Mon | Jul 22, 2019

Twinning of a Chinese city with Hanover still on

Published:Wednesday | April 17, 2019 | 12:08 AMBryan Miller/Gleaner Writer

Western Bureau:

While the plan to twin the parish of Hanover with the Chinese city of Huangshi appears to be moving at a snail’s pace, the Chinese are ramping up to their efforts to get the deal done and are seemingly showing far greater interest than their Jamaican counterparts.

When the plan was first contemplated, both sides stated that such an arrangement would yield great economic, social, and cultural benefits. Discussions have been taking place since early 2018, and a delegation from the Hanover Municipal Corporation (HMC) was invited to visit the Chinese city in the latter part of last year, but that trip did not materialise.

The matter remains an item in the minutes of the monthly meeting of the HMC, with David Gardner, the chief executive officer of the corporation, reporting at last week’s monthly meeting that a Chinese delegation is set to visit the HMC in a few months.

Gardner told The Gleaner that the HMC had sent documentation on the plans and discussions taking place to the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development from last year for perusal and feedback. However, he said, to date, the ministry has not responded.

“We are still awaiting a formal response from our ministry on the matter, but just to advise that in the last few days, we have received information out of China, from Huangshi city, and they are essentially telling us that they are very determined to have this friendship arrangement established between Hanover and Huangshi City.

A delegation of six of their high-profile members out of China will be the guests of the HMC sometime about the middle of July,” said Gardner. “They have decided to finance themselves fully, and they are willing to explore all possible areas or possible arrangements that can be established between us and them,” he added.

Lucea’s mayor, Sheridan Samuels, who is also the chairman of the HMC, and his deputy, Councillor Andria Dehaney-Dinham, both expressed pleasure that the proposed visit by the Chinese was still on track.