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Zhejiang, State of Illinois sign agreement to form school partnerships

(Xinhua)

09:40, September 23, 2011

SHANGHAI, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- East China's Zhejiang province and the United States' midwestern state of Illinois signed an agreement Thursday in Shanghai to boost educational exchanges through school partnerships.

According to the agreement, primary and secondary schools from both sides will offer history, culture and language courses to students of their sister schools, conduct training programs for teachers, and hold summer and winter camps.

Illinois State Governor Pat Quinn told Xinhua the partnerships will strengthen cooperation between the two sides, as teenagers understand each other better through language learning and cultural exchanges.

Quinn said he wants the teenagers of Illinois to learn about China at an early age and for Illinois to stand out in promoting Sino-U.S.friendship.

Zhejiang began establishing similar partnerships with the U.S. state of Indiana in 2008, and has formed 33 pairs of sister schools since then, said Yu Yiping, an official with the provincial government's Foreign Affairs Office.

He said the provincial government launched a program this year to promote international educational cooperation by forming 1,000 pairs of sister schools in other parts of the world.

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