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Establishing Sister City Relationship between Liyang and Columbia


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Establishing Sister City Relationship between Liyang and Columbia

  1. 1. Establishing A New Sister City Relationship China Sister City Planning Committee January 6th, 2016 Columbia Maryland, USA Liyang Jiangsu, China
  2. 2. Sister Cities should be … • A pair of matching cities. • Genuine interest on both sides. • A desire to learn from and share experiences with a sister city. • Long-term commitment to the relationship. • Focus on best results that will capitalize on existing strengths. • Adequate financial support for exchanges and maintenance of the relationship. • Separation of personal beliefs from political, economic, and cultural realities. 2
  3. 3. Existing Sister Cities of Columbia 3 Columbia, MD Cergy-Pontoise, France Tres Cantos, Spain Tema, Ghana Cap-Haitien, Haiti Liyang, China
  4. 4. Why Liyang – Columbia’s Voice • Large population of Chinese immigrants o 8,014 in Howard County (US Census 2014) o Thousands of family members and relatives 4 o More and more international students o More Chinese professionals
  5. 5. Why Liyang – Columbia’s Voice 5 • Desire of Educational and Cultural Exchange o 3 Chinese schools in Columbia o Thousands of students registered in weekend classes o Hundreds of American families have their children or themselves learning Chinese and culture o Majority of private and public schools have Chinese classes o Local residents traveled to China each year
  6. 6. Why Liyang – Columbia’s Voice • More Career Opportunities o Professionals offer their expertise overseas o Create new jobs locally 6
  7. 7. Why Liyang – Columbia’s Voice 7 • Tourism: o Stunning sceneries o Riveting historical heritage sites o Ancient oriental culture o Entrancing attractions o Conveniently accessed and relaxing o Leisurely accommodations o Mouth-watering southern-China delicacies
  8. 8. Why Liyang – Columbia’s Voice 8 • Picked from 8 candidate cities by China Sister City Planning Committee based on the following factors o Similarity in levels of governmental/Administrative organization o Bilateral benefits of conducting sister city relationship o Population size o Geographic location /transportation advantages o Cultural and Educational exchange opportunities o Existing linkages o Experience of conducting sister cities in other countries o Further socio-economic development
  9. 9. Why Liyang – Matching City • Level of governments are organized similarly LiyangColumbia City: City: Columbia Liyang
  10. 10. Liyang - Location & Geography 10 Jiangsu Province Changzhou Liyang • Population: o 780,000 • Population Density: o 1,281/sq mi (Columbia: 1,280/sq mi) • Area: o 593 sq miles
  11. 11. Liyang – Modern Transportation System 11
  12. 12. Liyang – Quality Education 12 • National-Renowned Public Schools System • Dedicated International Class o Was established on 2009 in some high schools. o Open to aspiring students who are seeking education overseas o All graduates were admitted by colleges overseas.
  13. 13. Exchange Programs – Summer Camp 2014 13
  14. 14. 14 Exchange Programs – Summer Camp 2015
  15. 15. International Students 15
  16. 16. Exchange Programs – Education at Liyang 16
  17. 17. Exchange Programs – Culture at Liyang 17
  18. 18. Tourism - A Paradise Must See 18 Welcome
  19. 19. Liyang – Local Residency 19
  20. 20. Liyang – Strong Financial Support 20
  21. 21. Why Liyang – Common Interests • Environmental friendly • Human value centered • Open-minded for globalization 21 “...Creating a community... which is both centered around people and is racially, culturally and economically integrated.” “...Creating a community... which is both centered around people and is racially, culturally and economically integrated.”
  22. 22. City Honors 22  National Excellent Tourism City  National Model City in Sanitation  National Model City in Environment-Protection  National Ecological Model Zone  National Sci-Tech Progress City  Top-100 National County  National Advanced County in Grain Production  Jiangsu Province Top-10 City in Comprehensive Strengths  Hometown of Construction in Jiangsu  Home of Longevity, China
  23. 23. Why Liyang - Genuine interest 23 • Liyang has been seriously looking for sister city for 20 years. • Established representative office in Maryland in 2015 • Have had educational exchange programs in Maryland for many years. • Benefit from exchange programs. • Top officials unofficially visited Columbia 3 times during the past 3 years
  24. 24. Next Steps • Gain approval from the Columbia Association Board of Directors to proceed with the Sister City partnership process with Liyang • Collaborate with Liyang to develop a partnership agreement and organize signing ceremony • To do list: o Educational professionals are invited to visit schools in Liyang during Spring Break time. o CA members and related personnel are invited to visit Liyang for the Tea Festival on April 2016. o Develop youth and adult exchanges, activities, travel, etc • 2016 Summer Chinese Culture Exploration Program is ready for families of Columbia • Selected students from Liyang will come to Columbia for exchange program. 24
  25. 25. Estimated Cost • Hosting of Chinese exchange visitors by community members in their homes — no cost to CA • Travel by residents of Columbia at their own expense — no cost to CA • Administrative expenses, such as refreshments for sister cities official visit, agreement signing, copies/printing, office supplies, postage – $1,000~2,000 25 • Optional: Travel for Tea Festival by program manager, meals, hotel and transportation – $2,000/person
  26. 26. China Sister City Planning Committee Chair Jun Han Vice Chair Chao Wu Member 26 Hui Dong Jun Luo Ying Zhang Jingshan Wang Andrew Qian Amy Feng Minie Zhang Kit Strauss Christopher Mills Wei Guo Mei Du Ronggai Sun Lucy Lu Jennings Zhang
  27. 27. Q & A: • PRESENTERS o Hui Dong: Board Member, China Sister City Planning Committee Senior Engineer, Meso Scale Discovery, Co. o Jun Han: Chair, China Sister City Planning Committee Director, Liyang Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US President, Success-International Mutual Liaison Services o Jennings Zhang: Sophomore, Thomas Wootton High School o Minie Zhang Junior, Montgomery Blair High School o Owen Yang Senior, Glenelg Country School • FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT: o Michelle Miller: Director, Community Services, Columbia Association o Laura Smit: Program Manager, International Exchange & Multicultural Programs 27

