In April 1986, Shenzhen and Houston signed an agreement to establish friendship city relationship, making Houston the first international friendship city of Shenzhen and thus, opened a 35-year-long chapter of friendly exchanges between the two cities. In the past 3 and half decades, Shenzhen and Houston have enjoyed frequent official visits and close people-to-people exchanges, and carried out fruitful and mutually beneficial cooperation in the fields of science and technology, education, health care, economic and trade, culture among others, serving as a vivid example of friendly exchanges between the peoples of China and the United States.
In recent years, Houston has sent many government, economic, trade and cultural delegations to Shenzhen to participate in the High-tech Fair, economic and trade promotional events, sports activities and International Friendship City Culture and Art Week and other activities for friendship cities. The two cities have carried out plentiful exchange and training programs among public servants, youth friendship tours and other projects, and signed a number of cooperation agreements and plans in trade and commerce, science and technology, education and media. The Houston Ballet and the University of Houston All-Stars basketball team have visited and performed in Shenzhen.
In 2000, Houston sent Shenzhen a large sculpture named "Shen Blue", as a symbol of friendship between the two cities. It was created by world-renowned sculptor John Henry, and is now standing tall at Shennan Avenue. The year 2012 saw the successful premiere in Shenzhen of the bilingual musical "Metropolis", jointly produced by the two cities. The songs and dances in this musical depicted Shenzhen's development journey over the past 30 years. In 2016, "Metropolis" was performed in Houston at the invitation of Houston city government, and was well-received by local audience.
During this Chinese Lunar New Year, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner sent his New Year wishes to the citizens of Shenzhen via a video, wishing the people of Shenzhen a happy, successful and peaceful New Year on behalf of the City of Houston.
To celebrate the 35th anniversary of the ties between the two cities, Shenzhen Foreign Affairs Office invited Lang Lang, the international ambassador of Shenzhen, to send musical blessings to Houston, and made a commemorative video with a review of the important moments of the two cities’ relationship and pictures for Houston painted by primary school students of the No.2 Experimental School of Southern University of Science and Technology, wishing Shenzhen and Houston an everlasting friendship!
City Profile of Houston:
Founded in 1836, Houston is the largest city of Texas, and the fourth largest city in the United States. It is also the largest economic center along the Gulf of Mexico, the largest oil industry hub and the largest foreign shipping port in the US, as well as a global industrial center, with a total area of about 1651 square kilometers and a population of 2.3 million (2020).
Houston is world-renowned for its energy sources (oil in particular), with over 40% of the nation's petrochemicals produced here. Houston is also home to Texas Medical Center, the world's largest medical complex, with some of the world's top medical research and treatment facilities. Houston is known as "Space City" for being the location of NASA's Johnson Space Center and Mission Control Center.