China-related links

This page provides a listing of some of the key China-related organisations in Scotland, and other useful resources, in the following categories (click on each to fastlink down the page) :

If you would like your organisation to be considered for listing on this web site, please send details of your organisation to our Website Editor.

Cultural and general organisations

Ricefield Chinese Arts & Cultural Centre



Ricefield was established in 2004 by two prominent figures in printing and graphic design within the Glasgow Chinese community, Lin Chau and Julia Hung, and is now supported by a wide range of individuals and organisations who share a passion for Chinese arts and culture.

Ricefield aims to support and promote Chinese arts and culture in Scotland by providing professional support and opportunities in Scotland to artists of Chinese descent, promoting the development and traditions of Chinese arts and culture in Scotland, providing the mainstream and other minority ethnic communities with greater accessibility to Chinese arts and culture, and nurturing creative activity within the Chinese communities.

Harmony Chinese Music Ensemble

Harmony Ensemble play music from the rich traditions of China - and go further, drawing on Chinese, Western Classical and Scottish folk elements to create improvisations, new songs and compositions.

For concerts and workshops they draw from a pool of musicians from East and West. Fong Liu presents a wide range of singing styles (‘mountain’ voice, folk, opera, even jazz style). She collaborates with Scottish composer and SCA Vice President Eddie McGuire (he plays bamboo flute) to compose new songs. Hooi Ling Eng plays the Zheng and a fascinating array of Chinese percussion instruments

Scottish Churches China Group

SCCG is a Christian ecumenical group that aims to increase understanding of poorly reported dimensions of China's society, and to support and encourage work for and among the needy of China.

British Acupuncture Council

The British Acupuncture Council is the leading self-regulatory body for the practice of traditional acupuncture in the UK. The Regional Co-ordinator for the Edinburgh and South-East Scotland group is Jonathan Clogstoun-Willmott, a longstanding member of the SCA - he can be contacted via email. Jonathan has contributed an article on traditional Chinese medicine to the October 2014 issue of our magazine, Sine.

Samye Ling Tibetan Buddhist Centre

Established in 1967, the Samye Ling Tibetan Buddhist Centre, near Eskdalemuir, in south west Scotland, was the first Tibetan Buddhist Centre established in the West. It is a centre for wisdom and learning within the Karma Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism and is open to people of all faiths and none. There is a short report of an SCA visit to Samye Ling in 2012 here.

Chinese community organisations

Chinese Community Development Partnership

CCDP is the central point of contact and information between the Chinese community in Glasgow and the local authorities, public bodies and voluntary organistions. They also organise the annual Chinese New Year celebration and a quarterly newspaper ‘Chinese Community News’, and hold a database of Chinese arts organisations and Chinese performers in the city.

Edinburgh Chinese Culture Association

The Edinburgh Chinese Culture Association (ECCA) was established in 2008 as a voluntary organization. Its objectives are to help local people to understand more about Chinese culture, custom and traditions ; to build friendship within Chinese communities and with other races in Scotland ; and to facilitate links between Scotland and China.

Edinburgh Chinese Association of Professionals

Edinburgh Chinese Association of Professionals (ECAP) was established in 2003, and aims to serve Chinese professionals and their families in Edinburgh and to represent their interests and needs.

Universities, colleges, academic and research organisations

Confucius Institute for Scotland
at the University of Edinburgh

The Confucius Institute for Scotland in the University of Edinburgh was the first such Institute in Scotland. It was set up in 2007 with Sino-Scottish government backing, to promote the teaching of Chinese language and culture in Scotland, and to help develop effective Sino-Scottish business, cultural and academic links. It has a very active programme of language teaching, lectures, cultural activities and other events. See also the original 2006 Scottish Government announcement here.

Confucius Institute at the University of Glasgow

This was the second Institute in Scotland, and is a partnership with Nankai University in Tianjin. 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.