Editor's Notes

  • Ladies and gentlemen, good evening!

    My name is Hui Dong, a proud resident of Columbia for more than 10 years. I was born and raised in Liyang, Jiangsu Province, and emigrated to the United States about 16 years ago. I greatly appreciate this opportunity to bridge my birth town to my adopted city, which is the birth town of my child, Columbia.
  • The two cities that are to be sister cities, at first, shall be matched in many aspects. Sister cities should share common goals and ambitions. Such a relationship is not an ordinary collaboration between two cities, but rather a more comprehensive and substantial exchange of means.

    Both cities should maintain a true desire to conduct the sister city relationship. I do believe the two sides have common interests in many aspects, such as education, culture, economy, environment, agriculture, and more. The relationship should be an equal relationship, where both sides learn from each other by sharing their identities and cultures with each other. This relationship will be solid and long-term. It would benefit not only residents but also enterprises of both cities, as well as promote healthy urban development. In an ideal and possible relationship, no one side is being neglected or taken advantage of. Both sides should utilize their unique strengths for mutual achievements.

    Apart from the simple desire of conducting a sister-city relationship, both sides should have adequate financial support for exchange programs and thus the duration of allegiance can be prolonged.

    Furthermore, the sister city relationship should be a mutual liaison which is separated from any political ambition or selfish gains.

    All of above points will be explained in details in the following slides.

  • From this world map, we can see this is where Columbia is. Columbia already has 3 existing sister cities: Cergy-Pontoise (pronounced Surgie-pontuahz) in France, Tres Cantos in Spain, Tema in Ghana, as well as one more currently being established, which is Cap-Haitien (pronounced Cap Ai shang in French) in Haiti. When we observe this world map, it becomes apparent that there is one crucial location that is not yet connected, located on the Asian continent: a country with five thousand years of history and culture, 1.4 billion people, multiculturalism of 56 ethnics, and a rapidly developing economy. China. And the city, Liyang is located perfectly so that its addition as a sister-city to Columbia will yield greater international diversity.
  • Why do we want Liyang to be our next sister city?

    There are more than 8,000 Chinese Americans and thousands of their family members or relatives are residing in Howard County. The population of Chinese community has been growing rapidly during recent years. There are more and more international students ranging from elementary school children to ambitious young adults pursuing advanced education just as I did many years ago. On top of that, many Chinese professionals are working in Howard county as we see anywhere at working place.
  • Additionally, the interests of learning Chinese and Chinese culture in the local area is notably increasing: there are 3 Chinese schools in Columbia, thousands of students and hundreds of Americans families are enrolled in extracurricular weekend classes to learn Chinese, Chinese painting, Chinese musical instruments, Chinese Kong Fu and fine arts. Both private and public schools offer Chinese class as one of the high school credit courses to the students. Some local students and residents are fortunate to have traveled to China, and needless to say it was a very enjoyable experience. There is a clear desire for education exchange.
  • The formation of this sister-city relationship will spur more career opportunities in both Liyang and Colombia. American professionals can apply their unique skills and talents to occupations overseas, while creating more jobs locally, just like Montgomery County, right now, it has many job openings due to rapid development of education, culture and economy exchange programs.
  • Liyang is a perfect tourist destination that involves thousands of years of history and culture. Tourism to China will be facilitated a lot better with the sister-city relationship, whereas Liyang can provide all the highlights of a tourist destination: stunning and unique natural attractions and heritage sites, amazing ancient oriental culture, and conveniently accessed and relaxing leisurely accommodations.

