Taizhou, China | Latrobe Sister City Relationships

Taizhou City, China

Taizhou is located on the northern bank of the Yangtze River’s lower reaches, in mid-Jiangsu Region.  It is a newly founded city, approved by the State Council in 1996, and is directly under the jurisdiction of Jiangsu Province of which Nanjing is the capital city. Jiangsu Province is the Sister State to our home State of Victoria.

The City of Taizhou administers four county level cities;

  •  Jingiang
  •  Taixing
  •  Jiangyan
  •  Xinghua and two districts
  •  Hailing
  •  Gaogong

The city area covers 5,793 square kilometres and has a population of approximately five million. 

With a history extending more than 2,100 years, Taizhou has long been a political, economic, communication and cultural centre of mid-Jiangsu region.  It is the hometown of China’s former President Hu Jin Tao who was a student of Taizhou Middle School No.1, Mr Shi Nai’an – a famous littérateur, Mr Zheng Banqiao – a well known calligrapher and painter and Mr Mei Langfang, a true world class master of Peking Opera.

Taizhou’s main industries are machinery, electronics, chemistry, textiles, light industries, pharmaceuticals and foodstuffs.

One of the largest enterprises, The Chunlan Group, manufactures air conditioners, vehicles, general machinery, motorcycles, electronics and refrigerators. 

Other large manufacturers include the Linhai Group, Yangtze River Pharmaceutical Group and the Yatai Water Pump Group.

Taizhou and Latrobe

This sister city relationship developed from an initial interest, by Taizhou, in identifying a region similar to itself.

Following correspondence from Mr Cao Sumin, the then Director of the Foreign Affairs Office of the City of Taizhou, a business delegation from Taizhou City first visited Latrobe on 8 May, 1998. The five delegates were interested to seek “business opportunities and build up friendly relations”.

This initial visit commenced the sister city relationship.  Since then, the relationship has been maintained through regular contact, reciprocal visits and a great deal of trust, nurtured over the past years.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed in April 1999.

In the same year, a delegation of Latrobe City school principals – Val Friend, Dr. John Howe and Chris Corcoran signed an Agreement to send English teachers to Taizhou for up to three months each year. This commenced a successful program of sister school relationships involving Traralgon College, Lowanna College and Kurnai College, these relationships continue to flourish.

In November 1999, La Trobe Shire Council resolved to establish a formal sister city relationship with Taizhou and the Mayor of Taizhou was invited to visit Latrobe to sign the sister city agreement.

The sister city agreement was signed on Tuesday, 7 March 2000.  Latrobe City Mayor, Councillor Lorraine Bartling and Mr Chen Baotian, Director, Standing Committee of Taizhou People’s Congress, both signed the agreement that established an obligation on both cities to ensure regular contacts are maintained between the leaders and relevant departments of the two municipalities.

In 2010, a re-affirmation of the Sister Cities

Agreement was signed to commemorate what has been an extremely rewarding and fulfilling 10 year relationship between the two cities.

