Ashburton, Chinese city form new bond

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Ashburton and Chinese city XianYang, which has a population of five million, will strengthen ties.
A delegation of 11 local government and business people made a whistle-stop trip to Ashburton and Methven on Friday and Saturday.
XianYang deputy mayor Madam Li signed a document formalising the relationship.
Speaking through translater Geraldine Ling, Madam Li said the visit had opened the door to relations between the two towns.
She also thanked the council for its support of the Fineboon goat milk project at the Ashburton Business Park.
She said the signing of the document would be a step forward in trade, tourism and education.
The Chinese visit follows a short trip to the area last year by mayor Angus McKay (who paid for his own trip), Willy Leferink of Federated Farmers andRob Brawley, of Grow Mid Canterbury.
As part of their trip they visited a Fineboon canning plant, and the Chinese delegation visited Fineboon’s Ashburton factory.
Madam Li said they had a lot to learn in agriculture.
The delegation visited Midlands Apiaries, the Fineboon plant, South Pacific Seeds, a Methven farm and had business meetings on goat farming, the Eastfields development in central Ashburton and on dairying.
Photo: Geraldine Ling, who acted as translator, XianYang deputy mayor Madam Li and Ashburton mayor Angus McKay.