Chinese Liberal Democrats publish e-book on twinned cities

In today’s globalised world, twin city links with China can be profitable bridges between knowledge economies if approached in a creative way by local Councils, business clusters, educational institutions and research establishments working together.  But there are many pitfalls and long-term, multi-layered commitments, leveraging existing core strengths, are required to make them work.  This report by the Chinese Liberal Democrats is a useful handbook on how 21st century twin city-led partnerships can bring valuable results in trade, investment, science and education.

Richard Pascoe- Executive Director, Great Britain China Centre

I  welcome this interesting report.  Twinning links with China, with political leadership and a consistent strategy, may provide new opportunities and huge economic benefits to a city. … This study is useful and timely when budgets are tight and local authorities need hard evidence and guidance on how best to deploy their resources to engage with China more effectively.

Min Rose- Chair, China Business Association

A useful guide for any ambitious local authority that wishes to make economically and culturally fruitful connections with fast-growing Chinese cities.

Ben Chu- Economics Editor, The Independent

UK China twinned citiesThe above are only some of the quotes from independent commentators on an e-book commissioned by Chinese Liberal Democrats by authors Carl Carlstedt and Chris Georgiou.

This topic was also the subject of a fringe event that I had chaired on behalf of Chinese Liberal Democrats  at the Autumn Conference in Glasgow this year.  Attending the fringe with panellists Duncan Hames MP, Jerry Cheung and Sir Graham Watson MEP was lawyer and China expert Lord Tim Clement-Jones.  He had this to say of their findings:

The recent research into UK China City twinning conducted by Carl-Johan Carlstedt and Christopher Georgiou is extremely valuable. Clearly Twinning relationships can work well, particularly if they have history behind them. They demonstrate how Liverpool reaped the reward of a much-altered perception as an international outward-looking city through its strong presence at the Shanghai Expo.

“They also demonstrate that twinning needs to be properly leveraged and managed.  Often there is an imbalance between the Chinese City and the UK twinning partner. Shanghai has a population of 24 million with its city authority boundaries; Liverpool City by contrast just 500,000 or so.

“So local political and economic structures are important as are the role of the Local Enterprise Partnerships in the city region and the prospect of a combined authority with outlying boroughs…

So, if you are interested to read the full report with Foreword by DPM Nick Clegg MP for yourself, just click  here to order the e-book to your Kindle, i-Pad or PC.  And why not recommend a copy for a friend or colleague as well, which could be great reading  over the Christmas holiday season?

About the authors:

Carl-Johan Carlstedt

With a social science background focused on the International Political Economy of the East Asian region, Carl returned to London after a year living and writing about his experiences of social and economic change in Central China. Carl brought his newfound knowledge back home to build ties between two regions where there has remained a lack of mutual understanding. Carl is looking to begin his Masters in International Relations in September 2014 with a focus on Sino-European trade and security cooperation.

Christopher Georgiou

A Masters student in MSc International Management (China) at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Chris undertook work experience at the British Chamber of Commerce Shanghai in 2012, and is currently developing a deeper understanding of China and its growing yet furcated market.

* Merlene Emerson is an Executive member of LibDems Overseas and Co-founder of Chinese Liberal Democrats.

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