What are these Chinese county officials going to S.Korea for?
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In 2012, Yuhuan and Dangjin signed a letter of intent on exchange and cooperation. (File Photo: local media)

Yuhuan County in China’s Zhejiang Province is to send its officials for administration training to Dangjin in South Korea.

Dangjin government is part of the Korea Heart to Heart (K2H) Program sponsored by the Governors' Association of Korea for 19 years. It provides on-the-job training to foreign public officials from local governments while promoting understanding of South Korea and Korean local administration.

Unlike so many other training programs, grassroots officials are directly involved in local governance in Korea.

Officials learnt about the exchange programme in 2012 when China’s Yuhuan County established contacts with Dangjin in South Korea’s South Chungcheong Province.

Five recruits have so far been sent to Dangjin since 2014. Wang Han, a public official in Chumen township which falls under Yuhuan’s jurisdiction, was the first to join the programme. 

Within half year, Wang got busy with secretarial work of 7 government departments.

"Korean officials are under mounds of paperwork like us. We differ in culture and etiquette, for example, honorific is a must for superiors,” Wang recalled.

"I learnt how their government runs, the way they wield government power and how they developed infrastructure,” he added.  While being meticulous , Korean civil servants are very efficient, Wang said.

More officials will be sent for traning as both cities attach importance to port construction.

Some media outlets and think tanks in China say “it is a little thing that makes a big difference to local governance in China.”

(Compiled by Liu Wenbo)