Organized by the State Council Information Office of China (SCIO) and the Chinese Consulate General in Edinburgh, the "2017 Experience China - Cultural Exploration of West China" was launched on 22nd July at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. Theevent was attended by Mr. Lu Guangjin, Director General of the SCIO, Mr. Pan Xinchun, Chinese Consul General in Edinburgh, Madam Claire Tynte-Irvine, Head of International Division of the Scottish government and provosts of 8 Scottish cities, along with about 600 representatives from various sectors in Scotland.
Consul General Pan said that the vast western region of China, inhabited by around 50 ethnic minorities for generations, is an important birthplace of Chinese civilization. Since the implementation of the Western Development Strategy in 2000, the area has achieved great success in developing economy, society and culture etc.. West China used to be a key route of ancient silk road. Nowadays, thanks to the "Belt and Road" construction, it has seen a new vigorous growth and closer contact with the world, continuing to play its significant role in exchanges and cooperation between west and east. Consul General Pan further elaborated that the event entitled "Cultural Exploration of West China" under the name of "Experience China" has been held successfully in the US, Germany, Australia, New Zealand and other countries, demonstrating the colorful western culture of Chinese minorities, enabling local people learn about and experience Chinese varieties of culture as well as western changes with its development. Having said that, he announced that the cultural event of west China has come to Edinburgh, which will further enhance mutual understanding and friendship, promote bilateral cooperation and push friendly ties between China and Scotland forward steadily.
Madam Tynte-Irvine made a speech as the representative of the Scottish government, passing on warm congratulations to the cultural event from Finoa Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs. Madam Tynte-Irvine said that 2017 marks a special year to the Scottish-Sino relations with the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Chinese Consulate General in Edinburgh. The "Belt and Road"initiative and the "Cultural Exploration of West China" offer Scotland new chances to build links with Chinese western regions. She wished exchanges and cooperation between two sides continue to go stronger in fields of education, culture, tourism, science and technology, environmental protection as well as trade and economy. More Chinese art troupes are welcome to Edinburgh, giving their performances of rich Chinese culture at all kinds of festivals.
In his speech, Director General Lu said that China and Scotland enjoy a long history of cultural exchanges in fact that many Chinese people are familiar with Scottish culture and history. Same as Scottish people, all Chinese nationalities in the west region still keep up their traditional customs. By conducting exchanges of diversified culture, China and Scotland can learn different civilizations from each other so as to achieve common development. West China, a core area of the "Belt and Road" initiative, abounds with resources and diverse ecology. Moreover, it is also home to Tiantian and Yangguang, the two Giant Pandas residing at the Edinburgh Zoo. The "Belt and Road" provides not only a road of trade and economy but also a road access to civilization. Director General Lu hoped that the "Cultural Exploration of West China" will create opportunities for Scottish people from all walks of life to learn more about the varies of Chinese culture so that both sides can work together tomake the world in continuous progress with more colorful life for human societies.
Featured with lecture by experts, photo exhibitions and performance of songs and dances of west China, the week-long event of "Experience China-Cultural Exploration of West China" in Scotland was well praised by guests and audience. All in all, the above mentioned authority demonstrates the fusion of Chinese nationalities and great success achieved in the development of the west region.