Stronger ties between Scotland and China
First Minister meets with Chinese Government.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has yesterday held talks with State Councillor Yang Jie Chi - who holds China's most senior foreign affairs role.
The First Minister and Councillor Yang discussed the strengthening relationship between the two countries and how Scotland and China can develop new partnerships in the areas of business, innovation and education. The First Minister also raised the importance of women's rights and of lifting people out of poverty.
Speaking after her meeting with State Councillor Yang the First Minister said:
"The meeting was very productive and continues the positive relationship between Scotland and China.
"We discussed China’s ongoing focus on innovation and how Scotland's expertise in areas such as energy and low carbon technology, coupled with our educational strengths can be beneficial for both economies.
"One of the guiding principles of our engagement with China is respect for human rights and the rule of law. During our meeting I shared the key message of my speech to the Chinese Friendship Association that women's rights and human rights both in China and in Scotland are a fundamental part of achieving greater equality and greater economic growth."
The First Minister also held meetings with the State Culture Department where the two nations renewed the cultural Memorandum of Understanding, first signed in 2011, committing Scotland and China to further collaboration in the arts and creative industries.
The meeting - with Culture Minister Luo Shugang - was also attended by Fergus Linehan, Artistic Director at Edinburgh International Festival (EIF).
EIF also signed an agreement to encourage further collaboration in the performing arts. Chinese artists will perform at the Edinburgh International Festival, the Edinburgh fringe and the Tattoo.
The First Minister added:
"We agreed that both countries would seek to elevate cultural cooperation following this renewed agreement.
"These ongoing cultural agreements have already led to a number of Chinese performances and exhibitions in Scotland and brought Scottish artists and performing companies to China. Now this exchange is set to continue."
Notes To Editors
Pictures of the meetings are available at www.flickr.com/firstministerofscotland
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