Chinese garden celebrates Canberra and Beijing's sister city link

Released 26/03/2014

Chief Minister, Katy Gallagher, today revealed details of a centennial gift from the Beijing Municipal Government to the people of Canberra to celebrate the significance of its sister city relationship with the ACT Government.

"Within Lennox Gardens, on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin, a Chinese traditional garden will be created as a symbol of the important cultural ties between Canberra and Beijing," the Chief Minister said.

"The garden is expected to be open to the public in November 2014, shortly after the 14

thanniversary of the signing of the sister city agreement between Canberra and Beijing. Landscape construction will see a beautiful design come to fruition, with paths to meander past sculptures crafted using Chinese stone masonry, a Chinese pavilion offering a place for quiet retreat with expansive views across the city, and places where Canberrans and visitors can relax and enjoy the garden's serenity."

Ambassador Ma Zhaoxu, on behalf of the Beijing Municipal Government, will guide the project to completion working collaboratively with the ACT Government and National Capital Authority.

"The establishment of Canberra's Chinese garden and pavilion will symbolise the strong economic and cultural ties between our two countries," he said.

"We share many bonds that extend beyond the formal sister city title and facilitate strong friendship links – connections which exist between our children, businesses and communities, and a growing partnership between our universities which was further developed as part of the StudyCanberra delegation visit to China last year.

"This sister city relationship has been of great mutual benefit, and one befitting the capitals of two nations with over 40 years of diplomatic relations and strong economic and cultural ties. Over time, the garden will grow and prosper just as the friendship between the people of Canberra and the people of Beijing is prospering," Ambassador Zhaoxu said.

The Chief Minister said she looked forward to the cultural contribution of the project.

"I am sure Canberrans will be keen to watch the transformation of another part of Lennox Garden once again, as it did when the Nara Peace Garden was created to celebrate Canberra's other sister city in Japan, Nara. Each park will have its own special sense of place, and combined will add to the cultural richness of this important part of Canberra's foreshore," the Chief Minister concluded.

The design phase of the project is well underway and consultation with key stakeholders will be a priority during this early stage of development.

- Statement ends -

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