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City of Merced, California Seeks Sister Cities Status with Chiang Rai

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CHIANG RAI – The city of Merced, California has announced its pursuing a sister city relationship with a Chiang Rai with the help of nonprofit Merced Lao Family Community Inc.

Merced Mayor Mike Murphy said his city will approach the leaders of Chiang Rai to see if they are interested in becoming sister cities.

The idea gained widespread support among the Merced City Council.

“I think it makes a lot of sense for our city to have a tie and a relationship to Chiang Rai.

“I reached out to the Merced Lao Family and asked them to come up with a city they thought might be a good fit.”

Moua Thao, a member of the Merced Lao Family Community advisory board said many Hmong visit Thailand regularly and bring their American-born children to reconnect with the culture.

Sister city relationships differ among individual agreements, according to Sister Cities International, a nonprofit set up by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

The cities can exchange culture, business, education or participate in other projects.

Source: Merced Sun Star