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Swansea forges links with powerhouse Chinese city

Links have been strengthened between Swansea and China.

Wuhan agreement

Swansea Council has now signed an agreement with a visiting delegation from Wuhan that will see both cities co-operating on areas including economy and trade, transport and logistics, culture and sports.

The agreement was signed during a Chinese delegation visit to Guildhall. Other areas of common interest Swansea and Wuhan will co-operate on include health, medicine, education and tourism.

Wuhan, the most populated city in central China, is the capital of Hubei province.

The visit was also organised to mark the 150th anniversary of Union Hospital in Wuhan, which was founded by Griffith John, a 19th century Swansea missionary.

Members of the Chinese delegation, hosted by Swansea's Deputy Lord Mayor, Cllr Philip Downing, included senior members from the city's business, media and cultural communities.

Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Enterprise, Development and Regeneration, said: "The agreement we've signed with Wuhan will have benefits for both cities because it will enable us to learn from one-another in areas ranging from transport and health to education and tourism. Wuhan is the engine of central China's economy, so we look forward to hearing their ideas and sharing examples of best practice with them to improve Swansea as a city in future.

"The agreement will also help raise Swansea's international profile and could potentially lead to trade links, helping boost Swansea's businesses and the local economy.

"Links between Swansea and Wuhan are already close because of Griffith John's outstanding work there in the 19th century, but this agreement will help further foster mutually beneficial relationships between both cities."

Griffith John, who was born on Llangyfelach Street in Greenhill and worshipped at Ebenezer Chapel, first arrived in China in 1855. He eventually made his base in Hankow, about 400 miles west of Shanghai, where he established a number of schools, hospitals and colleges - many of which are still in use today. 

He also became known for missionary journeys deep into the heart of mainland China. While there, John translated the New Testament and part of the Old Testament into more than one Chinese dialect. 

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