Headed by Madam Zhao Shaohua, Vice Chair of Foreign Affairs Committee of Chinese National People's Congress (NPC), the eight-member NPC delegation visited Edinburgh from 13th to 14th December 2017. Accompanied by Chinese Consul General Pan Xinchun and Counsellor Yang Ruiguang from Chinese Embassy in London, the delegation had friendly meetings respectively with Madam Linda Fabiani, Deputy Presiding Officer of Scottish Parliament and Councillor Frank Ross, Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh.
During the meeting with DPO Linda Fabiani, Madam Zhao Shaohua, Madam He Yehui, members of NPC Standing Committee and Mr. Lu Jianping, member of NPC Foreign Affairs Committee expressed that China and Scotland have achieved satisfying cooperation in areas of trade and economy, culture, education, creative industry, life science and new energy in spite of long distance between each other. Parliamentary diplomatic exchange is an important part of relations between China and Scotland. In October 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping paid a successful state-visit to the UK, opening a "Golden Era" for the China-UK relations while the two nations built a global comprehensive strategic partnership for the 21st century. Delegates hoped that both Chinese and Scottish parliaments should make best use of parliamentary platform by strengthening exchanges, enhancing understanding and mutual trust so as to consolidate and constantly develop bilateral relations of friendly cooperation.
Warmly welcoming the NPC delegation, DPO Linda Fabiani said that Scottish Parliament has attached great importance to the development of friendship and cooperation with China since it was re-established in 1999 and will further strengthen exchanges and collaboration with Chinese People's Congress in future. Rapid growth of Confucius Institutes established in Scotland helps Scottish people deepen knowledge of China. Some MSPs have visited China to seek a practical cooperation with China in all fields. Scottish Parliament will continue close working relations with Chinese Consulate General in Edinburgh, expand tourism cooperation and promote direct flight between Scotland and China at an early date.
During the meeting with Lord Provost Ross, Madam Zhao Shaohua and key members of the delegation expressed that the city of Edinburgh is a world famous heritage site for culture and well-known for Edinburgh Festivals with global reputation. Cooperation between Edinburgh and China has achieved remarkable results in recent years. More than 50 Chinese art troupes performed at Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2017, improving mutual understanding and friendship. The delegation expected both sides to make persistent efforts in pushing friendly cooperation to a new high.
Lord Provost Ross said the City of Edinburgh Council attaches great importance to cooperative relations with Chinese local governments, establishing twin city relationship with the ancient China's capital Xi'an as early as more than three decades ago and the first Confucius Institute for Scotland in the University of Edinburgh. The City of Edinburgh Council has maintained good working relations with Chinese Consulate General in Edinburgh. In recent years, Edinburgh has made progress in pragmatic cooperation with Chinese cities of Shanghai, Shenzhen and Tianjin across areas of culture, education, life science, creative industry, health care and zero-carbon emission economy. The successful Chinese New Year concert, co-hosted by the City of Edinburgh Council, the Chinese Consulate General and the Chinese communities this year, strongly fostered understanding and friendship between the two peoples. The City of Edinburgh Council will continue to strengthen cooperation with China, bringing new vigour to the development of Sino-Scottish relations.