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Foreign Affairs Office of Beijing Municipal Government
2022-02-23  |  

[Overview] London is the capital of the United Kingdom. Located in the middle of the London basin in southeastern England, 40 miles from the estuary of the Thames, the city covers an area of 1,572 square kilometers and has a population of 8.908 million.

[Politics] The London Assembly and Mayor of London are responsible for the administration of city affairs concerning urban planning, economic development, culture, the environment, health, transportation, public security, fire protection and emergency response. The London Assembly consists of 25 members who are elected by popular vote for a term of four years. The Chair and the Deputy Chairman of the London Assembly are elected from the members for a term of one year. The election of the Mayor and the election of Assembly members take place at the same time. The Mayor is elected directly by the citizens of London for a term of four years. The number of Deputy Mayors, who are appointed by the Mayor, is not fixed. One of the Deputy Mayors must be served by a member of the London Assembly, and may represent the Mayor under special circumstances. The Greater London is divided into 32 Boroughs along with the City of London. There is no subordinate relationship between the two territorial levels. The incumbent Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, took office in May 2016.

[Economy] London is the economic and financial center of the United Kingdom. The tertiary sector accounts for more than 90% of the city's GDP. Among all service industries, finance, professional and commercial services, and information and communications technology industries are the most developed ones in the city. In recent years, London and New York have dominated the rankings of Global Financial Centers Index (GFCI).

[Culture and Education] London is a world-renowned historical and cultural city and the UK's cultural and educational center, with many world-renowned institutions of higher learning and cultural institutions such as Imperial College London, University of London, London School of Economics and Political Science, British Museum, National Gallery and many famous theaters. London hosted the 4th, 14th and 30th Summer Olympic Games in 1908, 1948 and 2012, respectively.

[Relations with Beijing] On April 10, 2006, Beijing and London officially became sister cities. In October 2013, the two cities signed a memorandum of cooperation in science and technology and environmental protection. In recent years, the two cities have maintained good official ties and engaged in productive cooperation in the fields of investment and trade, science and technology, environmental protection, culture, and urban management.

Investment and Trade: The two cities have jointly held many investment and trade promotion activities. In recent years, Beijing has held investment promotion and business networking events in London every year, introducing Beijing's service sector opening-up measures and high-end, precision and sophisticated projects, collecting information on British companies' investment intentions and providing necessary facilitation. Beijing Capital Development Holding has invested in real estate projects in London.

Scientific and Technological Innovation: In 2004, the Administrative Committee of Zhongguancun Science Park established a liaison office in London. In 2019, Zhongguancun Development Group held the Global Innovation and Future Technology Summit in London and signed a memorandum of understanding with London & Partners on matters concerning cooperation in innovation center, capital funding, technology services, cross-border consulting, and other fields.

Environmental Protection: The two cities have had exchanges on a series of topics such as air quality management and emission reduction and shared with each other relevant experience and practices.

People-to-people and Cultural Exchanges: The two cities have also worked together to hold cultural exchange events such as photo exhibitions and concerts. Beijing has sent delegations to participate in the Spring Festival celebrations held in London on many occasions. A long-term partnership has been established between Beijing Design Week and London Design Festival. London was the guest city of Beijing Design Week 2011. Since 2015, Beijing has held the China Film and TV Conference every year in London. The first conference in 2015, opened by Liu Yandong, Vice Premier of the State Council of China and Ed Vaizey, British Minister of State at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, was designated as part of China-UK High-Level People-to-People Dialogue.

Other Fields: The two cities have also arranged for the exchange of visits for civil servants so they can share experience in urban management. A number of districts under the jurisdiction of the two cities have also established ties of friendly cooperation.