On 15th November, Consul General Li Ruiyou held a reception in honour of the Scotland - China Education Network(SCEN) at the Consulate General of China in Edinburgh. President of SCEN Lord Wilson of Tillyorn KT GCMG PRSE, SCEN Convenor Dr.Judith McClure and 91 year-old former British Consul General to Shanghai Mr. Brian Stuart, Principal of the University of Edinburgh Professor Sir Timothy O’shea attended the reception together with over 70 guests including members of SCEN and representatives from the Scottish Government, local councils, educational and cultural sectors. The Deputy Consuls General Mr. Zhang Huazhong and Madame Ma Deyun also attended the reception. Consul General Li and Lord Wilson delivered speeches at the reception.
In his speech Consul General Li firstly introduced Mr. Zhuang Huazhong (张华中)-the recently posted Deputy Consul General/Deputy Principal Officer of the Consulate to the quests, then extended on behalf of the Consulate sincere gratitude to SCEN and its members who have dedicated to the promotion of Chinese language and culture. Mr. Li pointed out that thanks to the long-time efforts, SCEN has developed into a broad-based network with over 500 members, and has become a vibrant platform for promoting educational and cultural exchanges for mutual understanding between our two peoples. SCEN’s dedications have also resulted in better facilities for tens of thousands of young people in Scotland to learn Chinese and get to know about China.
Mr. Li also briefed the guests on the Decision on the Major Issues Concerning Comprehensively Deepening Reforms approved by the 3rd Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee convened 3 to 7 days ago. He told the guests that the core issue of the reform is to "better handle the relationship between government and the market", and the key part of the reform is to improve the economic system. The Decision calls for China to modernize 'governance system' and improve 'governance capability', to let market play 'decisive' role in allocating resources, to promote diverse forms of ownership, to establish modern fiscal and financial system, and to improve judicial system for better upholding the rights and interests of the people.
Lord Wilson said in his remarks at the reception that several generations of Britons and Scots have been devoted to educational and cultural exchanges with China. There are a lot of young people in Scotland learning Chinese language and culture. He quoted from the Analects of Confucius and spoke in fluent Chinese“学而时习之,不亦说乎”, meaning “Great pleasure is derived from learning and constantly reviewing what has been learned”. He said that perhaps it is impossible for everyone of them to become top scholar, but everyone of them would be part of the bridge of our two peoples. On behalf of SCEN he extended thanks to the Consulate General of China, Hanban (Confucius Institutes Headquarters in Beijing) for their support, and to all that have contributed to the learning of Chinese language.
The guests were also entertained with performances by the students from the Confucius Institute at the University of Strathclyde. The performers put on the popular Chinese songs "The Moon Represents My Heart" "Jasmine Flower". Their clear Chinese pronunciation and wonderful singing won enthusiastic cheers and applause, adding cheerful atmosphere to the reception.