Handan, China

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Photos courtesy of Handan Municipal Government. 

Sister City Since 1995

In 1983, under Governor Terry Branstad, Iowa became Sister State’s with China’s Hebei Province. Iowa Sister States is a non-profit organization that strives to build sustainable international partnerships that connect Iowans to the world community.  Dubuque's sister city relationship with Handan is a direct result of Iowa's ties with Hebei. Handan and Dubuque share two key similarities: 

  1. Both are classified as old cities, with Handan serving as one of the important birthplaces of the Chinese civilization and Dubuque being Iowa’s oldest city
  2. Handan is a “four-province” city just as Dubuque is a “tri-state” community 

Handan is located in the southern section of Hebei Province and is in the center of Hebei, Henan, Shanxi, and Shandong provinces. It is about 500 kilometers (311 miles) from Beijing and Tianjin. The city lies at the east foot of Taihang Mountains and borders the North China Plain in the east.

As the most time-honored city in Hebei, Handan was the capital of Zhao Kingdom in Warring States Period (476 BC-221 BC) as a political, economic, and cultural center of northern China. During the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD), it enjoyed a high reputation as one of the five essential cities of China. 

Handan gained its name for the Hanshan Mountain in the east of the city. 

Learn more about Handan