On 30 July 2019, Consul General Pan Xinchun and Madame Yu Zhili hosted a reception to bid farewell to all friends in Scotland. About 200 people were present, including Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop MSP, Deputy Presiding Officer of Scottish Parliament, Linda Fabiani MSP, Lord Provosts of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Provosts of North Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, Falkirk, East Lothian, East Dunbartonshire, Perth&Kinross, and guests from the industry and business, culture, education and consular representatives, as well as overseas Chinese.
Consul Genera Pan reviewed his five-year work and life in Scotland affectionately. In his five years in office, he is committed to developing links between China and Scotland by introducing a colorful China to Scottish people so as to deepen understanding and friendship, promoting collaboration for mutual benefits. Over the past five years, he visited many places in Scotland, engaging with people from all circles to establish connections and promote cooperation. He is pleased to witness the tree of friendship between China and Scotland has grown into a giant one bearing many fruits. Both sides maintained frequent high-level visits. Chinese Vice Premier Mme Liu Yandong visited Scotland and the First Minister went to China twice. The Scottish Government twice issued the Five Year China Strategy. Many Scottish cities such as Edinburgh, Glasgow, South Ayrshire, North Ayrshire, Perth and Kinross, Stirling, Falkirk, East Dunbartonshire, North Ayrshire, Dundee, Aberdeen, etc developed or strengthened relations with China. China has become Scotland's major trade partner and top five source of inward investment. The number of Chinese students in Scotland ranks the biggest. Scotland is on the upsurge of learning Chinese with over 30,000 students studying Chinese language and culture across more than 400 primary and secondary schools. Chinese New Year was celebrated in many parts of Scotland. Chinese artistic troupes actively participated in Edinburgh International and Fringe Festivals as well as cultural events in other parts of Scotland. Last year saw the first direct air route between Edinburgh and Beijing established which increased the number of Chinese tourists significantly.
The brilliant achievement of Sino-Scottish relations won't be possible without huge support and contributions from all sides. Consul General extended heartfelt thanks to the Scottish Government, Parliament, City Councils, Bank of China, Scotland-China Association, CBBC, Scottish Chamber of Commerce, Confucius Institutes, SWIRE, SCEN, the National Museum of Scotland, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Edinburgh Zoo, Edinburgh Airport, ETAG, Asia-Scotland Institute and all other friends as well as colleagues at the Consulate for their relentless efforts in developing friendship and ties between China and Scotland.
Consul General Pan said that overseas Chinese in Scotland always think of the motherland and her development, endeavouring to promote Chinese culture, care for the Chinese Community and support the development of Sino-Scottish relations. They strengthen the understanding, friendship and cooperation between the two sides by organizing flagship cultural events such as Chinese National Day and New Year Celebrations, Edinburgh Festival Chinese Art Performance, Chinese Pavilion at Gardening Scotland, Hua Xia Cup Games, Chinese Students Singing Contest. He is proud of their achievements and the positive image they displayed as well as isgrateful for their strong support to the Consulate.
In conclusion, Consul General Pan said that Scotland is the place where he spent the longest time of his diplomatic career, a place to which full of his affection. He had achieved a lot from work as well as established deep friendship with friends before leaving with happy memories. Wherever he goes, the friendship will last forever. He wished Sino-Scottish friendship continued growth and all the friends good fortune, success and happiness. Good bye!
On behalf of Scottish Government, Cabinet Secretary Hyslop paid tribute to Consul General's fundamental role in pushing the relationship between two sides to a new high as well as his great job to promote collaborations and exchanges in politics, trade and economy, culture, education and technology. Scotland thanks Consul General Pan for his significant contribution and welcome him back anytime.
Deputy Presiding Officer Fabiani said that a number of Members of Scottish Parliament including herself and people from all walks of life had developed and maintained not only excellent working relations but also genuine friendship with Consul General Pan. They were all impressed by his elegance, warmth and professionalism. She wished all the possible best to him in future.
Lord Provost Frank Ross spoke on behalf of all city leaders across Scotland, saying that Consul General Pan attached great importance to local government engagements between China and Scotland while ardently supporting the establishment of the sister-city relation between Edinburgh and Shenzhen. Thanks to his hard work, Edinburgh is now one of the most China-friendly cities in Europe. Consul General Pan was installed an Honorary Membership of The Association of Assistants of The Royal Company of Merchants of The City of Edinburgh by Lord Provost, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the development of ties between Edinburgh and China.
All the guests shared the emotion at the reception. They altogether watched a ten-minute video recording Consul General's work highlights. The guests had cordial exchanges , sent their best wishes to Consul General Pan and his wife and took pictures with them before they found it too hard to say goodbye to the Consul Generals.