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Tainan Mayor Visits And Signs Partnership Agreement With Lithuanian City Jonava, Marking New Milestone For Taiwan-Lithuania Friendship

Tainan City Mayor Huang Wei-che signed a partnership agreement with Mayor Mindaugas Sinkevičius of Jonava City on April 1. This is Huang’s first visit to Europe since taking office, and Constance Hsueh-hong Wang, the representative of Taiwan in Lithuania, accompanied the Mayor to the City Hall of Jovana. Mayor Sinkevičius greeted Mayor Huang and guests with his high-level ministers, including Deputy Mayors Birutė Gailienė and Povilas Beišys, Eugenijus Sabutis, a congressman from Jonava, as well as four bureau directors and deputy directors of administration, general affairs, and communications.


Mayor Sinkevičius first gave the guests a brief introduction of his city. Originally an agricultural city, Jonava, the ninth-largest city in Lithuania, is now a hub for smart industry, smart transportation, and innovative businesses. Last year, the city completed several new sports centers, including public swimming pools. The indoor facilities are connected to smart bracelets via multiple smart systems which also link together outdoor ski facilities, water parks, and basketball courts. Basketball teams train regularly in Jonava City and Sinkevičius looks forward to more interactions with Tainan in sports and smart cities, including inviting the Tainan basketball team to Jonava for friendlies.


Greeting the Jonava hosts in Lithuanian “Labas!”, Mayor Huang Wei-che started by thanking Lithuania for its continued support of Taiwan. He thanked Mayor Sinkevičius for his invitation and mentioned that the Speaker of Parliament of Lithuania, Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, and the Chairman of the Taiwan Friendship Group, Matas Maldeikis, had just visited Taiwan. Mayor Sinkevičius visited Tainan at the end of March last year (2023) and this year marks the year of Tainan 400. Thus, it is especially significant for both cities to sign the agreement today and mark yet an additional milestone in the friendship between Taiwan and Lithuania.


Huang Wei-che continued by saying that Tainan, Taiwan’s oldest city, is a capital of new technologies as well as culture and cuisine. Hopefully, this partnership with Jonava will initiate more interactions between the two cities in the form of basketball team friendlies and smart technology partnerships. In addition, the Mayor of Tainan plans to extend an invitation to the folklore performing group from Jonava to participate in the Nan Ying International Folklore Festival in October, and to the residents of Jonava to attend the Tainan 400 event series.


 Both hosts and guests enjoyed their conversations and the signing ceremony ended with great applause. Mayor Sinkevičius expressed that the two cities are now family and have deepened the friendship between Taiwan and Lithuania. Tainan and Jonava agreed to finalize and sign the friendship agreement in the year of Tainan 400 (2024) based on the friendship between the two cities and the fact that both cities share the universal value of democratic freedom and equal exchange of visits. The city announced Tainan as the first friendship city of Jonava outside of Europe and put the Tainan City emblem on the exterior facade of City Hall to show how much Jonava cherishes this friendship and agreement. Photos of Tainan City’s landmarks were also displayed in front of the building so that the residents of Jonava can learn more about Tainan.


To promote Tainan’s orchids and agriculture products, Mayor Huang Wei-che presented an orchid (which symbolizes Tainan City) plate and Golden Diamond pineapples that enter production season in April as gifts to Mayor Sinkevičius. Mayor Sinkevičius gifted Lithuanian chocolates and local amber artwork to the Tainan Mayor and wore the orchid tie that Mayor Huang had given him the previous year for the occasion.