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GBC Delegation Signs Partnership with Dongying, China

Published on: 19 Oct, 2017
Updated on: 20 Oct, 2017

The partnership deal being signed by GBC Managing Director James Whiteman (left) Council Leader Paul Spooner (centre) and the Mayor of Dongying on Sunday (October 15). Standing behind the signatories can be seen Saskia Cochrane, Cllr Matt Furniss and Vice-Chancellor Max Lu.

Photos of the signing ceremony of a partnership deal between Guildford and Dongying, China have been issued along with a press release by Guildford Borough Council (GBC). The ceremony took place last Sunday, October 15 (2017).

The press release states: “To benefit the borough and help develop relationships with international towns and cities, the council leader, Cllr Paul Spooner (Con, Ash South & Tongham), and Managing Director James Whiteman have just signed a new partnership agreement with Dongying in China.

“The partnership agreement was signed on behalf of Dongying by Zhao Haozhi, the city’s mayor, at a special meeting on 15 October.”

The GBC delegation (left) meets their Dongying counterparts.

Cllr Spooner said: “As an outward-looking borough, we know that forging new partnerships both in the UK and internationally can help us achieve our goals. With its extraordinary economic growth in recent decades, it is impossible to think about developing new international relationships without thinking about China. There are so many potential mutual benefits in terms of trade, investment and through the exchange of knowledge and ideas.

“We look forward to establishing and developing the partnership between Guildford and Dongying and, as it says in the agreement that we have just signed, to enhancing the understanding and friendship between our places and people.”

The agreement, in draft form, as included in council papers for the GBC meeting of October 10.

The visit to China by the small delegation and the signing of a formal partnership agreement was approved by a full council meeting on October 10. Not all councillors supported the signing of the agreement at this stage. An amendment, proposed by Cllr Tony Rooth (Con, Pilgrims), to make the visit a fact-finding trip only was defeated by 26 votes to 20.

In addition to the council leader and managing director, the GBC delegation comprised: Deputy Leader of the Council Matt Furniss (Con, Christchurch). They were accompanied by University of Surrey representatives Vice-Chancellor Max Lu and Saskia Cochrane of the students’ union.

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Responses to GBC Delegation Signs Partnership with Dongying, China

  1. John Fox Reply

    October 19, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    I am sure a recently founded industrial city in China will contribute massively to the people of our borough.

    Hopefully, Cllr Spooner’s dream of funding the concreting the whole of the local area will disappear in the same way that Chinese investment in British property is reported to have done:

  2. Russell Morris Reply

    October 20, 2017 at 9:42 am

    Doubtless Guildford Borough Council’s executive hope to learn from China about managing the democratic process.

  3. Linda Cooper Reply

    October 20, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    Does the council leader, Cllr Paul Spooner (Con, Ash South & Tongham), and Managing Director James Whiteman have an opinion on what the heck the Chinese are doing in Philippine waters?

    They are not on a jolly there, that’s for sure.

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