The Village of Rockport was the site of the Chinese Friendship Agreement between the 1000 Islands Canada and the 1000 Islands Lake in China On September 13, 2009.
The two world-renowned tourist destinations will share their resources as they draw more visitors while ensuring a sustainable environment.
Under the agreement, local tourism departments will meet regularly for mutual promotion of products and share information and experiences in managing and protecting their environmen. The agreement was signed by Frank Kinsella, mayor of Leeds and the Thousand Islands, Ontario, and Ling Zhifeng, mayor of Chun’an County, Zhejiang Province, where the “Thousand Islands Lake” is located.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper applauded the agreement, saying it “celebrates the many benefits of partnering at the community level between Canada and China, which enjoy a growing friendship that is resulting in burgeoning cultural and trade opportunities throughout our two nations.”
In a message, he also expressed the belief that “tourism, cultural exchanges and numerous joint projects will result from this initiative and undoubtedly, both communities will realize new opportunities.”
Chinese ambassador Lan Lijun, Canadian Federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice, federal parliament member Gord Brown and provincial officials were present at the ceremony, which took place on a Rockport Boat Line cruise boat in the scenic “Thousand Islands.”
Mayor of Leeds and the Thousand Islands Frank Kinsella (front L1), and Ling Zhifeng (front R1), head of Chun’an County in east China’s Zhejiang Province, sign the Sino-Canadian Thousand Islands Friendship Cooperation Agreement in Leeds the Thousand Island in Canada, Sept. 13, 2009. The Thousand Islands in Canada and Qiandaohu (means the thousand island lake) in east China’s Zhejiang Province became friendship resorts under the agreement. (Xinhua/Yang Shilong)
A Red Maple tree and a Ginkgo tree, as symbols of friendship between the two countries, were planted in the Front St. Garden, in Rockport. The trees represent how the friendship will grow between the two 1000 Islands.
A large granite rock was placed between the trees with a plaque to commemorate the Friendship Agreement.