The relationship between Austin and Taichung was initiated when Taichung Mayor Chang Tzu-Yuan visited Austin in June 1985. The Austin-Taichung Sister Cities relationship was formally established in February 1986, by resolution of the Austin City Council.
Austin Texas and Taichung Taiwan have much in common. Austin, the state capital, is located on the Colorado River near Lake Travis and the scenic hill country. Taichung, the (former) provincial capital of Taiwan, is located on the Fatsu River by the western coastal mountains and within driving distance of the famous Sun Moon Lake. Austin and Taichung are medium size cities that have experienced rapid population growth in the last decade. They are both trying to diversify and to grow their economy.
Austin's high-technology sector is more developed that that of Taichung and it is has the advantage of a nationally renowned, comprehensive research university, the University of Texas. Taichung does enjoy considerable support from the federal government to develop its industrial base, and in 2004 opened a science-based industrial park with a focus on nano-science applications and nanotechnology enterprises. Universities in Taichung include the nationally known private, Christian university, Tung Hai, as well as a comprehensive public university, Chung-cheng, a public medical university, a teacher's college, and several other private universities.