I recently met with Mayor of Beijing Wang Anshun as part of the StudyCanberra delegation visit to China.
It was with great pleasure that I met with the Mayor of Beijing nearing the thirteenth anniversary of the Sister City Agreement between Canberra and Beijing signed in September 2000.
The sister-city relationship has been of great mutual benefit, and one befitting the capitals of two nations with over 40 years of diplomatic relations and strong economic and cultural ties.
We look to strengthen the sister-city relationship which has seen major developments in business, trade and education. Our relationship to date has been built on a diverse range of initiatives, from environmental and water management, to agriculture, public administration and finance, tourism, education and hospitality training.
The depth of the ties between these two great cities was demonstrated in 2008 when Canberra was the only Australian city to host the Beijing Olympic Torch relay.
The StudyCanberra delegation to China promotes the benefits of studying and living in Canberra, and aims to increase Canberra’s share of international students. The delegation includes the Vice-Chancellors of the University of Canberra and the Australian National University.
The trip includes visits to major universities in Beijing and Shanghai, and meetings with education agents and alumni networks in both cities.
The delegation has discussed with Mayor Wang the many opportunities for enhancing our sister-city relationship, and particularly how our universities might identify the potential for future partnerships and collaboration with universities in Beijing.
I have great confidence that the sister-city relationship between Canberra and Beijing will continue to grow and prosper, and that education will become an essential element of our economic and cultural ties.