On the evening of the 30thSeptember, Chinese Consul General in Edinburgh, Mr. Pan Xinchun and his wife hosted a reception celebrating the 68thanniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China at the famous Assembly Hall in Edinburgh. Decorated brightly and filled with roaring gongs and drums, the reception, permeated with a festive atmosphere of harmony and happiness, was attended by Ms. Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs of the Scottish government, Provosts, MSPs and participated by 700 representatives from Scottish sectors of business, education, culture, media and diplomatic Corps together with Chinese institutions, overseas Chinese and students in Scotland.
Consul General Pan delivered a warm speech, saying that since new China was founded, China has successfully blazed a development path that suits its actual conditions, turning from an underdeveloped country into the world’s second largest economy and the biggest trading nation. Over the past five years, under the leadership of President Xi Jinping and the Eighteenth Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, China has followed the guidance of innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development, making great achievements one after another in its development.
Consul General Pan pointed out that innovation-driven becomes a new engine for China's economic growth with eye-catching breakthroughs in manned space-flight, lunar exploration program, quantum teleportation, radio telescope, manned deep submersible and supercomputer, while the development of mobile payment and high-speed railway is also leading the world. In a complex and fast-changing world beset by weak economic recovery, China’s economy growth is among the highest in the world, contributing to over 30% of global growth. By advancing the establishment of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, the Silk Road Fund, BRICS’ New Development Bank and the construction of the Belt and Road, China promotes common development of the world, bringing benefit to the global people.
Consul General Pan said that this year marks the 45thanniversary of ambassadorial diplomatic relations between China and the UK as well as the 20thanniversary of the Chinese Consulate General in Scotland. Against the back drop of the rapid development of Sino-UK ties, cooperation between China and Scotland has achieved great success in wide range fields over the past 20 years. Since 2006, the Scottish government has released consecutive five year strategies for building strong relations with China. Our high level exchanges remain active. Chinese senior leaders including former President have visited Scotland while all Scottish First Ministers also went to China. These interactions have laid a solid foundation for the development of Sino-Scottish relations. Bilateral cooperation on trade and investment has yielded a wealth of fruitful results. This year a delegation from Scottish Chambers of Commerce paid its first visit to China, establishing its first global trade office in Yantai China. Chinese investments in Scotland continue to increase. China has become Scotland’s third largest import market and fourth largest export market. Cultural and people-to-people exchanges keep strong momentum of development as well. This year alone saw over 50 Chinese artistic delegations perform in the Edinburgh Festival, enjoyed greatly here. At the same time, more and more Chinese tourists chose Scotland as their favorite destination with 160 thousand visitors coming to Scotland last year. Education exchange and cooperation have become another bright spot in the bilateral ties. Since the first Confucius Institute was established 11 years ago, 5 Institutes and 44 Confucius Classroom Hubs have been built, benefiting 30 thousand students in over 300 primary and secondary schools, suggesting Scotland enjoys the highest coverage rate of Confucius Institute in the world.
Consul General Pan concluded his speech by quoting the Chinese saying “Don’t forget the well-diggers when you drink from this well”, to extend his heartfelt thanks to Scottish friends from all walks of life and the Chinese community for their strong support and great contributions to China’s development and the friendship between China and Scotland.
Cabinet Secretary Hyslop extended festive greetings to Chinese people and overseas Chinese in Scotland on behalf of the Scottish government. Expressing her thanks to the Chinese Consulate General for its contributions to developing relations between Scotland and China, Cabinet Secretary Hyslop gave an introduction of positive achievements of Sino-Scottish relations in high-level exchange visits and other areas of culture, people-to-people exchanges, education, trade and investment, etc.. She said that numerous visits including the successful visit to Scotland this year by Mr. Hu Chunhua, Party Secretary of the CPC Guangdong Province Committee, have again demonstrated friendly relations between Scotland and China. Bilateral exchanges in education and culture are beneficial to breaking through barriers of different language and culture and promoting friendship between peoples as well. She expressed that Scotland will continue to welcome Chinese investments and regard China as priority for its cooperation with foreign countries with a new strategy for engagement with China to be released next year.
Supported by the Chinese Consulate General in Edinburgh, a grand National Day cultural performance was held after the reception, whichwas organized by Edinburgh Chinese Culture and Arts Committee and participated by overseas Chinese and students in Scotland as well as Scottish people. Brilliant performances of Chinese operas, dances, folk music and magic show received heaping praise from the audience, presenting best birthday wishes to the great motherland.