The Hon. Chris Schacht meets Qingdao Mayor Xia Geng

The Hon. Chris Schacht meets Qingdao Mayor Xia Geng (now Vice Governor of Shandong)

Adelaide, the capital of South Australia and Qingdao have been Sister Cities since the 29th March 2000. They have formed a close relationship through their location and lifestyle. Both are coastal and modern cities with a love of beach culture, wine, festivals, sports, seafood and beer. Like the many different festivals and events Qingdao has each year, Adelaide also has many to offer.

There are nearly 20 varied events and cultural festivals held in Adelaide each year – a trend Qingdao hopes to emulate in the future. In February and March, some of these festivals include the Adelaide Festival, the Fringe Festival and the WOMAD festival. Visitors throughout the year can enjoy the Clipsal 500 V8 Car Race, the Jacob’s Creek Golf Open, the Yorke Peninsula Agricultural Field Days and the Royal Adelaide Show. And just like Qingdao, the city takes part in an annual Beer Festival with a German flavour!

Beer
Qingdao’s most famous company, Tsingtao Beer, also has a direct relationship with Adelaide. South Australian barley used in the brewing process of Tsingtao Beer helps create the thirst quenching taste. South Australian ABB Grain exports to Qingdao Brewery are more the $360 million per year! Nevertheless, it may be the educational ‘guanxi’ rather than the beer that best links the two cities.

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Education
A close cooperation exists between South Australian and Qingdao based universities and colleges. The South Australian Government recently announced the close cooperation in education between Qingdao and Adelaide with the opening of a South Australian education and training hub in Qingdao for the English training of local teachers by the South Australian education department.

The Chinese Students make up the majority of the large international student community utilising South Australia’s facilities. These young students are a proud example of the Sister City concept. For as they develop scholarly exchanges that propel their careers even higher, they also learn to share and take with them another part of the world.

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The relationship is on the path towards success. Already representatives and members from the South Australian Government, the Adelaide City Council, the South Australian Government DTED China Cluster, Education SA and the Australian Asian Chamber of Commerce and Industry have received many friends, delegations and visitors from Qingdao. The people of Qingdao have reciprocated by reaching out to their ‘sister’ for support in a number of culture and commercial fields of interest. Thus, it is only a matter of time before Qingdao & Adelaide’s mutual admiration blossoms into an everlasting relationship.

By sharing their similarities and appreciating their differences, the citizens of Qingdao and Adelaide represent what is considered sacred in Chinese culture – a family.