Town Partnership with Weifang, China
The partnership between Weifang and the district of Freising was concluded in 1987 and consolidated by numerous mutual visits. In the early 1980ies, China started its policy of opening to the outside world under Deng Xao Ping. Shortly thereafter, the province of Shandong looked for a partner in Germany. In July 1987 the Free State of Bavaria and the Province of Shandong concluded a partnership agreement.
Already in the autumn of the previous year, i.e. in 1986, a Chinese delegation had visited the district of Freising. The guests from China were shown the facilities in Weihenstephan as well as numerous companies in the district. The delegation from Weifang was very impressed by the infrastructure of the district of Freising, but also by the kindness of the population. This first extremely positive contact led to it that both sides aspired to an official partnership.
In October 1987 a first delegation of the district headed by chief administrative officer Ludwig Schrittenloher travelled to Weifang, where the partnership agreement was solemnly concluded on October 18, 1987.
In spring 1988 the next trip to Weifang took place, and in December 1988 the district of Freising again welcomed its guests from China. Since then there have been numerous visits and counter-visits in the framework of which it was often about economic contacts, but increasingly also about the fields of vocational education, the vocational education system and medical science.
In autumn 2007 the guests from Weifang and their partners in the district of Freising celebrated the 20th anniversary of their partnership.
The aim of the partnership is to support and to intensify cultural exchange and international understanding. Possible connecting factors are sport, culture, music, medicine, science and art. The economic connections are to be intensified and the exchange and cooperation of companies in China and in the district of Freising are to be encouraged too.
Another trip to Weifang took place in July 2012. A youth Football team from the district of Freising travelled to an international Football Championship in Weifang and played there against teams from Asia and another countries.
The region of Weifang has a surface of about 16,000 square kilometres with 8.5 million people living there. It consists of four urban districts, two rural districts and six district towns. Weifang is located halfway between Jinan and Qingdao; it is connected to these two economic centres of the province of Shandong per railway and motorway. The local airport is approached by 17 national airlines, in the north of the region there are some smaller harbours. The region is an important industrial site and at the same time rich in minerals such as iron, coal, gold, crude oil, granite and marble. The occurrence of sapphires is the largest in China. The most important industry branches are textiles, engineering, chemistry, electronics, light industry and building materials. However, the most important economic factor is the agriculture. Weifang is the most important agricultural region of Shandong producing primarily corn, peanuts, cotton, fruits, vegetables and tobacco; in addition, silkworms, poultry and seafood are bred. Weifang is known as the town of the kites. Since 1984 every year in April the international kite festival is taking place. Many kite lovers from all over China and the world come to Weifang. Close to the Fuyan Mountains elevating behind the town they fly their newest and most beautiful kites. The largest kite is reported to weigh 3,000 kilograms with a length of 1,500 metres. And the smallest kite fits into a matchbox. During the kite festival at the end of April, Weifang becomes a world of kites.