▲ The delegation for Second Meeting for Regional Governmental Exchanges between Chungcheongnam-do Province and China
Chungcheongnam-do Province plans to strengthen its ties with regional governments in China, France, Poland and more. On March 19th, the Chungcheongnam-do Provincial Assembly agreed to establish friendly relations with Zagreb, Croatia. Damir Kusen, the Croatian Ambassador, expressed that he “would fully support the signing of a friendship agreement between Chungcheongnam-do Province and Zagreb, and, additionally, the establishment of furthering a friendly relationship between the two regional assemblies.”
On March 20th, a Chungcheongnam-do provincial official met with MP Janar Akaev from Kyrgyzstan and discussed further plans for strengthening the ties between the national and regional governments of the two nations. Here, MP Akaev expressed interest in Chungcheongnam-do Province’s advanced welfare administration and administrative innovation and suggested that the two governments could work together to find various ways to bolster their ties in these areas, both through public and private organizations.
On March 23rd, a Chungcheongnam-do official met with Krzysztof Grabowski, the Vice Governor of the Greater Poland Voivodeship. Ever since the Greater Poland Voivodeship established a sisterhood relationship with Chungcheongnam-do Province in 2002, the two have been conducting beneficial interactions with one another such as exchanging cultural performances, sharing of scientific technologies, and supporting each other’s events.
On April 10th, the Second Meeting for Regional Governmental Exchanges between Chungcheongnam-do Province and China took place at Resom Ocean Castle, Anmyeondo Island, Taean. The meeting involved 12 Chinese regional government representatives, 16 organizations, and a group of 40 attendees.
After a meeting for cultural exchange, there was a tour of the province’s industrial facilities, and many other events. Amongst the attending regional governments from China, Chungcheongnam-do Province holds sisterhood status with Hebei, Heilongjiang, Guangdong, Guizhou, Sichuan, and Liaoning, as well as friendship agreements with Jilin, Shanghai, and Yunnan. Although Chungcheongnam-do Province does not have official ties with Zhejiang, Neimenggu, or Guangxi Zhuangzu, they also participated because they were interested in the meeting.
At the meeting, Chungcheongnam-do Province and the Chinese representatives discussed various ways to promote private exchanges and to strengthen ties. Chungcheongnam-do Province suggested expanding the scope of the relationships with these Chinese regional governments in the fields of education, economy, culture, art, the environment, and more. Then, announced that as a province it would be more attentive to the needs of the cities and regions within that are not yet privileged enough to establish their own ties with Chinese regional governments, also promising to find ways to address this issue.
Chinese regional governments each presented their plans for continued exchanges with Chungcheongnam-do Province this year and then suggested that the involved parties should focus more on establishing more pragmatic relations, rather than focusing on benefits for citizens.
On April 21st, a provincial official and Ambassador Fabien Penone met at the residence of the French ambassador to Korea and discussed their plans to establish relations between the two regional governments.
This meeting was planned at the request of Ambassador Penone who wished to meet with a provincial official last June. Ambassador Penone was very interested in how Chungcheongnam-do Province was the first Asian regional government to sign the UNFCCC’s Powering Past Coal Alliance and wished to discuss the province’s energy and environmental plans.
Chungcheongnam-do Province explained that “30 out of Korea’s 60 coal-fired plants are located along the west coast of Chungcheongnam-do Province and the air pollution caused by the plants is a threat to the health of residents, Korean people as a whole, and the environment. Therefore, we will form a task force for closing down these aging plants, even before their originally planned closing dates, as well hosting policy talks, and conducting research on the matter.”
On top of this, the Province asked for special attention to be given to their hosting of the International Conference to Fight Climate Change, which is planned with their October budget. With this meeting as a foundation, the Province plans to develop ties with not only Asian regional governments but also with European local governments, planning to fight coal pollution, advocate for eco-friendly energy and to solve other environmental problems together.