by Website Editor, 16 December 2014
Around 30 members of the SCA attended a Consulate Reception on 15 December 2014 kindly hosted by Mr Pan Xinchun, Consul General of the People's Republic of China. Mr Pan was accompanied by Deputy Consul General Ma Deyun, Consul Lyu Yanxia, Consul Shen Duchun and Consular Attache Zhu Ge.
The Association's representatives included Janice Dickson, Chairman ; Eddie McGuire, Vice President ; Peter Lindow, Edinburgh Branch Chairman ; Barry Moore, Glasgow Branch Chairman, and many other members from both branches.
From left to right, Ma Deyun, Deputy Consul General ; Mr Eddie McGuire, SCA Vice President ; Mrs Yu Zhili, wife of the Consul General ; Mr Pan Xinchun, Consul General ; Mrs Janice Dickson, SCA Chairman ; Mr Barry Moore, SCA Glasgow Branch Chairman ; Mr Peter Lindow, SCA Edinburgh Branch Chairman
(this and other photos courtesy of Consulate-General)
Welcoming the SCA group, Mr Pan paid tribute to the Association's “dedication and great contribution to enhancing understanding and friendship” between Scotland and China, both in the past and in the last few years. He also noted that 2014 marks the 10th anniversary of the strategic partnership relationship between China and the UK, saying “due to the efforts and hard work by our two peoples from all walks of life, our friendship and cooperation have achieved tremendous success with so many bright spots”.
Mr Pan highlighted a number of more recent highlights in the China-UK relationship, including Premier Li Keqiang's meeting with Prime Minister Cameron in June this year ; bilateral trade of over £40bn in 2013 ; Chinese investment of some £25bn in the UK, creating over 5,000 jobs ; and the presence of 130,000 Chinese students UK-wide, as well as 25 Confucius Institutes and over 100 Confucius Classrooms.
SCA members and Consular staff listening to Mr Pan's remarks
In response, Janice Dickson, Chairman of the SCA, said the Association was honoured by the invitation to this special reception. She also noted with appreciation the invitation earlier in the year to attend the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (see our article here), and for the support and assistance provided by the Consulate-General throughout the year.
On behalf of the SCA and to mark the festive season, Janice presented the Consulate with a hamper of traditional Scottish Christmas food including cake, whisky and even some of Peter Lindow's home-made chutney !
Janice Dickson and Peter Lindow presenting the Christmas hamper to Mr Pan
The SCA members also had the opportunity to watch a film entitled 'China in transition'. This highlighted both the great strides that have been made in social and economic policy over the last 30 years, and the challenges that still face the country, not least in achieving a correct balance between economic development and environmental protection.
As Consul General Pan commented, “China is still a developing country and our GDP per capita is no match to developed countries”, adding “we have no room to be complacent, but still have a long way to go and mountains to climb before we belong to the developed world”. But he concluded, “we set out our national dream that by 2049, which is the centennial of the new China, the country will become a rich and democratic country”, adding, “we are confident that through deepening reform we will get there”.
In conclusion, Janice Dickson said, "we would like to thank the Consul-General and his staff for a most enjoyable and informative evening, and the opportunity to meet old friends and make new ones".