Chinese delegation visits Hattiesburg
Posted 2012 06 14
A Chinese delegation spent Wednesday observing how Hattiesburg operates.
Delegates toured the downtown area and made stops at William Carey University, the University of Southern Mississippi, Western Container and The Accelerator.
"There are a lot of things to see and we only have a short time here," Du Jiapu, vice chairman of Linyi Municipal Committee of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said through interpreter Zhang Jian.
"The main thing we want to see is the urban construction here. We also want to talk about economic investment."
The delegation also included Zhang Jian, deputy director of Foreign Affairs and Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of Linyi City; and Zhang Dianchang, chairman of Finance and Economy Committee of Linyi Municipal People's Congress. Delegates also spent time in California, Las Vegas and New Orleans before stopping in Hattiesburg.
At a press conference Wednesday morning at Lake Terrace Convention Center, Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree said the visit is due to the 2010 sister city agreement.
"This is a continuation of a great relationship," DuPree said. "This is one of the things we agreed we would do to keep in touch to see where opportunities are."
DuPree said the Chinese delegates are the equivalent of state senators and legislators.
"We're really blessed they stopped here to take part in our cultural, educational and economic development atmosphere that we have here," he added.
Jiapu said Linyi is a city in a district made up of nine counties. The central area's population is about 1.7 million. Last year the city's gross domestic product was 40 billion U.S. dollars. The local revenue is about 2 billion U.S. dollars.
Linyi University also has a student-exchange program with Carey and Southern Miss.
Jiapu also hopes to have more American students learn Chinese language and increase the visits from the universities and economic sectors.
"We have already worked in cooperation between University (of Southern Mississippi) and William Carey and Linyi University. We have the exchange visit of the students and professors," he said.
"We want to continue the cooperation in this area and also to have another cooperation in economic and investment interests."