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 current 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.

  • 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.

Past Exchanges

Student Visit Program

  • 2001  April     - 10 Latrobe students visited Takasago City
  • 2002  August - 10 Takasago students visited Latrobe City
  • 2004  August - 10 Takasago students visited Latrobe City
  • 2006  August - 10 Takasago students visited Latrobe City 
  • 2008  August - Takasago Jazz Band visited Latrobe City

Sports Exchange

2006  January - 12 female basketball players and 14 male soccer players with seven accompanying adults visited Takasago City.

Artists Exchange

2010   March/June –To celebrate the ten year anniversary of our sister city agreement, four emerging artists visited Takasago City for two weeks and  four Takasago artists visited Latrobe City for one week. The artworks were exchanged as gifts to commemorate the anniversary.

Latrobe City Youth Band

  • 2002  Establishment of Latrobe City Youth Band
  • 2004  January - Latrobe City Youth Band Tour to Takasago City and Taizhou City
  • 2005   Tour of Central Victoria
  • 2008   January - Latrobe City Youth Band Tour to Takasago City and Taizhou City

 

Mayoral Led Delegations and Community Members Visits

 

  • 2002 August - Members of Latrobe Friendly Society from Takasago visited Latrobe City for 1 week
  • 2002 December - Members of Takasago Friendly Society visited Takasago City
  • 2005 September - 30 Members of Latrobe Friendly Society participated in the Japanese Day and the Australian Sister City Association National Conference in Latrobe City
  • 2009 October - Latrobe City business delegation to Takasago
  • 2010 - October – Celebration 10 year anniversary, Takasago Mayor led a delegation participated in the Japanese day

Other

The following Latrobe City residents have participated in the ALT program, assisting our sister city Takasago in teaching English at junior high schools and primary schools in Takasago for 12 months:

  • 2001/2002 - Janine Edbrooke
  • 2002/2003 - Simone Fenech
  • 2003/2004 - Fabian Rutherford
  • 2004/2005 - Rebecca Stait
  • 2005/2006 - Joelene Thompson
  • 2006/2007 - Catherine Reid
  • 2007/2008 - Catherine Reid
  • 2010/2011 - Katrina Steel

Takasago Friendly Society

Latrobe City established the Takasago Friendly Society (TFS) in 2001, comprising those people who are interested in assisting with the hospitality of International visitors within the community.  The primary purpose of the TFS is to help Latrobe City host its visitors from Takasago City.  Members of the Society play a key role in hosting international visitors and showing its visitors around the region, being a host family for a few nights and/or any other activities. 

Cherry Blossom Avenue

On 4 June 1991, fifteen Mount Fuji Flowering Cherry Blossom Trees were planted by Japanese staff of Brown Coal Liquefaction Victoria (BCLV) to serve as a constant reminder of the lasting friendships made between Japanese staff of the pilot Coal to Oil Plant and the residents of the then City of Morwell. These Flowering Cherry Blossom Trees were planted at Kernot Hall, Morwell and continue to blossom throughout spring each year bringing Kernot Hall alive with a real Japanese feel.

Latrobe Friendly Society

Based in Takasago, the Latrobe Friendly Society was established in February 2003 to promote friendly ties between the people of Takasago City and the people of Latrobe City.  It is comprised of enthusiastic members, with various and unique talents in the community.  The members of the Society play a role in the organisation of visits from Latrobe City, including organising an itinerary, escorting the visitors around the City, assistance of Assistant Language Teacher and any other activities.

Japanese Day

Since its inception in 2004, Japanese Day has proven to be a successful community event where people get together to celebrate their sister city’s culture and appreciate the sister city relationship with Takasago City. This event is held annually in October and continues to attract over 3,000 people annually.