by political editor Paul Francis
It is the birthplace of Genghis Khan and is renowned for its extensive natural grassland.
Now the Chinese province of Inner Mongolia is being targeted by Kent County Council.
The authority is considering sending a delegation of legal chiefs to try and secure potentially lucrative commercial legal contracts from the Chinese state 5,000 miles away.
It is the latest initiative to come from KCC’s legal team, which has developed a growing commercial sector and now wants to investigate if it can pick up contracts for handling legal work for regional government in the Chinese state.
County solicitor chief Geoff Wild, who has been responsible for developing KCC’s business of selling legal services to other clients, said:“The regional government is looking to invest in UK real estate.
"Our local authority is pressing for this engagement and we’re hoping to pick up the legal work associated with that. If they’re going to be buying up land we’d be able to deal with all the issues that arise.”
However, while KCC has an office in Brussels, it appears there are no plans to set up a similar HQ in Baotou.
The possibility of wider cultural and business links between KCC and Inner Mongolia were first floated last year when it emerged that the Chinese ambassador Fu Ying - a former student of the University of Kent - had broached the idea of building relations between the two.