Monday, January 19, 2009

Crazy about Qingao

What's not very well known in North Shore City political circles is that we now have a sister-city relationship with Qingdao in China.

That's not particularly controversial, nor is it particularly edifying. It is unlikely this will deliver more than student exchanges and education receipts (arguably we can be greatful for those benefits), but what is of interest is the Mayor and his trip to Qingdao in 2008.

It's well known that there are human rights issues in China. Some on the council wanted Andrew Williams to deliver a letter on human rights issues to our new sister city.

We're mixed on this, because you don't go causing problems with your new best friend for starters (raising human rights issues would better come with a maturing in the relationship). On top of that, local businesses on the shore who are already established in Qingdao and could see some benefits to a sister city relationship pleaded with the council not to get involved in what is a central government matter.

Sigh. Nothing so hamfisted as local government part-timers playing at Henry Kissinger...

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