Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Siming District, Xiamen, Fujiam Province, China
City Director   Dr. Carolyn Bloomer

Sister Cities Since:
Dr. Carolyn Bloomer - China and America

"Two coastal cities in China and America connect through culture"
"At the beginning of the school semester, Dr. Carolyn Bloomer, who teaches Modern China at Ringling College of Art and Design, located in Sarasota, Florida, of the United States, asks students to write down what they know about the Asian country.""Two or three lines referring to the Great Wall or local food is usually all the students can come up with. Some freshmen know more and are proud of having heard of Terra-cotta Warriors and Mao Zedong (1893-1976). However, students realize that what they know is just a grain of sand after attending the class."
"Besides teaching, Dr. Bloomer is the City Director for relations with Xiamen, a coastal city in southeast China's Fujian Province, at the Sister Cities Association of Sarasota (SCAS)."

Click the link below to read the full article.

Written by Dmitry Shoutov of NYC
Published in the Beijing Review Weekly

Siming District (Xiamen Municipality, Fujian Province), People’s Republic of China
Xiamen 厦门市 is an excellent match for Sarasota in terms of geography, semi-tropical climate, and environmental cleanliness, as well as creative, energetic, and financial support for education, the visual and performing arts, botanical and marine research, tourism, investment and commercial exchange, and many other areas of shared interests. Siming District 思明区 (730,000 population) comprises the residential, cultural, and educational heart of Xiamen, as well as being a center for tourism and commercial enterprises. The ultramodern Xiamen International airport is the 4th largest air traffic hub in China and easily accessible by direct flight from any point in China.

About Xiamen/Siming

Located on Xiamen Island 厦门岛 on the mountainous coast of Fujian Province 福建省, situated across the Straits from Taiwan 台湾 and connected to the mainland by a 3-mile causeway, Siming District, including Gulangyu Island 鼓浪屿, comprises an area of approximately 8 square miles. Its administration 厦门市思明区人民政府 and Office of Foreign Affairs 厦门市思明区外事侨务办公室 are separate from that of the larger Xiamen Municipal Government 厦门市人民政府, which has a Sister Cities relationship with Baltimore. Greater Xiamen has an area of 585 square miles and a population of 1.3 million, which is 60% urban and 99% Han ethnicity. Fujian Province is the ancestral home of more overseas Chinese than any other province in China. (See the Xiamen web-site at
A history of trade and international relations. Xiamen (known historically as Amoy) was one of 5 original ‘treaty ports’ opened in 1842 to international settlement by 14 European countries after China’s defeat in the first Opium War. In 1980, Xiamen was designated one of 4 Special Economic Zones (SEZ) 经济特区 where special rules and administrative autonomy encouraged foreign investment and experimentation with innovative strategies for economic development. Xiamen focuses on 7 key industries: advanced technology, transport, commerce and trade, banking and insurance, tourism, real estate, and information and communications, including joint-venture, cooperative, and foreign-owned enterprises. Xiamen’s huge International Conference & Exhibition Hall Center 厦门国际会议展览 中心 is located in Siming; the city annually hosts the China International Fair for Investment and Trade in early September to attract foreign direct investment. Since 1980, Xiamen has enjoyed a 20% annual GNP growth rate, and in 2008 tied with Shenzhen for 2nd highest per capita GDP in China.
A clean and “green” city. Xiamen has won numerous national and international awards for its clean air, environmental sustainability, marine pollution management, investment in environmental protection, public landscaping, and prohibition of pollution creating projects, and is currently China’s 3rd environmentally cleanest city. The city bird is the egret, and the city flower is bougainvillea. In 2006, Xiamen hosted an International Forum for Coastal Cities, co-organized by the United Nations Development Program.
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