By a Newsnet reporter
Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond has highlighted growing economic and cultural ties between Scotland and China.
Mr Salmond was appearing in a Chinese TV programme ‘Talk With World Leaders’ which has an estimated audience of 350 million.
Viewers heard the Scottish First Minister highlight the importance of trade between the two nations with special emphasis on Scotland’s renewable expertise and China’s great renewable resources.
However Mr Salmond insisted that ‘great alliances’ were not based on trade alone as he pinpointed cultural exchanges as being important in order to promote “real understanding” between citizens of both countries.
Mr Salmond told viewers: “There is a great economic co-operation such as Chinese buying Scotch whisky and Scotland buying Chinese goods.
“We are developing renewable energy together – China has the most onshore renewable energy in the world and Scotland leads in offshore and marine renewable energy.
“These are great alliances but, of course, alliances should be based not just on economics, trade and investment, but also on cultural understanding between the people – as underlined by the giant pandas arriving in Scotland and the co-operation between Scotland and China in digitalising the Eastern Qing Tombs world heritage site together.”
He added: “These are things which go beyond economics, beyond politics, and allow real understanding between peoples.”
The broadcast comes after Mr Salmond’s recent trade visit to China which coincided with the arrival at Edinburgh Zoo of the giant pandas Tian Tian and Yang Guang.
The visit also resulted in an announcement of plans for a major Scottish city to be twinned with the key city of Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, in southern China.