Chinese New Year Message by Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
16 February 2018
I want to send my very best wishes to everyone in China and across the world for the start of Chinese New Year.
Here in Scotland, families and friends are coming together to mark this special occasion in the traditional manner with dumplings, decorations, and fireworks. By doing that, we’re also marking the close of yet another great year for Scotland’s relationship with China.
In 2017, Scotland was proud to welcome distinguished official and trade delegations from Guangdong and Shandong. The first stage of the 2017 UK-China People-to-People Dialogue also took place here. And as part of that, I was honoured and privileged to meet with Vice Premier Liu Yandong.
The economic ties between our two countries continued to flourish. The Scottish Government supported and encouraged more Scottish companies to export to China. And we continued to see significant investment into Scotland from Chinese businesses, which are now among our top five sources of inward investment.
Growing numbers of Scottish students learned about Chinese history, language, and culture at our five Confucius Institutes, and more than 8,000 Chinese students attended Scotland’s world-class universities.
In addition, we’ve seen further examples of cultural exchange. To mark our Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, China presented Scotland with two stunning replica Terracotta Warriors. These are now proudly on display in Stirling and they’re a powerful symbol of the friendship between our two nations.
In the year ahead, we want to build on that friendship. That’s why in the Spring, we will publish a revised strategy for Scotland’s engagement with China. It will set out the areas where we believe there’s even greater scope for collaboration – areas like trade and investment, tackling climate change, and the exchange of culture, ideas and people.
It’s just one more reason why I look ahead to the Year of the Dog with great optimism and hope. So, wherever you are celebrating it – whether in Scotland, in China, or elsewhere – I hope you have a joyous, peaceful and happy Chinese New Year.
Xin Nian Kuai Le!