Australia considers benefits and costs of its hundreds of sister cities

Australia and China have 108 pairings, dating back to the relationship between Melbourne (above) and Tianjin in 1980, eight years after the countries created diplomatic ties. PHOTO: REUTERS
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SYDNEY - In the past 70 years, countries around the world have set up thousands of "sister cities" in an attempt to bridge international divides and promote ties, trade and tourism.

The modern version of these twin cities emerged as a way to promote peace-building after World War II. Berlin and London became sister cities, as did Tokyo and New York.

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