On 19 May 2016, at the invitation of the Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce, Chinese Consul General Pan Xinchun delivered a speech on the relations between China and the UK, China-Scotland relations and China's Economy. Rt. Hon. Bob Duncan, the Lord Provost of Dundee, directors and members of the Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce, representatives from colleges and mandarin schools attended the event.
On China-UK relations, Consul General Pan said, despite the geographical distance between China and the UK, both countries are on a track of fast development and bound by wealth of common interests. Last year saw Chinese President Xi Jinping pay a super state visit to the UK, opening the Golden Era of enduring, open and win-win relationship. Both sides have maintained close high-level exchanges which yielded fruitful results in pragmatic cooperation in areas such as trade and investment, education and culture, tourism and people-to-people exchanges. China and the UK also kept sound coordination and co-operation in regional and international affairs, aimed at maintaining global peace and well-being of the mankind.
On China-Scotland relations, Consul General Pan indicated, against the backdrop of the sound Sino-UK relationship, the friendship and collaboration between China and Scotland have not left behind, but are gaining a strong momentum of development. The past year saw some important visits to Scotland by senior Chinese delegations. Scottish First Minister Niclos Sturgeon also made her debut and fruitful visit to China in July. These frequent high-level exchanges greatly boosted ties between the two sides across the fields of trade, education, culture, science and technology, ect.. Bilateral trade and investment are strengthened. In recent years, Scotland has got some huge investments from Chinese enterprises such as PetroChina, Sinopec, and SDIC Power. In Cultural interactions and people-to-people exchanges, Chinese Taiji and Kungfu are popular while Chinese acupuncture also appeals to the local. The Chinese New Year celebrations are already well known and enjoyed in Scotland. Last year,more than 20 Chinese art troupes came to participate in Edinburgh Festivals. The fabulous performances given by the PLA Military Band and pianist Lang Lang received warm reception by audience. The Scotland's National Ballet Company and the Scotland's Youth Symphony Orchestra also gave their successful performances in China. In education, over ten thousand Chinese students are studying in Scottish universities. Meanwhile five Confucius institute are established here with over 20 thousand students from local primary and secondary schools learning Chinese language and culture. All Scottish universities are enjoying close links with Chinese universities in various ways. The exchanges between Chinese and Scottish youth will help foster mutual better understanding and friendship and create a brighter future for the relations.
On China's economy, Consul General Pan said China's GDP growth of the first quarter of this year stood at 6.7%, with the consumer spending increasing and the investment rebounding. New growth points and new driving forces are being created at a faster speed. Structural adjustment and reform of the supply front help improve the quality and efficiency of China's economy. Consul General Pan highlighted the 13th Five-Year Plan and the"One Belt, One Road" initiative, saying that while China makes efforts to develop its economy, it also carries out practical co-operation and promote the mutual connection and communication with other countries. As a result, new momentum will added into the world economy, and the golden opportunities will be offered to business communities of both China and the UK, as well as Scotland.
Consul General Pan also answered questions from the audience related to issues of Chinese language, culture and tourism. The atmosphere was very lively. The audience spoke highly of the speech, and expressed confidence and expectations for the future co-operation between China and the UK as well as Scotland. They look forward to strengthening the mutually beneficial co-operation with China, so as to make new contributions to the development of bilateral relations.