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

[Overview] Berlin is the capital and largest city of Germany. It covers an area of 891 square kilometers and has a population of 3.748 million. In 1991, the German Bundestag decided that Berlin should be the capital and seat of government of Germany after reunification.

[Politics] Berlin is a city state in Germany and has twelve districts. The city is governed by the House of Representatives and the Senate. The House of Representatives is responsible for passing legislation and deliberating policies, budget and other important matters brought up by the government. It has 150 members elected for a term of five years. The Senate is the executive body governing the city of Berlin. It consists of the Governing Mayor of Berlin and ten senators, two of whom are appointed deputy mayors. Deputy mayors can represent the Governing Mayor of Berlin externally. They are equivalent to the executive deputy mayors of Beijing. Each of the remaining eight senators who do not have the title of deputy mayor presides over a department. The term of office of senators is five years. The Governing Mayor is elected by the House of Representatives and is responsible for appointing senators and proposing Senate departments. The Governing Mayor's proposals regarding the appointment of senators and the establishment of Senate departments take effect upon approval by the House of Representatives. The current mayor, Michael Müller, took office in December 2016.

[Economy] Berlin is one of the major industrial cities in Germany and its pillar industries are electronics, machine manufacturing, chemicals, printing, textiles and food processing. The service sector has the largest number of employees in Berlin. Transportation technology, biotechnology, medicine, media economy, information and communications technology, and environmental protection technology are also important industries in the city.

[Culture and Education] There are many opera houses, museums, galleries, cinemas and symphony orchestras in Berlin, where art festivals, film festivals and various exhibitions are held on a regular basis. There are dozens of universities and colleges as well as many research institutes in Berlin. The time-honored Humboldt University of Berlin and the Free University of Berlin are world-renowned universities.

[Relations with Beijing] On April 5, 1994, Beijing and Berlin established a sister city relationship. Since then, there have been frequent exchanges of high-level visits between the two cities. The two sides have engaged in close collaborations in the fields of investment, trade, science, technology, and culture. Overall, the relations between the two cities have been developing smoothly.

Investment and Trade: In 2018, Berlin Business Liaison Desk was established in Beijing. In the same year, the Administrative Committee of Zhongguancun Science Park established an incubator in Berlin and signed a memorandum of cooperation with Berlin Partner on the promotion of cooperation in the fields of life sciences, smart manufacturing, and new energy vehicles.

Science and Technology: In 2018, Beijing's Artificial Intelligence Technology Center (AITC) and the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) signed a technology transfer agreement and the AITC European Research Institute was established in Berlin.

Culture: In 2019, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the sisterhood between the two cities, Beijing staged folk music performances, intangible cultural heritage exhibitions, and tourism-themed photo exhibitions in Berlin.

Law Enforcement: From 1995 to 2004, Berlin's prison management delegation, police department specialists, and the deputy permanent secretary at the Senate Department for Justice, Consumer Protection and Anti-discrimination visited Beijing. Beijing has sent staff members of the local courts, procuratorates, public security departments, prison management departments, and notarial services offices to Berlin for training.

Gardening: In 1994, gardening experts from the two cities visited each other and agreed to build a Chinese garden in Berlin. Construction started in September 1997. Beijing was invited twice to send construction teams to Berlin to build the Chinese Garden of the Recovered Moon in the Gardens of the World and the construction was completed in October 2000. In 2017, at the request of Berlin, to prepare for the International Garden Exhibition Berlin 2017 and promote Chinese culture, Beijing helped Berlin complete the repair of the Chinese Garden of the Recovered Moon.

Other Fields: In July 2004, Chaoyang District of Beijing and Mitte of Berlin officially became sister districts. In September 2007, Dongcheng District of Beijing and Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf of Berlin became sister districts.