Confucius Institute for Scotland's Schools at the University of Strathclyde

The third was the Confucius Institute for Scotland's Schools, 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.

For news of a Hanban award for CISS in 2014, see this story.

Confucius Institute at the University of Aberdeen


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.

Confucius Institute at Heriot-Watt University

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 is focusing on promoting Chinese language for business and Chinese business culture in Scotland, and began to host events from early 2015. For more background after their launch, see this article.

Scottish Centre for China Research, University of Glasgow

Based in the University of Glasgow’s School of Social & Political Sciences, the Scottish Centre for China Research brings together scholars doing research on China across a range of social science disciplines in Scottish universities. Its members include researchers at the Universities of St Andrews, Heriot-Watt, Edinburgh and Dundee as well as Glasgow.

The Centre aims to foster high-quality social science research on China and promote multidisciplinary research collaboration among centre members ; to build strategic research capacity in the social sciences of China for Scotland and the UK ; to promote understanding of China by disseminating research and making expertise on contemporary Chinese economy, politics & governance, and society accessible to the wider community ; to develop and support research links with Chinese scholars, universities and research institutes.

Aberdeen Chinese Studies Group

The CSG was founded in May 1989 by scholars of the University of Aberdeen with the aims of developing the inter-disciplinary study and discussion, on an academic and strictly non-political basis, of all aspects of Chinese social, political, economic and cultural development.

The CSG also aims to encourage and establish links with other educational establishments, members of the public, local organisations and the local business community having personal, educational or business interests in China. Meetings and talks are open to the public.

Edinburgh Zoo and the Highland Wildlife Park
Zoo website and
Highland Wildlife Park website

As well as the two pandas that came to Scotland in 2011, Tian Tian and Yuan Guang, you can see quite a few Chinese animals at the two Royal Zoological Society of Scotland sites, Edinburgh Zoo and the Highland Wildlife Park near Aviemore. As well as the pandas (see their special page), Edinburgh Zoo has goral, red junglefowl, and white-lipped deer, amongst others, as well as a special Confucius Classroom within its education department. Meanwhile, the Highland Wildlife Park has Amur tigers, yaks, kiang, bharal, red pandas, goral, mishimi, and Bactrian camels.

Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh

RBGE is a world-renowned scientific centre for the study of plants, their diversity and conservation. It has a longstanding commitment to botany and conservation in China, beginning with the work of George Forrest from 1904 onwards. This includes the Jade Dragon Field Station and Lijiang Alpine Botanic Garden, a conservation project run between the RBGE, the Kunming Institute of Botany and Lijiang Alpine and Plant Research Institute of Yunnan Academy of Agricultural Science. There is a Chinese hillside at the Gardens in Edinburgh. There is a short report of an SCA visit to the Botanics in 2012 here.


Confucius Classrooms

Education Scotland (formerly Learning and Teaching Scotland) provides advice, support, resources and staff development to the education community. ES operates within the terms of a co-operation agreement signed by The Scottish Government with the Chinese Ministry of Education in 2008 (see this news release and full text here), and leads on the Confucius Classrooms initiative - local hubs in 13 (soon to be 16) Scottish schools or colleges, to stimulate and support innovative teaching and learning of Chinese language and culture, together with an online service. These hubs are located at :

  • Hazlehead Academy, Aberdeen
  • St Ninian's High School, East Dunbartonshire
  • Our Lady's High School, Motherwell, North Lanarkshire
  • Perth High School, Perth and Kinross
  • Grange Academy, East, South and North Ayrshire
  • Hillhead High School, Glasgow
  • Bathgate Academy, West Lothian
  • Leith Academy, City of Edinburgh
  • Queen Anne High School, Fife
  • St Ninian's High School, East Renfrewshire
  • Bo'ness Academy, Falkirk
  • Hamilton Grammar School, South Lanarkshire
  • Stirling High School, Stirling (opens autumn 2015)
  • Lasswade High School, Midlothian
  • Kingussie High School, Highland (being established)
  • Sandwick Junior High School, Shetland (being established)

There is also a Confucius Classroom at the independent St George's School in Edinburgh.

