Decatur Mayor John Schultz presents a gift to Bao Zongren, Executive Deputy Mayor of Jiaojiang People's Government, Taizhou City, during a special city council meeting held Monday night. (Photo by Jannaya Andrews)
In a whirlwind tour of Decatur, six Chinese officials — three of whom are involved in education — visited the city Monday and part of today, getting a closeup look at schools and industry.
Decatur Mayor John Schultz and Economic Development Director Larry Macklin led the guests, who arrived here late Sunday night by vehicles after flying into Indianapolis.
The delegation was scheduled to have breakfast at Richards restaurant this morning, then tour the Adams Memorial Medical campus, have lunch at the hospital, then return to Indianapolis.
The delegation consists of Zhu Daohong, director of the Jiaojiang Education Bureau; Hong Xianyu, a high school principal; Chen Yijun, a high school teacher serves as interpreter; Bao Zongren, executive director of Jiaojiang People' Government, Taizhou City; Zhou Weizhen, director of Jiaojiang Foreign Affairs and Overseas Chinese Affairs Office, Taizhou City; and Oiu Jiazheng, director of Jiaojiang Commerce Bureau, Taizhou City.
On Monday, after having breakfast at West End restaurant, the Chinese visitors spent considerable time at Bellmont middle and high schools.They were serenaded by a group of students and the student body was thrilled at the site of Hong getting up on stage to teach the youngsters some dance steps.
At the high school, the visitors checked out classrooms, were given a tour of the exercise equipment room by wrestling Coach Brent Faurote, received some Bellmont shirts and in turn presented some gifts they had brought along. They then lunched in a conference room. During that time, one local official said, the Chinese posed numerous questions about education here and in America.
In the afternoon, the group toured Fleetwood RV and Bunge North Ameica, then had dinner at the Back 40 before attending a special city council meeting in which a resolution was read and gifts exchanged.
The resolution adopted by council says the mayor and council express "continued support towards the establishment of a Sister City relationship with the City of Jiaojiang, Zhejiang Province, China," and the city "desires to continue to develop international relations and promote economic, cultural and educational opportunities."
It notes, too, that the mayor and council have begun relations with the City of Jiaojiang, Zhejiang Province, China, toward the establishment of a Sister City relationship, recognizing the "potential economic, cultural and educational opportunities which would be mutually beneficial to the citizens of each city..."
The document goes on to resolve that the establishment of such a Sister City relationship "will foster and promote goodwill between the citizens" of both communities, and "will result in mutually beneficial economic opportunities, enriched cultural exchanges, and enhanced educational opportunities."
So it is resolved, the document concludes, "that the establishment of such a Sister City relationship is desirable and in the best interests of the citizens" of Decatur and Adams County, and that the members of council "express support for the Mayor of the City of Decatur to continue to pursue the formal establishment of a Sister City relationship with the City of Jiaojiang."
Schultz and Macklin visited Jiaojiang last June as part of an Indiana delegation, making the first contacts toward a Sister City setup.Two Chinese businessmen visited Decatur last August, touring three industries, the hospital and schools..