Portland, June 8 (CNA) Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu was warmly welcomed Friday during a visit to Portland, a U.S. sister city of Kaohsiung.
Chen's delegation was greeted with the music of drums and gongs, lion dancing and firecrackers upon arrival at city hall.
Chen lauded Portland, which is deemed as the best city to live in the United States, saying that she is working hard toward a similar goal in her city.
She said 2013 will be a significant year for the two sister cities, as the world's largest green building -- the Oregon Sustainability Center -- will be completed in Portland, while the Kaohsiung World Trade Exhibition Center will be launched at Kaohsiung Harbor.
Chen described her visit to Portland as "a dream comes true," saying she had always wanted to take part in the Portland Rose Festival but never had a chance to do so because it coincided with the meeting of the Kaohsiung city council.
However, as Portland Mayor Sam Adam's term will expire at the end of this year, Chen said, she made the trip to express her appreciation to him in person for his long-term friendship.
Chen also invited Adams to attend the 2013 Asian Pacific Cities Summit to be hosted by Kaohsiung.
She said the two cities have had sisterhood ties for more than 25 years and that Kaohsiung's Shu-te Home Economics and Commercial High School dragon boat team has taken part in the Rose Festival every year.
On his part, Adams said he had visited Kaohsiung twice since he has been in office and was impressed by the hospitality and food delicacies there. He especially mentioned the World Games 2009in Kaohsiung, which he said showed that Kaohsiung had the ability to host international sports events.
Chen presented two gifts to Adams -- a porcelain statue of a Taiwanese folklore figure Santaize (the third prince) and a vest that depicts Taiwanese aboriginal culture.
She will also present two dragon boats to Portland and will host an eye-dotting ceremony Saturday. A dragon boat race has been held annually in Portland since 1989.
The mayor and her delegation will also visit San Francisco to seek investment in Kaohsiung and will stop in Vancouver, Canada before returning to Taiwan on June 16.
(By Yen Ning-ju, wang Shu-fen and Lilian Wu)