Hamburg, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- Hamburg's First Mayor Olaf Scholz expected another year of close ties between Hamburg and China, in a speech he delivered Tuesday at a Chinese New Year reception co-hosted by him and Consul General of China in Hamburg, Sun Congbin.
"We celebrate today the Chinese Spring Festival and the good relations between Hamburg and China," Scholz told more than 100 guests including the Chinese community in Hamburg and German guests who are active in China-German cooperation.
He noted, Hamburg and Shanghai, as partner cities since 1986, maintain particularly intensive exchanges in almost all aspects of urban life.
In 2018, there will be lively exchanges between the twin cities, including between pupils, universities, skilled workers, the courts and between the maritime authorities of the two port cities, Scholz added.
"Hamburg is China's gateway to Europe," Scholz said, adding the "Hamburg Summit - China meets Europe" will take place for the eighth time in 2018.
"It's a good idea to hear about the current status of the Belt and Road initiative at this year's Hamburg Summit," Scholz said. On the topics of digitization and artificial intelligence, another topic of the Hamburg Summit, "Again, we are curious," he added.
Hamburg is a major European location for science, research and innovation, and China is investing heavily in quantum technology, the development of supercomputers and other future fields. The connection is obvious, Scholz noted.
He said, as far-reaching technological innovations can also present societies with major challenges, he looked forward to getting to know China's perspectives on the big questions of the times in Hamburg in 2018.
Tuesday's reception also serves as a prelude to the biennial "China Time" that will be held in September this year in Hamburg. Scholz promoted the "China Time" as the largest China festival in Germany with numerous events taking place over three weeks.