Tuesday, 13 July 2010
First Minister Alex Salmond meets
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi
SCOTLAND’S First Minister Alex Salmond has met Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi as part of his trade mission to strengthen Sino-Scottish links and explore investment opportunities.
The meeting was the first of its kind between a Scottish First Minister and a Chinese Foreign Minister. The First Minister is also the first foreign politician to be received at the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ new Beijing headquarters.
The meeting came ahead of a scheduled meeting between UK Foreign Secretary William Hague and Mr Yang this week.
The talks follow a number of meetings with the Chinese Government in the course of the Fist Minister’s visit which have underlined deepening links between Scotland and China.
That special relationship was underlined by Mr Yang, who wore a tie sporting a Scotland-China tartan at the meeting.
The FM described the meeting as “productive” and “an important step in highlighting Scotland’s commitment to strengthening economic, educational and cultural relations with China over the long-term”.
The Ministers discussed the expansion of Sino-Scottish education and cultural links, which have been expanded through meetings earlier this week with China’s Minister for Education and Minister for Culture. There were also talks on how Scotland can work more closely with China on capitalising on expertise in renewable energy and life sciences.
Mr Salmond also received support from Mr Yang on the “Scottish 10” project to digitally capture precise 3D mapping of monuments of historical significance around the globe. The project is already involved in mapping Mount Rushmore in the United States, and there may be opportunities to carry out similar work on historical Chinese sites.
Mr Salmond said: “Today’s meeting with Foreign Minister Yang was a productive and highly significant one in the strengthening of relationship between Scotland and China.
“It was an important step in highlighting Scotland’s commitment to strengthening economic, educational and cultural relations with China over the long term. It also demonstrates the seriousness with which the Chinese Government regards its relationship with Scotland.
“There are massive opportunities for Scottish companies to invest in China and, equally there is the growing prospect of very substantial investment in Scotland by Chinese businesses.
“Foreign Minister Yang and I discussed these opportunities, particularly in such as renewable energy and life sciences, where Scotland has particular strengths.
“The on-going cooperation between our two countries also involves significant educational and cultural exchanges, and I was encouraged that Foreign Minister Yang was keen to see an expansion in such exchanges.
“Today’s meeting was the latest in a series of talks this week with Chinese Government Ministers, and one which will go a long way towards cementing a special relationship between Scotland and China.”
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China
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