A new chapter in Taiwan-U.S. city-to-city relations has begun. On August 3, Taoyuan City Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan and Ras J. Baraka, Mayor of Newark, New Jersey, jointly held an online sister-city agreement signing ceremony. Newark is the 15th city to sign such an agreement with Taoyuan since Cheng began his tenure as mayor, and is Taoyuan’s first sister city in the eastern U.S.
Mayor Cheng noted that Newark is an important city for the State of New Jersey, given its status as an east coast sea and air transport hub. “Therefore, it is exciting to forge a sister-city tie with the City of Newark at a moment when Taiwan-U.S. relations have reached a new height,” he said.
As important international transport centers that boast industrial strengths in aviation, sea transportation, warehousing, and logistics, both Taoyuan and Newark pursue values of diversity, openness, and economic opportunities for their citizens. Mayor Cheng said he hopes that the two cities will engage in more exchanges and collaboration on the development of their airports, economies, culture, and tourism. He also anticipates the possibility of a direct flight to make it easier to travel back and forth between the two cities.
In addition, Cheng mentioned the Taiwan-U.S. Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) talks, which resumed this June. During the most recent meeting, he said, the two sides reached a consensus on a number of items and formed several task forces, which he believes will promote further exchanges. He expressed his hope that once the COVID-19 pandemic is over, Taiwan and the U.S. will resume in-person visits to explore more areas of collaboration.
“The City of Newark is honored to establish a sister-city tie with Taoyuan, a major international airport hub like Newark, and gains another loyal friend in Asia,” Mayor Baraka said, adding that he believes the two cities will enjoy enhanced development through mutual learning and assistance. He thanked Taoyuan for choosing his city as its first sister city in the eastern U.S. and welcomed Taoyuan as a new member of the big family of Newark.
Speaking at the ceremony, Vice President of the Newark City Council Luis A. Quintana remarked that as Newark and Taoyuan are both critical sea and land hubs, he believes that under the leadership of their mayors, the two sister cities will ramp up collaboration and exchanges in the fields of sea and air transportation, as well as technological development. He stressed that the city council will do its part to support cooperation between Newark and Taoyuan in the future.
At the end of the ceremony, Mayor Cheng presented a cement craftwork to Mayor Baraka as a gift commemorating the signing of the sister-city agreement. The craft takes the shape of an interlacing string, with the emblems of Taoyuan and Newark printed on either end, symbolizing the two cities on the opposite sides of the Pacific Ocean, connected by their similarities.
The commemorative gift presented by Mayor Cheng to Mayor Baraka at the signing ceremony.
The Taoyuan and Newark emblems were printed on either end, symbolizing the similarities connecting these two cities on opposite sides of the Pacific Ocean.