Mayors work to bridge cultural divide

Delegation from China meets county leaders

An eight-member delegation from Washington County's sister city, Yichang, China, attended a reception Sept. 1 just south of Hillsboro.

The group gathered at the Bald Peak home of Bob Terry, owner of Fisher Farms nursery in Gaston, where they enjoyed a traditional barbecue.

The delegation was headed by the Vice Mayor of Yichang, the Honorable Yang Zhi, who spent time with various local dignitaries, including Cornelius Mayor Terry Rilling (pictured above).

A little over four years ago, Tom Brian, chairman of the county board of commissioners, and area business leaders began developing a sister city relationship with Yichang, Griffiths noted. The reception early this month marked the first official visit by a delegation from Yichang.

A modern city of 4.5 million people, Yichang is noted for its high-tech industry, its educational system (700,000 students in the school district) and its medical research facilities.

Yichang recently completed one of the world's most powerful hydroelectric dams.