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Issue Location:

Liverpool, UK

Shanghai— China

Founded: 1291 Population: 24,000,000 Distance from Liverpool to Shanghai: 5,707 miles Twinned in 1999, the pairing of Liverpool with Shanghai symbolised the changing relationship between East and West and reorientation of global commerce. Both cities have enjoyed a rich shipping trade through the 18th — 20th Centuries due to their geographical locations. Where once Liverpool was the busiest port in the world, Shanghai now holds that honour. Of all Liverpool’s twin cities, its relationship with Shanghai is perhaps most evident — the huge Shanghai Arch in Chinatown gifted to the city in recognition of the shared historical, cultural and mercantile relationship is the largest outside China and can be found in Liverpool’s Chinatown quarter. Liverpool’s Chinese community is relatively small, but the oldest in Europe — founded in 1880 by merchants and seamen from Shanghai who stayed in Liverpool. With the two cities enjoying prominent academic and business links, Liverpool was the only regional city to attend the Shanghai’s World Expo in 2010, another sign of the strong bond between Liverpool and one of the largest cities in the world.

Dublin— Ireland

Founded: 988 Population: 527,000 Distance from Liverpool to Dublin: 135 miles Liverpool and Dublin’s links are said to extend as far back as St Patrick, who some historians believed left the banks of the Mersey on his mission to Ireland. The twinning agreement between the two cities refers to the basis of their common geographical, historical, cultural and trading links. Liverpool’s unofficial links with Dublin are evident in Irish ancestry, numerous pubs and chaotic St Patrick’s Day celebrations, but it wasn’t until 1997 that the two cities were twinned. Numerous cultural exchanges have taken place between community groups in the two cities since then. Historical links between Liverpool and Ireland — both historic port cities — are also evident in Liverpool. The Famine Memorial at St Luke’s Church is a memorial to the mass starvation of the 1840s when the Irish potato famine led to millions fleeing to Liverpool. The Institute of Irish Studies at the University of Liverpool was founded in 1988, offering a BA honours degree in Irish studies. While an annual Irish Festival celebrates the connections forged between Liverpool and the Emerald Isle.

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