Nicola Sturgeon briefed by Amnesty on human rights in China

The First Minister has been informed of the current human rights situation in China by Amnesty International ahead of a five-day trip to boost trade.

Nicola Sturgeon told STV she would bring up concerns with Chinese leaders in a “constructive and appropriate way”.

She also confirmed she would make a speech on children’s rights during her visit.

Sign up to our Politics newsletter

Sturgeon will take part in high-level business and government meetings during her visit to Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, between April 9 and 13.

Nicola Sturgeon will visit China next week. Picture: John Devlin

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon to visit China after £10bn trade deal row

Speaking in an interview ahead of her trip to China, Sturgeon said: “We condemn human rights abuses wherever and whenever they occur.

“I’m a great believer that as a leader of a country wanting to do business and wanting to expand business, we’ve got to be very firm about the values and principles we hold dear and not compromise on that.”

She added: “I met with Amnesty International last week as I did ahead of my last visit to China to be briefed on the issues that are of current concern to them.

Nicola Sturgeon will visit China next week. Picture: John Devlin

“As I did on my last visit in China, both in one-to-one but also on public platforms, I will raise the issue of human rights.

“The last visit, I chose to do that by focusing on women’s rights in a speech that was praised by Amnesty International. I’ll make a speech in this visit about children’s rights to a Unicef event.”

The First Minister says the aim of the trip will be to show the world’s second largest economy that Scotland is a “fantastic place to invest.”

But it follows an embarrassing row for Scottish ministers just over a year back in November when Chinese state-backed companies SinoFortone and China Railway No 3 Engineering Group pulled the plug on a £10 billion investment deal in Scotland.

It followed a row over secrecy surrounding the deal and previous allegations of corrupt practices surrounding the firms involved.