An indigenous message stick was the gift and the message was loud and clear from Redland City Mayor Karen Williams to Chinese government officials this week – Redlands wants to strengthen relationships.
Cr Williams said discussions with government officials from our sister city, Qinhuangdao, provided a timely opportunity for her to highlight our willingness to share Redland marine expertise in development slated for the Chinese seaside city.
These discussions were made possible through a special ceremony where Cr Williams presented new Qinhuangdao Mayor Shang Liguang with an Aboriginal message stick and silk sarong handmade by Redlands’ traditional custodians, the Quandamooka.
Cr Williams said: “Qinhuangdao is an export port, and like the Redlands, a seaside city, and a tourist destination.
“Situated between the capital Beijing and the Tianjin metropolis, it is the destination of choice for 20 million visitors a year. In fact, our sister city is known as the summer capital of China,” Cr Williams said.
“They are developing marine parks, canal estates and marina facilities and are seriously interested in our experience in such areas. It is an area Redland organisations and businesses know a lot about.”
Cr Williams has been extending invitations to government officials in China and Taiwan to visit the Redlands and expects Qinhuangdao Mayor Shang Liguang to touch down on our red soil soon.
During her visit to Redlands’ sister city, Cr Williams also met with Qinhuangdao’s planning bureau chief Guo Aimin, planning bureau deputy director Ms Liu Jianxin, Vice Mayor Feng Zhiyong and from the Bureau of Education.
“The residents of our sister city of 3 million people are aspirational for their children, wanting them to study in Australia, mix with Australians and enjoy beautiful and safe locations like the Redlands,” Cr Williams said.
“This is another opportunity for our city that could further develop the Redland economy as we have world-class middle and high school education.
“I am encouraged by Qinhuangdao officials’ commitment to strengthening educational ties and cementing opportunities for students of both cities.”
Cr Williams said that in China the forward planning for employment was outstanding, making it easy for businesses to establish themselves and delivering more certainty for future communities.
“In fact, there is an entire building dedicated to showing off 3D and 4D plans for the city of Qinhuangdao,” she said.
Cr Williams has been in China and Taiwan spruiking opportunities for investment and trade with the Redlands and will visit Japan next week.
She has delivered presentations to more than 2000 international delegates, spoken separately with more than 40 key contacts and given out more than 100 Redlands’ prospectus documents that had been translated into Chinese.
“There are many opportunities available to the Redlands that come from developing strong cultural and business ties within Asia.”