With over half of the San Marino population being of Asian descent, and the majority of that population being Taiwanese, San Marino has officially established a sister city relationship with Tamsui, Taiwan.
In honor of that relationship, several San Marino officials and residents visited Tamsui earlier this month to meet with Tamsui officials and tour the country.
“It’s to promote cultural understanding and maybe economic activities between the two towns,” told Patch about the trip and sister city relationship, facilitated by the .
Sun, along with Councilman Allan Yung, City Manager Matt Ballantyne, Chinese Club President Linda Sun and a couple dozen others took the trip from April 1 to April 8, which included meeting the mayor of New Taipei City, the Vice President of Taiwan and touring a local police station and much of the country.
Check back on Patch for video and photos from the trip.
April 2 was declared San Marino Day in Tamsui and a boat bearing the name “San Marino” was even unveiled at the local fisherman’s wharf.
“It’s nice that [residents] know I have an understanding of where they come from,” said City Manager Matt Ballantyne, who also attended a trip with San Marino officials to Taiwan last year. “Last year I was a visitor but this year I felt like I was coming home to a second home. We’ve seen 80 percent of the country.”
City officials each paid their own way and the City brought minimal gifts like City of San Marino pins for Taiwanese officials. The Chinese Club of San Marino stocked up on to present during the trip.
“I felt proud to introdice my hometown to the community,” said Linda Sun, who grew up in Taiwan and moved to the U.S. at 17. “”It makes sense for city officials to visit.”
Mayor Sun told Patch about Taiwan’s European influences, particularly the Spanish occupation around the 16th century and French occupation in the 19th century.
Among the similarities between San Marino and Tamsui, Sun highlighted the aboriginal inhabitants of that area, while .
Future of Sister City Relationship
Going forward, Linda Sun said the Chinese Club of San Marino is planning to send San Marino Chinese School students to Taiwan and China to learn Mandarin, while the Chinese Club wants to host a short program for Tamsui children to come and learn English in San Marino.
Ballantyne said San Marino hopes to host a delegation from Tamsui, perhaps in November.
“We just need to keep the exchanges going,” said Ballantyne.
Tamsui also wants to give museum art to the Chinese Club that they can use for an exhibition in San Marino that could possibly take place in December.
San Marino is also looking into establishing a relationship with the People’s Republic of China.
What do you think of the sister city relationship between San Marino and Tamsui, Taiwan? Do you think it helps foster cultural understanding?