TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The British city of Oxford on Monday evening (July 20) voted to become sister cities with a yet-to-be-determined Taiwanese city.
The motion, proposed by Oxford City Councilor Stephen Goddard, was overwhelmingly passed with 42 votes in favor, one against, and two abstentions. Due to the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the vote was held via online conference, CNA reported.
The proposal stated that Oxford currently has sister cities in Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas but none in East Asia. If Oxford successfully establishes a sister city relationship in Taiwan, it will be the first in the U.K. to do so, Goddard stated.
Goddard said during the online meeting that even though Taiwan is diplomatically isolated, it is still prosperous and has kept its deaths in the single-digits during the coronavirus epidemic. There are many Taiwanese cities that Oxford could pair up with, he remarked.
He stated that many cities around the world have established sister cities ties with Taiwanese counterparts — even Shanghai has had goodwill exchanges with Taipei for 10 years. The U.K. is lacking in this regard, he said, adding that the city of Oxford should take the lead to change this.
Following the passage of this proposal, the Oxford City Council will request that the city government discuss which Taiwanese city is the most suitable candidate. This will be followed by the formal dispatch of a letter to the Taiwan Representative Office in the U.K. to request assistance on arranging related matters.