Ottawa and Beijing are both capital cities. The citizens of Ottawa have a long history of people to people connection with China. When Ottawa and Beijing were joined as Sister Cities in 1999 there were promises of new social, cultural and economic links between these two leading cities.
In October 2013 Mayor Jim Watson led a delegation of more than 40 individuals from local business/high-tech, tourism and academia on a ten day mission to China. The delegation sought to create more partnerships and other agreements. Mayor Watson discussed the results of the initiatives undertaken by the delegation as well as his impressions of the future possibilities for co-operation between Canada and China and Ottawa-Beijing in particular.