Past Exchanges

  • 1999 – October – Mayoral led delegation to Taizhou to explore the possibility of a sister city relationship.
  • 2000 – March – sister city agreement signed by former Mayor, Lorraine Bartling.
  • September 2000 - Taizhou delegation visited healthcare facilities in Latrobe City
  • September 2000 – A delegation of businesses from Latrobe City visited Taizhou City, including GippsTAFE and Traralgon College.
  • August 2001 - Taizhou Children's Performing Arts Delegation. A 10-day visit by 16 performers, highly skilled in dancing, music and singing, who entertained over 1500 people in six scheduled performances.
  • September 2002 - Taizhou delegation visited Latrobe City's healthcare, tertiary education and sporting facilities.
  • October 2002 - Taizhou visiting Artist-in-Residence. A well known artist, Li Xuebai was hosted in Latrobe City for 10 days during which time instruction and tutorials were given to local art groups and secondary and tertiary students.
  • September 2003 - Taizhou delegation focusing on healthcare and education.
  • December 2003 - Taizhou delegation visited with a specific focus on tertiary education.
  • January 2004 - Latrobe City Youth Band visited Taizhou. Five performances were given to an estimated total audience of 10,000. This visit also provided an opportunity for the Latrobe City Economic Development Department, who accompanied the band, to assess economic development opportunities with the City of Taizhou.
  • May 2005 – Mayoral visit to Taizhou.
  • May 2006 - Latrobe City table tennis team visited Taizhou to compete in several table tennis matches. The team also made visits to local schools to experience the lifestyle and educational differences in their sister city.
  • May 2007 – Latrobe City business delegation visited Taizhou and China to explore business opportunities.
  • January 2008 – Latrobe City Youth Band visited Taizhou. The two performances in Taizhou further promoted and advanced our sister-city friendly exchanges.
  • December 2008 – Taizhou City television production team visited Latrobe City
  • April 2009 – City of Taizhou officials visited Latrobe City
  • September 2009 – Latrobe City business delegation visited Taizhou
  • February 2010 – Taizhou Education delegation visited Latrobe City
  • October 2010 – Mayoral visit to Taizhou, celebrating 10 year anniversary and re-signing of the sister city agreement.
  • August 2012 -- Latrobe City Swimming team visited Taizhou
  • July 2014 -- Latrobe City Music Exchange program, 17 young musicians visited Taizhou
  • July 2015 – Taizhou Polytechnic College visited Latrobe City, a MoU was signed between Federation University and Taizhou Polytechnic College
  • April 2016  -- Taizhou University visited Latrobe City, a Mou was singed between Federation university and Taizhou University
  • April 2018 – Latrobe City Business Delegation visited Taizhou

10 Year Anniversary – Australian Garden

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Sister City relationship between Taizhou and Latrobe City, the Australian Garden was constructed at the Taizhou Expo Garden. The Australian Garden project was embarked upon as an aspirational and iconic gift to the City of Taizhou to commemorate the 10 year anniversary of our Sister City relationship.

The garden, designed by Latrobe City, exemplifies the Latrobe region, including the indigenous culture, and increase awareness and understanding of the Australian culture. The garden is also designed to symbolise the relationship between Latrobe City and the City of Taizhou.

The garden acts as an aesthetic component, but also enables future delegations to China to visit and reflect upon the Sister City relationship at the garden and cement our ongoing relationship with the Taizhou community.

The aims of the project were to:

  1. To foster perceptions of contemporary Australia in China as enterprising and culturally diverse by strengthening the Sister City relationship between Latrobe City and the City of Taizhou through the development of an iconic Australian garden;
  2. To increase the awareness and understanding in China of the Australian culture through a valuable and lasting contribution to the existing Taizhou Expo Garden;
  3. Increase Latrobe City’s capacity to engage effectively with China through the City of Taizhou and Latrobe City Sister City relationship.

The garden serves as a permanent reminder of the Sister City relationship between Latrobe and Taizhou.

Sister School Relationships

Four schools in Latrobe City have Sister School arrangements with equivalent schools in Latrobe City’s Sister Cities; Lowanna Secondary College, Kurnai College, Traralgon College and Elizabeth Street Primary School in Moe.

Traralgon College was the first regional school in Victoria to gain accreditation by the Education Department to educate international students on a full fee paying basis as well as accreditation to operate exchange programs internationally.

Chinese language classes are being introduced to Latrobe City schools through a Federal Government initiative to create closer links with Asia - Kurnai, Lowanna and Traralgon Colleges are involved to date.  Japanese language is already widely taught in schools throughout Latrobe City.

Monash University Gippsland has 370 international students in 2011. This level of student presence brings around $11 - $15 Million to our local economy per annum. This number is expected to increase to around 500 students over the next 3 years.

Monash University Gippsland attracted 270 international students in 2010 from 30 countries.  The largest contingent is from China with 125 students.

Each year international students from Monash Gippsland, Traralgon and Kurnai Colleges engage with our local community by presenting children’s workshops at Japanese Day, Chinese Festival and the Multicultural Festival.

These same students become members of sporting clubs and community groups and will make life long friendships with Latrobe City residents.

These same students have family and friends visit them from abroad, resulting in significant Tourism expenditure in our region.