As well as engaging in our own projects, one of our key aims is to promote other links between Scotland and China. There is a lot of existing activity, of course, much of it in support of The Scottish Government's 'China Plan', which remains a good single source of information on commercial, educational and scientific collaboration. However, we are keen to provide additional knowledge, and intend to build up a database with as much information as possible as a resource for charities and NGOs, individual donors, policymakers, business people, tourists, educators and students. This page lists national-level initiatives - there are many others at provincial, city and company level, too.
Click on the links in the small table below to take you to more detailed descriptions further down the page.
This new Plan replaces that published in May 2008. Then, the devolved government of Scotland published its revised China Plan, with seven key objectives covering education, commercial and cultural sectors. This is viewable online here and downloadable as a pdf here. An analysis of the earlier Plan, and a comparison with the earlier 'China strategy' produced in 2006, by the Scottish Parliament's research team is available as a pdf here. A breakdown of Scottish activity by Chinese province used to be available on their website but this is no longer available. The earlier Plan has also been extensively scrutinised by the Scottish Parliament's European and External Relations Committee (see item below).
The First Minister, Alex Salmond MP MSP, has now visited China three times. He visited Shanghai and Beijing in April 2009 - for more details, see various reports on our news page here. Then in July 2010, he visited Shanghai (notably for the World Expo), Tianjin and Beijing - see more reports on our news page here. And in December 2011, he visited Beijing, Shandong province, Shenzhen and Hong Kong - see our news page for more.
In March 2013, the Committee announced another inquiry into "the economic realities of international trade and inward investment", with particular reference to the 'China Plan'. See also the main committee page here.
Meanwhile, the Department for International Development (DFID) is the part of the UK Government that manages Britain's aid to poor countries and works to get rid of extreme poverty. Its China page is here.
Details of UK Trade and Investment are given below in the Commercial section of this list.
A second Institute opened in October 2011, the Confucius Institute at the University of Glasgow - its website is here. It is a partnership with Nankai University in Tianjin, supported by the Chinese Ministry of Education’s Office for Chinese Language (Hanban). It builds on long-standing research collaborations between the two universities and is strongly founded on research on China across the University of Glasgow in the social sciences, arts, and business, in particular through the activities of the Scottish Centre for Chinese Social Science Research.
The third is the Confucius Institute for Scotland's Schools, launched on 6 June 2012 at Strathclyde University. The new Institute will focus on offering support to schools around Scotland in their teaching of Chinese language and culture. It will initially work with 12 existing Confucius classroom hubs, with the intention of expanding the network in primary and secondary schools across the country.
This Institute takes forward some of the co-ordination role previously undertaken by the now defunct Learning & Teaching Scotland. It will be based in the University-based SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages, part of the University of Strathclyde’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.
More details can be found on this page, which includes links to various presentations made on the day and other useful information.
Education Scotland (formerly Learning and Teaching Scotland) and 'Confucius Classrooms' Website
Access 3 qualifications in Mandarin and Cantonese have been available in Scotland since school session 2007-2008 ; Intermediate 1 and 2 qualifications in Mandarin and Cantonese since school sessions 2008-2009 ; and Higher and Advanced Higher qualifications since school session 2009-2010.
The Tartan Register explains that "the tartan incorporates the colours of the Scottish Saltire together with the red and yellow of the Chinese flag. These are interwoven with green bands to symbolise the great co-operation between Scottish and Chinese botanists in the Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh - home to the world's largest collection of Chinese plants outside China itself. The yellow crosses the red in five places which signifies the five stars of the Chinese Flag, the biggest and brightest being represented by the yellow cross in the middle of the red".