In the early 1980s, the Council asked the Chinese Embassy about setting up friendly city links with a city in China, after a trip by then Prime Minister David Lange.
Former Mayor Kerry Prendergast at the opening of Wellington Corner, Xiamen City Library
The Chinese authorities suggested that Xiamen was a good partner because there are similarities between the two cities. Xiamen had recently become one of the first four Special Economic Zone in China.
On 23 June 1987, Mr Zou Erjun, Mayor of Xiamen, visited Wellington and signed the Sister-City Relationship Agreement with Wellington Mayor Jim Belich.
In 1998, the Wellington Xiamen Association was set up to support and encourage the relationship. The association has been instrumental in developing a healthy and interactive relationship between the two cities, including culture and education exchanges.
In August 2008, Mayor of Wellington Kerry Prendergast attended the opening ceremony of Wellington Corner at Xiamen City Library. Wellington donated to the library a batch of books on Wellington history, literature, and the Council, as well as promotional materials such as stand-up banners and posters.