On the evening of 22th of February, Usher Hall was glittering at night with decorations of Chinese red lanterns. The firecrackers were crackling and spluttering before the start of Chinese New Year Reception and Concert which were co-hosted by Chinese Consulate General in Edinburgh and the City of Edinburgh Council, in partnership with Asian Association of Culture, Commerce and Education in Europe and Bank of China (UK). Mr. Pan Xinchun, Chinese Consul General in Edinburgh, Rt. Hon Frank Rose, Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Ms. Angela Constance MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and equalities, Ms Linda Fabiani MSP, Deputy Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament and Mme. Xiao Liang, Deputy General Manager of Bank of China (UK) attended the event and delivered speeches. The celebrations were also participated by 1200 guests, including Provosts, MSPs, Councillors, representatives of Scottish people from all walks of life, Chinese communities and Chinese students in Scotland.
Consul General Pan extended his festival greetings to the Chinese community and Scottish People. He said, since the Giant Lantern of China Show at the Edinburgh Zoo kicked off Chinese New Year celebration last December, lots of events have been held across Scotland. These are the perfect examples of the excellent relations between China and Scotland. Against the backdrop of the development of the Golden Era of the China-UK relations, cooperation between China and Scotland has yielded fruitful results in fields of senior official exchanges, trade, investment, culture, education, tourism, etc. He indicated that China has made new achievements in its development. China's economic growth continued to lead the world with GDP growing by 6.9% last year, and people's living standards continuously improved. China's international status strengthened with the development of The Belt and Road Initiative reaching a new level. The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) was successfully held, laying out a grand blueprint for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. Consul General Pan thanked the Chinese community and the Scottish friends for their support and contribution to China's development and China-UK relations. He encouraged overseas Chinese to work hard for the early realization of Chinese dream.
Lord Provost Frank Ross said the friendship between Edinburgh and China is very close, and continues to grow from strength to strength. Edinburgh is China-friendly and welcomes visitors from China. The city will explore opportunities of participating in the Belt and Road Initiative and further promote exchanges and co-operations between the two sides.
Ms Constance said she is delighted to celebrate Chinese New year with Chinese community and spoke highly of their contributions to the development of Scottish economy, culture and society as well as China-UK relations. She indicated that the exchanges and cooperation between Scotland and China have achieved great success. The Belt and Road Initiative provides an important opportunity for Scotland to deepen its cooperation with China. She encouraged Scottish business to export to China as the Scottish Government will continue to strengthen friendly ties with China.
Ms Fabiani, on behalf of the Scottish Parliament, appreciated Chinese community's contribution to Scotland, saying the Scottish Parliament has maintained friendly exchanges with its Chinese counterparts while the Parliament's Cross Party Group on China plays a positive role in this process. The Parliament will continue to promote the friendship between the two sides.
The celebration featured Chinese traditional dragon and lion dance and Scottish pipe band performance as well as brilliant concert given by Chinese artists and Edinburgh Symphony Orchestra, sending best wishes to both Chinese and British people in the Year of Dog.
During the Spring Festival, Edinburgh landmarks such as the Edinburgh Castle, Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, the Scotch Whisky Experience and St Andrew Square were lit up red to celebrate Chinese New Year.