According to a Dutch media report, in the past two years, several provinces and cities in the Netherlands have ended their sister province and sister city relationships with China . China has been using these relationships as a means of external influence and penetration, but China is facing increasing resistance.
The investigation by the Dutch newspaper NRC revealed that one-fourth of the sister friendly cooperation relationships, established between local authorities in the Netherlands and China in the past two years, have been canceled. Furthermore, several other municipal institutions are also preparing to end such cooperative relationships, while some municipalities are reevaluating their relationships with Chinese sister cities.
The report states that Dutch municipal authorities often cite China’s persecution of the Uighur ethnic group as the reason for terminating these relationships. Ahmed Marchouc, the mayor of Arnhem, said, “We must respect the principles of democracy, the rule of law, press freedom, and freedom of speech… (but) maintaining (friendly) relations with Chinese cities creates an image that disrespects these principles.” The city ended its relationship with Wuhan in 2021.
Some cities also mentioned that the economic benefits derived from these sister city relationships with China were not significant, which contributed to their decision to end them.
Source: Radio Free Asia, May 8, 2023