Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu’s (陳菊) delegation received a raucous welcome on Friday when it arrived in Portland, Oregon, Kaohsiung’s sister city.
The delegation was greeted by drums and gongs, lion dancing and firecrackers at city hall and Chen lauded Portland, which was recently named the best city to live in the US, saying that her administration was working toward a similar goal for Kaohsiung.
Next year will be an important year for the two cities, as the world’s largest green building — the Oregon Sustainability Center — will be completed in Portland, while the Kaohsiung World Trade Exhibition Center will be officially opened in Kao-hsiung Harbor.
Chen described her visit to Portland as “a dream come true,” saying she had always wanted to visit the Portland Rose Festival, but never had the chance because it coincided with the meeting of Kaohsiung city council.
However, as Portland Mayor Sam Adam’s term will end at the end of this year, Chen said, she decided to make the trip to express her appreciation to him in person for his many years of friendship with Kaohsiung.
Chen also invited Adams to attend next year’s 2013 Asian Pacific Cities Summit to be hosted in Kaohsiung.
She said the two cities have been twinned for more than 25 years and Kaohsiung’s Shu-te Home Economics and Commercial High School dragon boat team takes part in the Rose Festival every year.
Adams said he had visited Kaohsiung twice since taking office and was impressed by the hospitality and food.
He also mentioned the 2009 World Games in Kaohsiung, which he said showed the city had the ability to host international sports events.
Chen presented Adams with two gifts — a porcelain statue of Taiwanese folklore figure Santaize (the third prince) and a vest in a Taiwanese aboriginal style.
She will also present two dragon boats to Portland and was scheduled to host an eye-dotting ceremony yesterday. Portland has held an annual dragon boat race since 1989.
The delegation will also visit San Francisco to seek investment and stop in Vancouver, Canada, before returning to Taiwan on Saturday.