    And the more important thing that must be pointed out is authentic Chinese cuisine.
  • Liyang was resolved in an anonymous caucus of China Sister City Planning Committee based on the following factors. In addition, these factors will serve as a roadmap for the rest of the presentation. The factors are:

    Similarities in levels of governmental hierarchal organization,
    Comparable population.
    Geographic location advantages.
    Opportunities for both cultural and educational exchange.
    Preexisting linkages.
    Previous experience of conducting sister cities in other countries.
    Opportunities for socioeconomic development.
  • Why Liyang? The governmental hierarchy is organized very similarly to that of Columbia. At the bottom, there are the countries: both U.S. and China are well developed nations. The individual administrative divisions are the state of Maryland and the Province of Jiangsu, respectively. Zooming in on the lower levels of government, the individual counties and districts are also similar in structure and organization: Howard county and The District of ChangZhou. Finally, the two cities we are evaluating, Colombia, and Liyang, lie at the top.

  • This is a map of China and the yellow part is Jiangsu province. Zooming onto this inset, the green area is the district called Changzhou, and the yellow area in the left lower corner is Liyang. Liyang is a city about 593 square miles. Majority of land is covered in native flora, such as bamboos, and agricultural farmland. The climate is very similar to that of Maryland, with four distinct seasons and weather ranging from rainy days to sunny and clear blue skies. The population is distributed evenly. There are about 434,000 living in urban areas, and a bit less living in the suburbs, at a population of 326,000 people. Astonishingly, the population density of Liyang is almost identical as that of Columbia: about 1280 per square mile.

  • Liyang has been establishing modern, convenient and well-designed transportation network for decades. Now 5 expressways cover its territory while Two high-speed train stations are set here. The notorious superior high speed railway train systems in China is an affordable and fast way to get from place to place in luxury. There are 6 international airport nearby, within 2-hour driving distance. On the well-integrated network of highways in Liyang, that would only be a 35-minute drive.
  • Liyang’s public school system is a nationally acknowledged school system. Students focus on all disciplines of education, not just STEM but also art, culture, sports, and plenty of community services. Some high schools established “international classes,” which offer American curriculum and prepare students to go overseas to complete their education for unique experiences and more opportunities. Over the last 3 years, the graduates from the international class had 100% of enrolled in American colleges. Even more astoundingly, last year in 2015, all students were accepted into the top 100 universities in America.
  • JH - Well, Mr. Dong is a perfect exemplification of wonderful Liyang students, who is admitted by one of the best engineering schools in China, then came overseas and got his PhD degree from UMBC and right now a senior engineer in a biotech company.

    Now, let me introduce existing exchange programs of Liyang.

    Liyang currently has many notable exchange programs with many countries in the world. Here shows an education exchange program in the United States about 2 years ago. Jennings was the coordinator of this program. Let Jennings give us a talk now.

    JZ - The students from Liyang had an one-week class at Walter Johnson High School to learn American culture and daily English. The teacher was wonderful in the classroom so that the students had completely different learning experience from what they had in China. They talked and discussed with the teacher freely and laughed loudly when they truly understand a joke in the classroom. The teacher brought the students to a supermarket and I helped them to read the price tag, use cash register. We went to red lobster, I showed them that it is called smoothie, I helped them to order a meal they like. We did a lot. At the end of this program, all students got a certificate from the program. It is a witness of a wonderful experience in the US. One week passed so fast. The students hugged and cried when they left from us with much reluctant.
  • Last year, the summer camp involved more than just education, but also full of fun activities. The demographics of the turnout ranged from young children to hyper teens to their parents. A trip to Hershey Park was an exciting and new experience for the Chinese children, who were intrigued by the chocolate making process in the factory. The group experienced days of ecstasy in America on attractions and rides. Next, they visited the National Aquarium in Baltimore, marveling at aquatic wildlife, which they never seen before. Part of the cultural exchange programs was BBQing with native families in forests and groves. This was the first time for those international students and families. They learned how to BBQ and how to serve. We all ate a lot. We played cards together. We are from different countries, but there is no national boundaries for playing cards.
    Of course, going to a summer school is one activity of the entire trip. Lola make her own journal at school and wrote paragraphs every day. Her English is not perfect. There are many typos and grammar errors. But it is quite impressive considering this is her got improvement every day. She had a great time in class, sharing lessons and working on group projects.
  • JH - Recent years, there are more and more international students coming to the US to complete their education. I am so pleased to introduce Mr. Owen Yang, who was from Liyang and now a senior at Glenelg Country School. Let’s welcome Owen to share his new life in the US.
  • A one-way relationship cannot be considered an exchange. Liyang would like to absorb diverse cultures into its own education programs. For instance, Jiangsu Liyang High School has formed sister-school bonds with Greater Johnstown High School in Pennsylvania, as well as Riverside Christian School in California. Every year, educators from overseas congregate in Liyang to discuss teaching methods and school management and operation. The exchange is not limited to high schools, but several American colleges have reached out to cooperate with Liyang, including University of Maryland at College Park. Educators from Europe have also visited Liyang. German educators meet with Chinese educators. Teachers from the Netherlands taught English class in Liyang. In fact, this specific teacher has earned recognition and awards from the principal of the school for her education expertise.
  • The spirit of Liyang culture would be its white tea. White tea is a special form of green tea that is minimally processed. This picture was taken me when I had a leisure at Liyang. Here are some photos showing the 13th anniversary of the Tea festival in Liyang. Every episode involves not only hundreds of thousands of Chinese, but also others from all over the world who gather to participate in this lively event. They gather to celebrate and endorse Chinese traditions, whether recent or ancient. The most celebrated and obvious activity would be tea tasting. Guests may tour tea gardens, and even pick fresh tea leaves from the tree. Here, Liyang invites all of you to participate the next tea festival on April this year!

