The first Sister City relationship was established in October 7, 1988 between Leawood and I-Lan, Taiwan. The relationship was initially suggested by Councilman Jimmy Lin.
The Leawood Delegation traveled to Taiwan to officially sign documents. The visit occurred in October during their National Day celebrations.
Members of the delegation included:
Mayor Marcia Rinehart, Councilmen Jimmy Lin and T. Robert Newlin, Kansas State Senator, Paul Burke and Official Delegates; Kathleen Nicholas, Loman Lin, Sophie Lin, Arlene Lindley, Clint Lindley, Richard Rinehart
Two plaques were presented to the City of Leawood during the signing ceremony.
- One plaque from the City Hall under the supervision of Mayor of I-Lan reads “Friendship is without borders and hand in hand to enhance the world”
- The second plaque from I-Lan’s City Council’s office under the supervision of the City Council President reads “Friendship is priceless”.
The first delegation from I-Lan was entertained in Leawood between Christmas and New Years in December of 1988.
The I-Lan Sister City Committee was formed in May of 1992.
A Chinese dinner was held in October or 1992 to broaden the awareness of the Sister City Relationship with I-Lan. Each year since 1993, the City of Leawood has celebrated Lunar New Year with a dinner featuring Chinese food and entertainment. The first Lunar New Year celebration ushered in the year of the Rooster.
I-lan, shih (municipality) and seat of I-lan hsien (county), northeastern Taiwan, the center of the only sizable alluvial basin on the island’s mountainous eastern coast. The basin itself was largely formed as the delta of the Cho-Shui River and is about 30 miles from north to south. I-lan city lies in the center of this plain on the Lan River. The plain is a fertile rice-producing region, and I-lan is a major rice market. The I-lan area was largely settled by Chinese. There is some minor industry, mainly papermaking and the manufacture of fertilizers. Population (2007 est.) 96,094.
The natural beauty of I-lan flows like an enchanted river. The surrounding county is lush with waterfalls, lakes, rivers and botanical gardens. You can spend your vacation immersed in a watery paradise, swimming, surfing, white water rafting or simply taking in the scenery. If you prefer to soak up culture, Yilan offers museums that highlight traditional crafts and natural wonders, including Bei Guan Leisure Farm, known for its exhibits of live crabs that live in boiling volcanic springs.
Taiwan became a Democracy in 1988. Taiwan is a Sovereign State and not subject to the rules of Mainland China or vice versa.