On 2nd November, the Scottish government held a Consultation Conference regarding Scotland's new China engagement strategy at Edinburgh Zoo, participated by Chinese Consul General Pan Xinchun, Dr Alasdair Allan, Minister for Europe and International Development of the Scottish government as well as representatives from Scottish society and overseas Chinese communities.
Consul General Pan said that the conference is taking place at a significant time marking the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level between China and the UK as well as the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Chinese Consulate General in Edinburgh. Over the past 20 years and in particular, since the Scottish government released strategies for building strong relations with China in 2006, Sino-Scottish ties have achieved rapid progress with fruitful results of cooperation in broad areas of politics, economy and trade, investment, education and culture. The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China concluded last month, setting the direction for China's future development and outlining China's global vision that China is committed to building a community of shared future for all humankind, which will provide new opportunities for developing bilateral relations. Consul General Pan hopes that, based on mutual respect and win-win cooperation, China and Scotland will expand cooperation in fields of trade and investment, education, culture and etc., injecting fresh vigor into the development of China-UK relationship.
Minister Allan expressed that since the release of strategy for "Working with China" by the Scottish government in 2012, positive progresses have been made in mutual cooperation between Scotland and China in areas of trade and investment, scientific research,education, culture and tourism. Deepening Scotland's relationship with China is a significant aspect of Scotland's strategy for strengthening its international cooperation. Both sides are facing same opportunities and challenges in promoting technological innovation, developing a low-carbon economy, combating aging population and protecting environments, so there remain broad prospects for future cooperation. The work of making new Scotland's China engagement strategy involves not only the Scottish government, but also includes all Scottish sectors. He expects people from all walks of life work together in bringing bilateral cooperation to new fruition.
Professor Duckett from the University of Glasgow made an introduction on China, focusing on its recent achievements in development, participation in global governance as well as promising prospects in the future. She said that China will become a comprehensive well-off society by 2020. China's economic growth and technological innovation will provide Scotland with significant opportunity. She hopes Scotland will seize the opportunity and strengthen cooperation with China.