Minneapolis-Harbin Committee Welcomes You

Please consider joining USCPFA-MN’s Minneapolis-Harbin sister-city Committee. Contact us if you have any questions about our group or suggestions for upcoming events.

The Minneapolis-Harbin sister-city relationship was established in 1992. We depend on volunteers for moving this relationship forward with your ideas and efforts.

Kit Spangler (司凯德),  Minneapolis-Harbin Sister City Chair


Harbin and Minneapolis established Sister City relations in 1992.  Harbin, with a population approaching 10 million, is the Capital of Heilongjiang Province in northeast China.  Harbin is world famous for its Snow and Ice Festival held every winter, as well as its International Summer Music Festival.

The relationship between Harbin and Minneapolis has a rich history and a bright future. Both Minneapolis and Harbin are on the 45th parallel and share similar climates. There have been numerous exchanges since the relationship started in 1992. Recent activities include a documentary about Minneapolis created and broadcast by Harbin Television, participation in the Harbin Music Festival by the Twin Cities area St. Anthony Brass Quintet in 2014, and several delegations visiting the Harbin Snow and Ice Festival, including a Minneapolis delegation led by Mayor Betsy Hodges in January 2015.  Future proposed exchanges include the establishment of a China Garden in Minneapolis and cooperation in promoting Harbin and Minneapolis as cities focusing on winter sports and activities.



Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges traveled to Harbin for the 2015 Ice and Snow Festival.  Her 6-person delegation included USCPFA-MN Board Member Ralph Beha, as well as Bill Deef, VP International Relations for Meet Minneapolis.uscpfa-red-bar-medUSCPA-MN and St. Anthony Brass Quintet participated in the Harbin Summer Music Festival in August 2014.  Thanks to all our sponsors!  

Read Trip Report Here

Read China Insight Article-October 2014

SABQ photo

A Selection of Our Past Events (slide show)


Origin of Sister-City Relationship

On September 18, 1992, Minneapolis and Harbin signed the sister-city Agreement in Harbin when Harbin Mayor Suo Changyou hosted a nine-person delegation from Minneapolis headed by Mayor Donald Fraser.  This formalized a year of intercontinental negotiations.  In September 1993, USCPFA-MN and Minneapolis Mayor Donald Fraser hosted a banquet to welcome Harbin Mayor Suo Changyou and his delegation to Minnesota to celebrate the newly-formed sister-city relationship.

Links to Historical Documents:

1992 Proposal for Minneapolis-Harbin Sister City Relationship [BOB – Insert:  Harbin Proposal pdf

Agreement for the Establishment of a Sister City Relationship (Chinese and English) executed September 18, 1992. [Bob: attach link to Harbin Agreement pdf]

Asian Pages article of October 1, 1993. [Bob: attach link to Asian Pages 1992-3 article pdf]


Sights of Harbin (slide show)

coming soon


Information about Harbin

Map of Heilongjiang Province (including City of Harbin)

Harbin is China’s 10th largest city, with a population of nearly 10 million.  Harbin lies on the southern bank of the Songhua River.  Harbin was founded as a rail center in 1900 by Russian financiers.

Harbin is unique in China for Russian-influenced architecture. During the late 19th century, the Russians built the rail system, which connected Harbin with Russia. During the Japanese occupation in the 1930’s, Harbin was the location of the notorious Japanese biological and chemical warfare Research Unit 731.

Commercially, Harbin’s Pingfang District is growing rapidly and is home to a new factory built by John Deere, a factory under construction for Case New Holland, as well as a composite manufacturing company supplying composites for Airbus. Twin Cities based Cargill has a feed manufacturing plant in Harbin.

For more information about Harbin go to Wikipedia: