On 9th Feb, the famed Usher Hall in Edinburgh was in transfixing patterns of light and color as the 2019 Edinburgh Official Chinese New Year Concert and Reception was successfully held by Chinese Consulate General in Edinburgh, the City of Edinburgh Council, Bank of China(UK)Ltd and Asian Association of Culture Commerce and Education in Europe. Chinese Consul General Pan Xinchun, Minister for Europe, Migration and International Development, Ben Macpherson MSP, Lord Provost Frank Ross and Deputy General Manager of BOC(UK) Madam Xiao Liang delivered speeches at the reception. More than 1500 guests including Provosts, delegates from all walks of life, representatives from other Consular Corps as well as fellow Chinese attended the event.

Consul General Pan extended New Year wishes to all. He said that the Year of Pig was widely celebrated and well received across Scotland with many fantastic celebrations in Glasgow, Dundee, Perth and South Ayrshire. In particular, Edinburgh turned Chinese New Year into a local festival for the first time ever with a coordinated programme of over 20 spectacular special events including Giant Lantern Show at Edinburgh Zoo, Performances at Royal Botanic Garden and Exploring East Asia at the National Museum of Scotland. These are testament to the friendly ties between China and Scotland, which will increase Scots’ understanding of Chinese culture, promote friendship between our peoples and help lay a solid foundation for the relationship to grow even further. He expressed that new major achievements have been made in China’s economic and social development over the past year as China’s GDP grew by 6.6%, China’s overall national strength and international position further enhanced, and Chinese people’s lives greatly improved. At the same time, the relationship between China and Scotland maintained strong growth with fruitful achievements in areas of senior-level contacts, trade and investment, science and technology, education, culture and tourism, contributing to the development of China-UK bilateral ties. Consul General appreciated the effort made by Scottish society and Chinese Community to beef up Sino-Scottish collaborations and exchanges in all fields.

Minister Ben Macpherson stated that we are not just marking the beginning of the Chinese New Year, but the growing relationships between Scotland and China which see close high-level exchanges and fruitful collaborations in trade and investment, regional partnerships, culture and so on. The revised China Strategy states the Scottish Government’s commitment to working collaboratively and constructively with China to promote friendship and deliver more substantial and concrete outcomes.

Lord Provost Frank Ross said that he was delighted to celebrate Chinese New Year with Chinese Community in Edinburgh. Exchanges and co-operation between Edinburgh and China have registered remarkable achievements last year highlighted by expanded areas of co-operation and a new vista for Edinburgh-Shenzhen and Edinburgh-Xi’an partnerships. The direct air route between Edinburgh and Beijing facilitates personnel visits and provides new opportunities for pragmatic co-operation.

The performances of My Homeland, The Silk Road, Jasmine Flower and Auld Lang Syne featuring blend in Chinese and Scottish culture by the Folk Orchestra of Qingdao Opera and Dance Theater, together with the Edinburgh Symphony Orchestra and Edinburgh Singers amazed the audience as they burst into thunderous applause.

(article from Chinese General Consulate in Edinburgh )