The City of Richmond has had a commitment to international understanding through sister-city relationships since 1961 when Richmond became the first US City to establish a sister-city relationship with a Japanese city by the name of Shimada.
In keeping with our belief that person-to-person contact promotes world peace, the City of Richmond formed a sister-city relationship with Zhoushan, China in 1993 at the request of Walter Fong, a San Francisco businessman who had grown up in Zhoushan. Mr. Fong presented the proposal to former Richmond City Councilmember Jim McMillan, who spearheaded the establishment of the Richmond-Zhoushan Sister City relationship.
Subsequently, the first delegation from Zhoushan arrived in Richmond in the fall of 1993. The establishment of Richmond-Zhoushan relationship was completed when former Mayor Rosemary Corbin led a delegation of 19 Richmonders to Zhoushan and signed the first mutual agreement in 1994. Since then, the two cities have strived to send delegations back and forth on an annual alternating basis. Many lasting relationships have been formed, along with appreciation and understanding of our cultures has increased.
Our Sister City relationship has produced many successful exchanges, such as: a group of young professionals came from Zhoushan to study at Contra Costa College and live in Richmond homes, Richmond took two art exhibits to Zhoushan, Zhoushan brought an exhibit of Peasant Paintings to the Richmond Art Center where all were sold. Through a gracious donation from Kaiser Permanente Richmond, the committee was able to facilitate the delivery of essential medical supplies to the hospital in Zhoushan. We look forward to many more cultural and economic exchanges.
Richmond Zhoushan Commission meets on an adhoc basis. Please phone staff at 510-620-6581 for information.
In September of 2017, Councilmember Eduardo Martinez led a delegation comprised of city staff and Richmond-Zhoushan Friendship Commissioners to Zhoushan, China to attend the 3rd Annual International Island Tourism Conference and Expo in Zhoushan. During the visit, the Commission held meetings with local officials, attended conference sessions related to business, tourism and education exchanges and staffed a booth for Richmond at an expo that ran concurrently with the conference.