Taiyuan, capital city of China's coal-rich Shanxi province, has been focusing on telling its stories to the world and promoting its new image on the global stage.

Previously known for its polluted water and air, the city has taken on a new image – a city of lucid waters, lush mountains and blue sky. 

"Taiyuan's communication and collaboration with the United Nations (UN) have offered intellectual support to its transformation and also helped the city go global," said Chen Peizhong, an official from Taiyuan's science and technology bureau.

The city established a close relationship with the UN in 2015 when 193 UN member states adopted an ambitious new sustainable development agenda – Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Later, China released a national plan for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

In February 2018, China's State Council approved Taiyuan to build an innovation demonstration zone to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 

As a demonstration zone, Taiyuan has received significant attention and support from the UN. The industrial city displayed its achievements in building the demonstration zone at the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in 2018. Also, authorities from Taiyuan have been invited to multiple UN conferences to share their experiences. Many officials from other countries have signaled their intention to cooperate and learn from Taiyuan's expertise.

The city government has also actively attended UN forums, training courses and other activities to broaden its horizons.

"The interaction and communication between Taiyuan and the UN in recent years have not only pushed forward Taiyuan's transformation and upgrading, but also played a positive role in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development," said Chen.