Council cuts ties with Chinese sister city Kunming

The NSW Riverina city of Wagga has voted to dump its sister city in China.

The decision was made in a tight vote at Wagga City Council's council meeting on Tuesday night.

Cr Paul Funnell, who initiated the motion, pushed to sever the the city's connection with Kunming, as well as other arrangements associated with China.

He said the city was not in "a true friendship" with Kunming, which was an extension of a totalitarian regime that "lied to the world" about the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Cr Funnell said it was not a "knee-jerk reaction" to coronavirus, nor a debate fuelled by racism, but an attempt to set an example.

"We must end that relationship arrangement and not condone such behaviour. This action is in no way stopping international trade, communication or the opportunity to deal with China in a fair, transparent and mutually beneficial manner," he said. "What it does do is say we will not tolerate lies and subterfuge.

Cr Vanessa Keenan said it was "a huge shame" that Cr Funnell has promoted fear and hatred during a time where so many people were suffering.

"I don't think this is the time to stir up a hornets nest when we should be focused on other things at hand rather than Wagga supposedly dabbling in international relations."

Cr Rod Kendall said the sister city relationship was about understanding cultures different to one's own, not agreeing with a political regime.

Cr Dan Hayes said many people living in Wagga have a connection to China that need to be supported by the council.

He said it was hypocritical of Cr Funnell to bring up this report about international relations when he says the council needs to focus on roads, rates and rubbish.

This story Council cuts all ties with sister city in China first appeared on The Daily Advertiser.