Chinese visit from Haining representatives to Augusta-Margaret River first since 2018

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
Shire of Augusta-Margaret River president Julia Meldrum with Haining deputy mayor Wan Chengzhao.
Camera IconShire of Augusta-Margaret River president Julia Meldrum with Haining deputy mayor Wan Chengzhao. Credit: Supplied

As the State Government and the region’s wine sector eye fresh inroads to the Chinese market, Margaret River has welcomed back a delegation from its sister city Haining.

A six-person group from the Chinese city visited late last week, being given a tour of the region and facilities by Augusta-Margaret River Shire council chiefs.

It was the first sister city visit from China since 2018.

The delegation included Haining’s deputy mayor Wan Chengzhao, the director of Haining’s Education Bureau Hu Xiaoming and Ms Qian Yaping, the vice-president of Haining Municipal People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, among others.

While the Augusta-Margaret River Shire awaits the arrival of new chief executive Andrea Selvey, sustainable economy and communities director Nick Byrne filled in for the formal aspects of the delegates’ visit.

The two-day visit saw the Chinese visitors meet Wadandi elders and tour schools and popular tourism attractions as well as hospitality venues, including Brewhouse and Vasse Felix.

Arts and culture were at the forefront of the visit which stems from the sister city relationship first struck in 2010.

Shire council delegates have previously visited Haining as part of the exchange, though cost-cutting nixed the previous planned visit.

The relationship also includes a student exchange between Margaret River High School and Haining No. 1 Middle School.

“Hosting our friends from Haining is a chance to showcase what makes Augusta-Margaret River such a great place to live, build business connections and increase our mutual understanding of each others cultures,” shire president Julia Meldrum said.

The shire also has a sister city agreement with Bo Trach in Vietnam.

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