CHICAGO, June 21 (Xinhua) -- Springfield, capital of Midwestern U.S. state of Illinois and Jining city of China's costal Shandong Province will become sister cities next week, local media reported on Thursday.
The State Journal-Register quotes city Mayor Jim Langfelder that he will ratify a sister-city and exchange agreements with his Chinese counterparts in Jining.
The exchange program agreement promises mutual visits of citizens; dispatching and hosting trainees and students; artistic, cultural and sport program exchanges, as well as industrial and economic exchanges.
Langfelder who left a 10-day trip to Japan and China on Wednesday, will arrive in Jining Tuesday. Before that, he will visit the Great Wall and the Forbidden City in China's capital Beijing.
Langfelder said the sister-city relationship is mutually beneficial. The bond fosters tourism and economic ties, but also provides a deeper understanding between different cultures.
"It makes our world a little bit smaller for everybody," Langfelder said. "You can relate to people, in a global perspective."