In 1979, Victorian Premier Rupert Hamer and his counterpart in Jiangsu, Chairman of the Revolutionary Committee Mr Xu Jiatun, recognised the promise of a sister-state relationship. This relationship was one of the first of its kind between an Australian state and a province of the People’s Republic of China. The initiative followed Australia’s prescient establishment of diplomatic relations with China in 1972. Victoria and Jiangsu took this step towards deepening their relationship in the same year that the United States was only just getting around to diplomatic relations with China.
Supporting the Victorian Government with anniversaries of the relationship and exchanges over decades have been Mandarin Interpreters and Translators from Chin Communications – translating various event materials and brochures, and interpreting during early mornings, late nights, from biotech and physics, to regional tours – We are honoured to be part of this important relationship assisting the State Government in further strengthening ties with their counterparts, we are also very impressed with the huge benefits that this great Sister Act has brought to both parties.
Benefits Growing – From billions to trillions
In 1979, two-way trade between Australia and China was just over $100 million. Jiangsu and Victoria’s Gross State Product (GSP) was approximately $25 billion and $31 billion respectively. Now, 40 years later, two-way trade between Australia and China exceeds $270 billion. Looking back to 1979 the choice seems enlightened: Jiangsu is now China’s second-largest provincial economy, with GDP of more than 12 trillion yuan (2.5 trillion AUD). Similarly, Victoria is Australia’s second-largest economy, contributing almost $500 billion to the national economy. When it is all said and done, the Victorian Government chose a ripper of a province to make the connection.
Now in the fifth decade, Victoria and Jiangsu have built a far-reaching relationship encompassing deep trade, cultural and personal links. It recognises not only the vision of our past leaders, but the value of this ongoing relationship as an asset to build upon.
Art and music, education, sport, business, ICT, biotech. medicine … some of the initiatives and programs, have included:
- the Hamer Scholarship Program that supports 50 young Victorian professionals annually to undertake intensive Chinese language study in Jiangsu
- the Sister-schools Partnership Program with 176 Chinese school students, 19 teachers and 3 education officials from Suzhou placed in 15 Victorian schools to promote a shared understanding of culture and values
- the Victorian Young Leaders to China Program for 1,500 Victorian Year 9 students to undertake extended study in China to enhance their language proficiency and knowledge of China
- the Victoria-Jiangsu Business Placement Program, which offers 12 Victorian companies the opportunity to participate in a three-week residential business program in Jiangsu
- the Jiangsu-Victoria ICT Company Matching Event held in Nanjing to facilitate and enhance engagement between Jiangsu and Victorian companies in the sector
- the Southeast University-Monash University Suzhou campus Joint Graduate School, which will accept 350 Masters students and 150 PhD candidates each year, expanding to undertake research across a range of disciplines. This milestone partnership is the first to grant an Australian university a licence to operate as a university in China and the first foreign university to run postgraduate programs
- The Victoria-Jiangsu Sister-State Artist Exchange
Facts about Jiangsu
Population: 80 million, Gross State Product: RMB 12 trillion (2022) (second in China)
Jiangsu Province is situated on the central east coast of China, close to Shanghai. It is an important logistics hub due to both its coastline and the Yangtze River, which connects Jiangsu with other Chinese provinces and global markets. The province is an economic powerhouse in China – the second highest economic output of all provinces in China (22 provinces, 5 autonomous regions, not counting special municipalities and areas). Jiangsu accounts for over 10% of China’s GDP. Jiangsu’s capital, Nanjing, is one of the most important cities in China. It was the capital of several Chinese dynasties — including the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), and again prior to the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.
Industries – Jiangsu is well known for electronics, petrochemical and steel manufacturing, but also in emerging industries including:
- new energy
- new material
- biotechnology and new medicine,
- energy saving and environmental protection
- new generation information technology and software
- internet and cloud computing, high-end equipment manufacturing
- new energy-powered vehicles
- smart grid and marine engineering equipment as well as a growing services sector
- Jiangsu also has the largest number of universities and students of any province in China and has been China’s largest recipient of foreign direct investment. In 2011, it was the fourth largest source province of Chinese visitors to Victoria
Congratulations Victoria and Jiangsu on celebrating another milestone and well done Team Chin! In the meantime, we’d love to see more Sister Acts happening between other Australian states and provinces in China!