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Li Xiansheng, Mayor of Wuhan City

20 October 2004

Li Xiansheng, Mayor of Wuhan City

Li Xiansheng’s biography on the China Vitae website – www.chinavitae.com -- says he was born in 1954, and has served as a standing committee member of the Wuhan Municipal Committee and as director of its publicity department. He was also secretary of the work committee and deputy director of the administration committee of the Wuhan Economic and Technological Development Area.

Wuhan is the largest city in Central China. Surrounded by hundreds of lakes on the Jianghan Plain in Hubei Province, Wuhan is the place where the Hansui River joins the mighty Yangtse. Wuhan is a city of about 4.9 million.

Christchurch has been cultivating its relationship with Wuhan for several years. In 1999, the mayors of Christchurch and Wuhan signed a cooperation agreement. Further agreements were made last year, including ones within the education sector.

In June, Mayor Garry Moore led a trade mission of about 50 business, education and civic leaders to China which included several days in Wuhan. It was one of the city’s largest-ever overseas delegations.

The University of Canterbury has a strong and growing relationship with the Wuhan Municipal Government. It recently hosted 23 young Wuhan city officials, who came to study public administration. The university and the China National School of Administration signed a memorandum of understanding. The universities of Wuhan and Canterbury both have Antarctica as a specialist area of research.

China is New Zealand’s fourth largest trading partner. It buys around $2.5 billion of New Zealand goods and services a year. In 2005 New Zealand is due to begin free trade talks with Chinese government officials, the first developed country to do so.

Christchurch is not alone, however, in targeting Wuhan for its economic potential. Wuhan has had a sister-city relationship since 1982 with Pittsburgh in the USA State of Pennsylvania and the leaders of the two river cities regularly lead strong delegations across the Pacific to visit each other.

ENDS

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