During her July 2015 visit to China, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced plans for 21 more Confucius Classrooms to support Chinese language learning by primary school pupils.

Scotland China Education Network

The Scotland China Education Network (SCEN) exists to promote the learning of Chinese and about China in Scottish schools, and to encourage educational links between Scottish and Chinese schools by bringing together those involved to share experiences and good practice.

Edinburgh Chinese Community School

The Edinburgh Chinese Community School (ECCS) was founded in 2000, and is based within the campus of Liberton High School. The mission of ECCS is to promote the Chinese language, culture and the advancement of community education.

Alba Cathay Chinese School

The Alba Cathay Chinese School was founded in 1994, and is based within the campus of Boroughmuir High School. The objective of the School is to provide everyone, both children and adults, with an opportunity to learn Chinese language as well as Chinese culture.

Glasgow Chinese School

The Glasgow Chinese School was the first of its kind in Scotland, and opened in 1972. It was originally based in Garnetbank Primary School in Garnethill, but moved to Stow College in Shamrock Street in 1988. The School's tradition is in the provision of mother tongue teaching for Scottish born Chinese children. However, with the growing demand for Chinese learning amongst the wider community, Glasgow Chinese School now offers lessons in Mandarin and Cantonese at various levels.

Giant pandas education resource

The Giant Pandas website, run by Education Scotland, provides practitioners with access to relevant, contextualised resources to support learning and teaching about giant pandas through Curriculum for Excellence experiences and outcomes.

The resource contains essential information about the pandas, their arrival in Scotland, current information about their life at Edinburgh Zoo, an image gallery, videos and learning journeys for languages, sciences and health and wellbeing, and much more.

It can also be used alongside Edinburgh Zoo's education resources, found here.

Commercial and networking

China-Britain Business Council

CBBC is the UK's leading organisation helping British companies in China, and delivers a range of practical services to companies wishing to export or invest. They have offices in Edinburgh and Glasgow and an active Scottish membership, and China offices in Beijing, Changsha, Chengdu, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Qingdao, Shanghai, Shenyang, Shenzhen, Wuhan, and Xi'an. For an interview with James Brodie, the CBBC Scotland/China Business Adviser in Edinburgh, see this page.

Scottish Development International

SDI is the Scottish Government's investment promotion arm, and aims to attract foreign investment to Scotland and provide information about doing business in Scotland, as well as supporting Scottish investments and trade overseas. It has China offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.


The Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) is an independent membership network, which strengthens Scotland's competitiveness by influencing Government policies. It has organised many China trade missions since 1971 (see SCDI website for details of recent trips).

Asia Scotland Institute

Set up in 2013, the ASI aims to promote awareness, understanding and collaboration between Scotland and Asia to create mutually enriching economic, cultural and educational opportunities, thereby enabling the people of Scotland to engage effectively with the people of Asia for a shared future.

Their mission is achieved through mounting unique programmes that provide engagement and access to innovative thinking, ideas and initiatives as well as by supporting the Asia programmes of other organisations in Scotland and initiatives in the countries of Asia in the areas of Policy & Politics, Business & Economics and Arts, Culture & Education. The ASI holds regular events in Edinburgh and Glasgow - see their website for more details.

Young Chinese Professionals Scotland

Launched in June 2010, the Young Chinese Professionals Scotland (YCPS) is a key network that aims to unite and promote young Chinese professionals in Scotland, and to facilitate the positive developments between Scotland and China through linking with all groups interested in Scotland-China partnerships.

Government and official

The Scottish Government

The Scottish Government has taken a particular interest in China for some years. The administration published its new five-year China strategy on 4 December 2012 – see this news release, with the document itself viewable online or downloadable as a pdf here. This is mainly an incremental development of the earlier 2008 Plan, with updated targets in various policy areas. See also this page for an article about a report on the Plan by the Scottish Parliament's European and External Affairs Committee.

