Kilkenny is being twinned with what has been described as “the Venice of China.”
The city has been developing its links with China over the past two years as part of the Invest Kilkenny initiative, and the twinning project is set to take place with the location where Glanbia Nutritionals has opened its manufacturing facility.
“We received word during the week that Suzhou now wants to twin with us,” county manager Joe Crockett told members at Monday’s meeting of Kilkenny County Council.
The Chinese city is preparing to send a delegation of four people, including translators, to Kilkenny in March.
The industrial area of Suzhou is 16 miles wide and 13 miles long, and is located to the northwest of Shanghai. It is one of the principal tourism and heritage centres in China, Mr Crockett noted, and is home to several UNESCO world heritage sites, including its classical gardens.
Among its most famous attractions is Tiger Hill, also known as Surging Sea Hill, a large hillock over three acres that can be traced back to the founding of Suzhou in 514 BCE. Also on the site is the Tiger Hill Pagoda, or the Pagoda of the Yunyan Temple, which “has the distinction of being China’s Leaning Tower” as it leans slightly to the northwest.