Please note The Blackford Trust is now closed - this page is retained for purely historic interest
Scotland/China - links
As well as engaging in our own projects, one of our key aims has been 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 glad 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 former First Minister, Alex Salmond MSP, visited China four 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. In December 2011, he visited Beijing, Shandong province, Shenzhen and Hong Kong - see our news page for more. A further trip took place in November 2013, and the new First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, visited China in later July 2015. Various other Scottish Government ministers have also visited China in recent years.
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'. They reported in June 2013, see their report here, and associated news release here. 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.
The third is the Confucius Institute for Scotland's Schools (CISS), launched on 6 June 2012 at Strathclyde University. The Institute focuses on offering support to schools around Scotland in their teaching of Chinese language and culture. It works with the 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 is 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. The CISS won a prestigious Hanban award in December 2014.
The Confucius Institute of the University of Aberdeen opened in September 2013. It aims to provide Chinese language teaching and culture classes and cultural events to the North East Scotland community, including University staff and students, schools, business and industry, and community organisations and individuals. It will act as a linguistic and cultural bridge, promoting knowledge exchange between China and the people of North East Scotland and serving as the first port of call for information on China. Its website is here.
The Scottish Confucius Institute for Business and Communication at Heriot-Watt University was announced on 5 November 2013, during First Minister Alex Salmond's fourth visit to China. It will focus on promoting Chinese language for business and Chinese business culture in Scotland. Its website is here.
Education Scotland (formerly Learning and Teaching Scotland) and 'Confucius Classrooms' Website
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".