David Maddox is critical of the SNP Government’s attitude to China in particular in relation to Tibet (Inside Politics, 19
February). As David Stevenson points out (Letters, same day), the British establishment
accepted China’s annexation of Tibet years ago with little fuss.
In any case, it is unfair to ignore the reforms made by the Chinese in recent years.
Millions have been lifted out of poverty, three million Chinese people graduate each year and the new president looks set to make their society more open.
Isn’t talking to the Chinese and trading with them more likely to improve human rights there than pompously lecturing them or, worse still, ignoring them altogether?
One might also draw parallels with India, which David Cameron is currently visiting.
India may be a “democracy”, but it still retains its outdated caste system and its society’s violent attitude to women is currently the subject of international concern.
No-one, however, suggested that the Prime Minster should cancel his visit there.
As a Catalan who has lived and worked in Scotland for many years and also as a former representative of the government of Catalonia to the UK, I was surprised by the contents of David Maddox’s article.
The relations between Scotland and Catalonia have traditionally been excellent and since devolution they have become even better.
How would you otherwise explain the lessons learnt from the Catalan political system when designing the devolution settlement for Scotland?
Or the Scottish and Catalan governments protocol of co- operation signed in 2002?
Or the symbolism associated with the fact that the Scottish Parliament was built by the Catalan architect Enric Miralles?
Or even the extremely successful visit of the First Minister Salmond to Catalonia just a few years ago? These are powerful statements of friendship between two countries.
Catalans, and the rest of the world, know Scotland is at the most important crossroads of the past 300 years. Now it is time for Scots to decide the future of its nation. We wish Scotland and its people well and we are very pleased to see that Scotland’s future is in the best possible hands.
Xavier Solano i Bello