[Overview] Located in the central-western plains of Albania, at the foot of Mount Dajti, Tirana is the capital and largest city of Albania as well as the country's political, economic and cultural center. It covers an area of 31 square kilometers and has a population of 862,000.
[Politics] Tirana is governed by the Municipal Council of Tirana and the city government. The Municipal Council of Tirana consists of 55 members, directly elected by the citizens for a term of four years. The city government is the executive body of Tirana, consisting of the mayor's office, the services and HR department, the economic affairs department, the public affairs department, the municipal affairs department, the legal system department, the public procurement department, the financial supervision department, the land inspection department, the project preparation and coordination office, and the public relations department. The incumbent mayor, Erion Veliaj, was elected in July 2015 for a term of four years and re-elected in June 2019 for another term of office.
[Economy] Tirana is the largest city and a major industrial center in Albania. The city's major industries include metallurgy, tractor repair, food processing, textiles, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, dyes, glass, and porcelain. There are coal mines near the city.
[Culture and Education] Tirana currently has three public universities. The city's important scientific and cultural facilities include the Academy of Sciences, the Palace of Culture, the National Historical Museum, and the International Center of Culture. Its landmarks include the Skanderbeg Statue in the downtown and ancient mosques.
[Relations with Beijing] On March 21, 2008, Beijing and Tirana officially became sister cities. Since then, they have engaged in frequent cultural exchanges. In October 2019, the two cities worked together to hold the fourth China-CEEC Capital Mayor's Forum in Tirana.
Culture: In March 2012, Beijing held the “Charming Beijing” photo exhibition, the Beijing intangible cultural heritage exhibition and the “Beijing Night – Songs Dedicated to the Albanian People” show in Tirana. In February 2018, upon invitation by the Ministry of Culture, Beijing Dance Academy performed a classical Chinese Nuo dance in Tirana as the prelude to the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the friendship between the two cities, receiving positive response from local people. In October 2019, Beijing presented a “Silent Beauty” dance performance to Tirana.
Gardening: In July 2009, Beijing planted 30 saplings of Chinese arborvitae (Beijing's official city tree) in Tirana.