The municipality of Arnhem breaks the city link with the Chinese city of Wuhan. A majority of the city council voted Wednesday evening in favor of a proposal to end the relationship over China’s human rights violations against the Uyghurs. Previously, it seemed that a majority wanted to stick to the band in order to maintain talks with China.
The city link between Arnhem and Wuhan was established in 1999, but recently came under discussion after an appeal from the refugee Uyghur Ahmedjan Kasim. Together with other Uyghurs, he talked to councilors during a demonstration on Wednesday prior to the council meeting. Tülay Gemici of GroenLinks, one of the parties that decided to vote against the city twinning at the last minute, told Broadcasting Gelderland that the demonstration had “played a role” in the party’s vote. In February, a majority of the House of Representatives called the systematic persecution and detention of Uyghurs “genocide”.
According to an evaluation commissioned by the Municipality of Arnhem, the exact economic yield of the tire cannot be determined with certainty, but it is estimated indirectly at ‘several millions of euros in additional turnover and dozens of jobs’ for companies in the region. Direct investment from China did not result from the town twinning.
Many Dutch municipalities have ties with one or more cities abroad. Within this, knowledge is exchanged, cultural events can be organized and in some cases assistance is provided in the development of the partner city. The number of town links grew strongly after the Second World War, but is no longer kept up to date by the Association of Dutch Municipalities.