Cultural ties vital, Salmond tells Chinese

Greater cultural exchange between China and Scotland must go hand in hand with economic ties, First Minister Alex Salmond has told a Chinese TV programme.

He was speaking during an interview on Phoenix TV’s Talk With World Leaders, which has an estimated 350 million viewers across the country.

In the programme broadcast yesterday, Mr Salmond welcomed increasing trade links and industrial co-operation in renewable energy. But he said non-economic ties were also important to promote “real understanding” between citizens of both countries.

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“There is a great economic co-operation such as Chinese buying Scotch whisky and Scotland buying Chinese goods,” he said.

“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.”

The broadcast comes after the First Minister’s week-long visit to China and Hong Kong earlier this month.