; Gary Millar on behalf of Liverpool and Guanghua Fang for Xi’an.

It follows the unveiling of ‘China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors’, the much-anticipated exhibition which sees the World Museum welcome some of the famous figures from the Terracotta Army in Xi’an.

The cities’ links go back much further than the exhibition though, especially in education.

Xi’an Jiaotong University (XJTU) has been a close partner of the University of Liverpool (UoL) for more than 15 years, operating an international joint university based in Suzhou. Earlier this month, Professor Dame Janet Beer, UoL’s Vice-Chancellor, announced the construction of a new campus in Jiangsu Province.

Supported by Liverpool Confucius Institute, four schools in Liverpool have signed memorandum of Understanding with their Xi’an counterparts to strengthen school links since October 2017.

Meanwhile, facilitated by Invest Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University recently signed an MoU with Xi’an University, working towards closer collaboration in a range of areas including joint academic programmes, undergraduate projects and student exchange.

There has also been co-operation in healthcare, with Xi’an Taikang Hospital Management signing MoUs with both Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust and Liverpool Women’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in 2017.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “We’re proud of our long-standing Chinese links, from having Europe’s oldest Chinese community to being twinned with Shanghai. This agreement with Xi’an, a magnificent city with a rich history, is extremely important to us. It acknowledges our existing links, exemplified by the relationships we have in education and healthcare as well as the Terracotta Warriors being on show at World Museum. But it also underlines our seriousness in establishing more business relationships between us, and working even more closely in the future.”

Xi’an Vice Mayor Fang said: “This is the first time that the Terracotta Warriors have been to Liverpool and also my first visit to the city. I believe the Terracotta Warriors share the same feeling that I have: this is a city that is highly developed but still ambitious; this is a city that respects history and also focusses on the contemporary; this is a city with self-confidence but still curious about the diversity of this world. I could hear the Terracotta Warriors say to me: let’s develop the friendship between Xi’an and Liverpool, and let it go deeper and wider.”