Chao Yang – China

Area: 9.596.961 sq km (3,705,820 sq mi)
Population: 1 376 049 000 inhabitants
Capital: Beijing
Religion: Buddhist, Daoist, Muslim.


  • Industry : iron and steel, coal, machine building, armaments, textiles and clothes.
  • Agriculture : rice, wheat, potatoes, sorghum, peanuts, tea, millet, barley, cotton; pork; fish.
  • Exports : electric machine,clothes, shoes, toys, mineral fuels, leather, plastics.

For much of the past 2,000 years China has been the driving force in Asia. The continent’s second largest country (after Russia) is the most populated in the world, home to one in five of all people. The natural resources -including coal and iron- are plentiful.

In the early 20th century, the revolutionaries led by Sun Yat-sen first gave the impression to the West of a republican model of government but then they adopted the Soviet-style Marxism-Leninism. Rivalries between the ruling Nationalist Kuomintang Party led by Chiang Kai-shek and the Communist Party led by Mao Zedong continued through World War II; the civil war (1946-49) ended with the retreat of the Nationalists to Taiwan.

Mao drew the new People’s Republic inward. With charismatic authority he tried unsuccessfully to rouse the economy through collectivization, mobilization of the workers and by slowing down the population growth. After Mao’s death in 1976 Deng Xiaoping disminished state control and opened China to the West, while keeping a firm grip on the country. During the 1980s rising prosperity stirred popular hopes for a voice in decision-making. The government’s crushing of student protests in Beijing in June 1989 generated an international protest. Since Deng Xiaoping’s death in 1997, China has seen a rise in the number of young leaders, who are more reform-minded leaders.

Source: National Geographic

Woluwe-Saint-Pierre and Chao Yang :

It is the Embassy of China, located in Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, that got in touch with the municipality in order to create bonds of friendship with a district of Beijing. The District of Chaoyang is located in Beijing. There are more than 300.000 inhabitants in this district. It is said that there are 500.000 people in the district during the day. The difference of size and dimension with Woluwe-Saint-Pierre is obvious. We can consider that, by comparison with the existing proportions between China and Belgium or between the Brussels Region and Beijing, we are similar local institutions. The differences between China and Belgium will always be of the same order. Collaborations and links of friendship can though be effective. The district of Chaoyang and Woluwe-Saint-Pierre present some ressemblances. The Embassy of China is located in Woluwe-Saint-Pierre. The Embassy of Belgium is located in Chaoyang. We are twinned with Gangnam, District of Seoul in South Korea with whom Chaoyang is also twinned.

The district of Chaoyang is a pole of important economic activities. There are 500.000 people in Chaoyang during day. Chaoyang hosts a lot of businesses and companies, particularly in the service sector. Within this district, initiatives of renovation, more exactly reconstruction of whole districts, are undertaken. To make an easily understandable comparison for us, they have a project of construction of new districts which amount in the whole to the construction of Louvain-la-Neuve. You will thus have understood the dimension of the dynamism especially that their intention is to realize this project before the Olympic Games.

The aim of the twinning is to build a world of dialogue, mutual understanding and respect of the difference. It is the opening to the world that we want to assure to Woluwe-Saint-Pierre and participation of the population in this opening. The culture shock is important. The Chinese culture is very rich, but it seems to us normal, moreover completely necessary, to assure a better knowledge of this culture.