[Overview] Situated in the center of the Paris Basin in northern France, Paris is the capital of France, with a population of 2.24 million in an area of 105 square kilometers.
[Politics] Paris is the only city in France that is also a department. It is governed by the city council and the city government. The city council is responsible for making all major decisions concerning the City of Paris and the Department of Paris, including decisions concerning the annual government budget, regional tax rates, government subsidies, and city plans. The city council consists of 163 members elected for a term of six years. The Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Paris are elected by the city council. As the representative of the central government, the Mayor is responsible for dealing with the political, economic, cultural, educational and urban planning matters of the city. The incumbent Mayor Anne Hidalgo took office in April 2014 and was reelected in July 2020.
[Economy] Paris is the country's economic center with well-developed agriculture, manufacturing and service industries. About half of the country's companies, engineers, senior technicians and researchers are concentrated in Paris. Paris is also the financial center of France. Most banks and insurance companies of the country are based in Paris. Moreover, Paris is the country's transportation center as well as an international transportation hub. It has a mature aviation industry. There are two large international airports in the city.
[Culture and Education] Paris is the center of the country's cultural and educational activities and known for its cultural richness. There are many famous universities, colleges, research institutes, libraries, museums, historical sites and artistic buildings in the city. The city is also a host city of many international events and conferences. The headquarters of UNESCO and the OECD are located in Paris.
[Relations with Beijing] On October 23, 1997, Beijing and Paris established a sister city relationship. On May 26, 2016, they signed the Friendship and Cooperation Agreement between Beijing and Paris. The two cities have engaged in extensive exchanges and cooperation in city management, culture, education, tourism, environmental protection, and other fields. In January 2004, the two cities co-organized Beijing Culture Week in Paris as part of the Chinese Culture Year in France, including a widely-acclaimed parade held on the Avenue des Champs-Elysees. In 2007, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the sisterhood between the two cities, the “Paris through the Eyes of Willy Ronis” photographic exhibition and the “Beijing, My Lovely Home” photographic exhibition were held in Beijing and Paris, respectively. The relationship between the two cities has experienced ups and downs since 2008 but is taking a turn for the better recently.