Could the blues twin with the reds?

TRUE blue Felixstowe is to explore the possibility of twinning with a town from red China.

TRUE blue Felixstowe is to explore the possibility of twinning with a town from red China.

Community leaders are set to get in the fast lane with a link to Pudong - close to where the Chinese formula one grand prix is held.

Although Felixstowe Town Council is Conservative and China is communist, the communities will find they have much in common - through their shipping links.

Much of the Suffolk port's trade comes from the vibrant economy in the Far East, where owners Hutchison Whampoa are based in Hong Kong and have interests in ports in ten towns and cities in China, including a joint ownership of Pudong.

The twinning was suggested by Derek Johnson, vice chairman of China Shipping (UK) Agency in Felixstowe.

During a trip to the Far East, he visited China Shipping Container Lines and it was suggested it would be “a superb idea” if Felixstowe twinned with Pudong, effectively a “new town” on the edge of Shanghai.

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“While it would be easy to suggest the port be twinned with Pudong, the request was very much that the town of Felixstowe be twinned with Pudong, which I thought would be excellent and would cement the tremendous relationship between Pudong and Felixstowe,” he said.

Felixstowe is officially twinned with Wesel and has a friendship partnership with Salzwedel, both in Germany. It has had a friendship link with Hagerstown in America.

In the past it has rejected twinning with cities in the People's Republic of China, South Korea and Russia - mainly because of the cost of arranging twinning visits.

This time councillors felt they should explore the idea of a link with Pudong and meet Mr Johnson to discuss how it might work.

Town councillor Harry Dangerfield quipped: “Maybe we should have a site visit!”

Chris Slemmings, chairman of the finance and general purposes committee, said: “Our link with Hagerstown didn't require people going backwards and forwards.

“I think this is quite a friendly gesture which also has links with the port - we don't need to jump in in one go but we should explore it gently and see what happens.”

Should Felixstowe twin with Pudong? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail


It's a district of Shanghai on the east side of the Huangpu which has been developed over 20 years to create a new town.

Some 215 sq miles, it has a population of 1.5 million people.

Since becoming a new open economic development zone, it has emerged as China's financial and commercial hub.

It's skyline is one of the most dramatic in the world, featuring the Oriental Pearl Tower, Jin Mao Building and Shanghai World Financial Centre.