Go TO Content

Tainan and San Jose Celebrate 40 Years of Sister Cities Relationship


This year marks the 40th year of sister city relationship between Tainan and US city San Jose. San Jose Councilmember Johnny Khamis, International Affairs Manager at San Jose Office of Economic Development Mr. Joe Hedges, VP of Communications and Marketing at Team San Jose Ms. Laura Chmielewski, and San Jose-Tainan Sister City Association Chair Ms. Xue Mei-ying led the nineteen-person delegation composed of major officials and former association chairpersons to Tainan to celebrate the event. Tainan city organized a special 40th anniversary exhibition specially for the occasion to display the results of past exchanges and interactions between the two cities.
Acting Mayor Li Men-yen first thanked the San Jose delegation for spending five days in Tainan, showing that San Jose deeply values the relationship and future interactions. Li then thanked the San Jose-Tainan Sister City Association for their dedication to promoting city diplomacy. He especially mentioned an incident in 2014: thanks to the joint effort of San Jose-Tainan Sister City Association and Tainan city government, Sister Cities International, an international organization which connects 140 countries on 6 continents, changed the name “Chinese Taipei” to “Taiwan”. The association also encourages student artists from both cities to participate and interact in San Jose’s Downtown Doors street art exhibition. 
Acting Mayor Li remarked that Tainan is honored to have the opportunity to become a sister city to San Jose. It has been four decades since the signing ceremony in 1977, and San Jose has transformed from a major agriculture town to an important development hub for many international high-tech industries and the heart of Silicon Valley. San Jose has seen great results in the development of sustainability, economy and social issues. Tainan looks forward to learning from San Jose and sharing our own experiences as well. 
This is Councilmember Johnny Khamis’ first visit to Tainan. He forwarded greetings from the Mayor and citizens of San Jose, and expressed that he is impressed by the hospitality of Tainan locals and the clean streets and environment. Khamis noted that Tainan is the first city in Taiwan, as San Jose is the first city in California. Both cities have rich cultures and are promoting the development of high tech industries; therefore there are many areas in which the cities can exchange and share knowledge and practical experiences. He suggested tourism as an area in which both cities can focus on more in the future and let San Jose residents learn more about beautiful Tainan. Khamis also welcomed Tainan visitors to San Jose. 
The delegation engaged in discussions with the city government on topics such as the promotion of medical tourism in Tainan, strategies Tainan city employed to attract foreign tourists with its local culture and history, the ongoing recovery work after the February 6 earthquake, the development of cultural and creative industries and ways to deepen and transform cultural exchanges into business collaborations between the two cities. The delegation expressed that during this visit, in addition to strengthening the sister city relationship between the two cities, they also wished to share and exchange experiences on city affairs to create a sustainable and better living environment for the residents of both cities. 
San Jose is the tenth largest city in the US and the third largest city in California. It is a well-known important international high-tech industry hub. Currently there are more than 3,000 high-tech companies that have set up factories or headquarters in the city, including Apple, Facebook, and Google. During this visit, Tainan city government arranged meetings between the San Jose delegation and people from major local organizations and businesses in various fields, including the heads of different government departments and sectors, representatives from Shalun Green Energy Science City Office, businesses and the SME Incubator at Southern Taiwan Science Park, and National Cheng Kung University Medical Equipment Center, to establish actual exchanges between the cities.