Diane Raver The Herald-Tribune
The Batesville Herald-Tribune
---- — A delegation from Haiyan County, China, visited Batesville Oct. 31.
The group was made up of Jiang Jin Liang, Haiyan People’s Congress Standing Committee vice director; Zhao Yong Jun, General Office of People’s Government of Haiyan County vice director; Ma Jian Sheng, Haiyan Human Resources and Social Security Bureau vice director; and Ma Jian Liang, Haiyan Financial Bureau vice director, and their translator, Yu Ning of the General Office of the People’s Government of Haiyan County foreign affairs section.
They spent the day meeting with area officials and visiting Ivy Tech Community College, Batesville High School, The Hansen Center, Weberding Carving Shop and Batesville Casket Co. They also drove by Batesville Aviation Services and toured Oldenburg and Batesville communities.
Mayor Rick Fledderman, who visited Haiyan County two years ago, was happy to welcome the visitors to southeastern Indiana. “Your visit means a lot, and we are proud to show our city .... I know your community is much larger than ours, but you will see that Batesville is a thriving center with growing industries, excellent schools, beautiful homes and a world-class hospital and health care facility.
“We will benefit from learning more about you and your community, and I look forward to our relationship growing and prospering.”
Jiang Jin Liang, who spoke on behalf of the Asian representatives, said, “My colleagues and I feel very privileged to visit Batesville.” He explained the word Haiyan literally means sea salt in Chinese, and it used to serve as an important salt producing base.
“Haiyan is a city full of vigor ... (and) we are actively developing new industries. Education is always highly valued. We strongly hope we can develop a friendly exchange with the city of Batesville. I believe today’s meeting will allow you to learn more about Haiyan.”
Following lunch at the Sherman House, the mayor and the Haiyan People’s Congress Standing Committee vice director signed a sister city agreement.
The Chinese official said he believes this will create a “cultural exchange .... (and) we will learn from each other.”
Fledderman revealed the Chinese “really wanted a sister city relationship. They were interested in doing exchanges on every level.” He hopes this connection will lead to “jobs and a better understanding of each other’s cultures.
“We live in a global economy, and we have companies in our community that are doing business in China. It’s important for us to not only support those companies but also the future potential economic development that we need to move forward with.”
Diane Raver can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-934-4343, Ext. 114.