  • Liyang is such a beautiful city with both stunning natural sceneries and riveting historical heritage sites. When you visit China, exit from the airport of Beijing, the first commercial you will see is Tiamu lake in Liyang. Its beauty cannot be described with any words. You must go and see and experience. This is a sunny day, rainy day and night of Tianmu Lake. One more. Nanshan Bamboo forest is another attraction you should never miss. The graceful bamboo forest, natural hot springs with crystal clear water… you may dip your toes or swim in the water or have yoga on the side… it is called natural oxygen bar. You may see pandas who were the original mascot of Olympic Games 2008 in Beijing. You may take an ancient Chinese raft, listening to the local ballad, or take a lift car to the top of the mountain to enjoy the green of bamboo forest. You may stay in a Chinese style leisurely accommodations for a relaxed night.

    Welcome to Liyang!
  • The structure of the land is very dynamic. There are houses that pop in the midst of arable and trees, while cozy villages colonize the waterways in traditional styles. While the land yields the freshest of fruits, the waters are alive with seafood such as crab. It is a blooming self-sufficient economy. The urban portions of the city are mixed with natural bodies of water and trees, which paints a beautiful scenery for an afternoon rest. Hot springs are attractions and a perfect place for locals to have a rest. During the holidays, people dress up with traditional masks and costumes, sing and dance to celebrate the historical heritages.
  • Liyang’s industry is fueled by its scientific innovations. Zhongguanqin Science Park is the largest local research facility and manufacturing clusters. Some world-known enterprises have invested in the park for its friendly tax policies, experienced workers and well equipped facilities. The environment protection is the first priority of local development and will never be sacrificed for economic growth. The well established science park generated huge amount of profit and paid lots of tax each year which ensures the exchange programs last longer and stronger.

  • Liyang endorses environmental protection, to preserve its precious natural resources. It’s home to many national parks of China; it is one of the “greenest” Chinese cities, figuratively and literally. Liyang and Colombia share many common ideologies on human values and rights. Just like James Rouse, the founder of Columbia, said “[to create] a community… which is both centered around people and is racially, culturally, and economically integrated.” The two cities that both have open minded on the concept of globalization must go together.
  • Columbia is proud of as Top 10 “Best place to live” in the untied states for many years. Liyang is also titled as similar nation-wide honors. Such as…
  • Liyang has 5 current existing sister cities all over the world and is actively looking for next sister city in the United States. Officials from Liyang, including the vice-mayor, the director of Commerce Bureau, and the Director of foreign affairs, have visited Colombia 3 times over the past 3 years. They were very impressed by the developments in Howard county; a representative office has been established in Maryland to prompt the sister city program, steadily implement the current exchange programs which has been established for quite a few years, and to develop more and more exchange programs which may benefit both cities.
  • So what is the next step? Of course to obtain the approval from CA. And the sister city partnership is to be processed accordingly. Meanwhile, all of the Columbia association members and related personnel, educational professionals are invited to Liyang for the April 2016 Tea Festival! If possible, the 2016 summer programs for both residents of Columbia and students from Liyang will be planned and implemented soon.
  • It is always important to discuss financial issues of the resolution. Chinese exchange visitors are most often given their shelter by volunteering community members. It does not cost CA a penny. The travel and transportation for residents of Columbia are paid by themselves as well. Administrative expenses, however, such as refreshments and complementary welcoming gifts for sister cities official visits, copying and printing, office supplies, postage, and other stationaries… will cost around one to two thousand dollars. To attend the tea festival, which includes meals, hotels, and transportations, all to be organized by the program manager, will cost around 2,000 per person.