The former First Minister, Alex Salmond MSP, visited China four times. A report of his most recent visit can be found here. Various other Scottish Government ministers have also visited China in recent years. The new First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, visited China in July 2015 - see this page on our site for details.

There is also a Scottish Government website giving various information in Chinese for students, visitors and investors, including tourism, study, business and working in Scotland – see here.

Cross Party Group on China,
Scottish Parliament

This Group was first established in the Scottish Parliament during its 2007-2011 session, and has recently been re-constituted in the new Parliament. It has developed into a very active network for discussion of Scotland/China links of all kinds, and its meetings are well-attended.

UK Government and China

This is the main page for information on UK government relations with China, with links to travel advice, business information and political links. Other useful UK government pages include this one, with regular political and economic updates on China from the British Embassy in Beijing and Consulates at Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chongqing (scroll down the alphabetic list for China), and this one from UK Trade & Investment.

British Council

The British Council is the UK government's main international cultural and education body. In terms of China, it encourages educational links, language teaching and other programmes. For details of its Scotland China School Links Programme see here.

The Council also operates the Saltire Scholarship, open to Chinese nationals (and some others) and is aimed at encouraging bright, talented and hard working individuals to live, work and study in Scotland. £2,000 is available as a one off award towards the cost of tuition fees for various courses in a wide range of subject areas, at any of Scotland's universities and higher education institutions. For more details, see here.

Chinese Consulate-General
in Edinburgh

The Chinese Consulate in Edinburgh represents the Chinese Government in Scotland. Note that visa services for visitors to China are provided by a separate China visa centre in the city, see below.

China Visa Centre

Since autumn 2012, visa services for visitors to China are provided by a China visa centre in Edinburgh, rather than the Consulate. See this article for a report of the opening ceremony.

Selected media and information websites (see also the ChinaInfoScotland site)

English website
Chinese website

Xinhua, established in 1931, is the official state news agency of the People's Republic of China. It carries a wide range of stories about all aspects of China's diplomatic, economic, social and cultural life, in English, Chinese and other languages.
English website
Chinese website

Another useful official site, this is the official website of the Central Government of the PRC, with news, profiles of senior leaders, and many handy links to other official government websites, many in English.

China Daily
English website
Chinese website

This publication is primarily aimed at a foreign audience, both in China and overseas. As well as its website, it now publishes a fortnightly hard copy newspaper that can be found in some outlets in Scotland. Free copies are usually available at Abden House, base of the Confucius Institute in Edinburgh.

People's Daily
English website
Chinese website

Established in 1946, this is the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party. It has English and Chinese websites.

English website
Chinese website

CCTV is the Chinese national state broadcaster. It has a multiplicity of channels, in various languages, with 18 free-to-air and 22 pay-to-view (listed on Wikipedia here). The main ones are CCTV1, for general news ; CCTV4, for international news in Chinese ; and CCTV News (formerly CCTV9), for news in English. The main English site carries a selection of programmes from all channels, while CCTV News is news-based.

South China Morning Post

The SCMP is Hong Kong's main English language newspaper, established in 1903. It often manages to publish stories that cannot make the media in China, as well as comprehensive coverage of business and other news in Hong Kong. It can usually be found in hard copy in major hotels in Beijing and Shanghai late on the day of publication. The website version requires a subscription to see all the content.

English website
Chinese website

Caixin is a weekly news magazine published in China, with hard copy and websites in English and Chinese, focusing on business and the economy. It also covers some social issues and often produces some excellent investigative journalism.


Danwei is a China-based website specialising in analysing and reporting the Chinese press, with some great stories and other information. Useful articles include this one, a brief guide to China's media in 2014, and this one, with a long list of links to China media outlets of all kinds, in English and Chinese.