[Overview] Minsk is the capital of the Republic of Belarus and administrative center of the Minsk region. Situated by the Svisloch River which is an upper tributary of the Dnieper in eastern Europe, in the southern part of the Minsk Highland, the city covers an area of 349 square kilometers and has a population of two million.
[Politics] The City Council is the representative body of Minsk. It has one chairman, two vice chairmen, and nine standing committees. The term of office of councilors is four years. The administrative branch of the municipal government is the Executive Committee. There are nine districts under the jurisdiction of the city. The current Chairman of the Minsk City Executive Committee, Anatoly Sivak, took office in November 2018.
[Economy] Minsk is the largest industrial hub in Belarus. The city's main industries include machinery manufacturing, electronics, textiles, and food processing. Machinery manufacturing and metal processing are its pillar industries. It has a mature chemical industry and well-developed radio, electronics, instrumentation, building materials, and mining industries. Animal husbandry is the city's largest agricultural segment. The city's main produce are milk, oil, flax and potatoes.
[Culture and Education] Minsk has many universities including Belarusian State University, Belarusian National Technical University, Belarus State Economic University, and Belarusian State Medical University. There are also many museums, opera houses, cinemas, and libraries in the city.
[Relations with Beijing] On April 26, 2016, Beijing and Minsk officially became sister cities. In 2002 and 2010, the two cities signed agreements and letters of intent on cooperation in investment and trade, technology and culture. In 2018, the two cities signed a memorandum on strengthening cooperation in tourism, sports, culture and education.
Investment and Trade: During then Vice President Xi Jinping's visit to Belarus in March 2010, Beijing Uni-Construction Group and the Minsk City Executive Committee reached a consensus on the construction of relevant infrastructure projects in Minsk. In July of the same year, Beijing Uni-Construction Group invested in the Beijing Hotel Project and the Swan Residential Community Project in Minsk. The Beijing Hotel Minsk is located in downtown Minsk with a floor area of 32,000 square meters. It officially opened in 2014. The Swan Residential Community is the first residential project of a Chinese company in Belarus. It covers an area of 360,000 square meters and has a planned floor area of 260,000 square meters. The apartments of the project sell quite well. The China-Belarus Industrial Park is the largest investment project between the two countries and China's largest overseas industrial park project, known as the Pearl on the “Silk Road Economic Belt”. Beijing Uni-Construction Group has been actively involved in the construction of the park and has undertaken many projects in the park.
Culture and Tourism: Minsk is one of the founding members and a council member of the World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF), which was established on the initiative of Beijing. In 2017, Beijing participated in the celebration of the 950th anniversary of the founding of Minsk. In 2017, the National Centre for the Performing Arts of China and the National Academic Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theatre of Belarus signed a cooperation agreement on sending teams to perform in each other's cities.