Scotland's International Framework: China engagement strategy

Scotland's commitment to a strong, long-term, bilateral partnership with China.

Strategic Objective 2 – Relationship And Partnerships


We will work with partners to share local knowledge and build bilateral relationships and networks. We will use these connections to create and shape opportunities of value to Scotland. We will continue to be a good global citizen, making distinctive contributions to addressing global challenges such as climate change, tackling inequality and promoting human rights.

Environment and Science

Scotland's international reputation as a climate change leader is growing, with ambitious emissions reduction targets and greater use of low carbon and renewable energy. China is also taking its international obligations to combat climate change seriously, with a firm commitment to the UN Paris Climate Agreement, national initiatives to reduce air pollution and large investments in green energy development. With common recognition that taking climate action can provide wider economic and social benefits, such as new jobs and positive health outcomes, there is fertile ground for co-operation between Scotland and China. Joint work is already underway in areas such as habitat conservation, offshore wind, waste water management and smart cities.

Both China and Scotland recognise that innovation is the key to building a strong, sustainable economy. The Chinese Government's desire to move away from heavy industry and 'build an innovation-driven economy and society by 2020'*, makes Scotland's world renowned expertise in research and development of great interest to China. We both also face ageing populations with increasing healthcare needs - areas where there is much scope for scientific co-operation, particularly in life sciences.

*Source: China's 13th Five Year Plan

What is our long-term ambition?

  • Increase co-operation between Scotland and China on global environmental and sustainability issues.
  • Scotland and China's science and innovation strengths are enhanced.
  • Encourage greater flows of talent and knowledge between Scotland and China.
  • We contribute to Sustainable Development Goal 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages.
  • We contribute to Sustainable Development Goal 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

Find out about some of the organisations involved

Environment and Science

Scotland has a low carbon innovation hub in Hong Kong

  • Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh has been working with China for over 100 years
  • Over 1,600 Chinese plant species at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
  • Scottish expertise supported the development of the first offshore wind farm in Guangdong province, China
  • Edinburgh Zoo is home to the only giant pandas in the UK – on loan from the Chinese Government
  • Scotland is working with china on Giant panda conservation and landscape restoration
  • Scientists from Dundee's James Hutton Institute are collaborating with China on potato research
  • A cutting-edge diabetes research & treatment centre in Shenzhen is based on Scotland's renowned healthcare model for managing patients with chronic conditions
  • The world's first science specialist Confucius Classroom is based at Edinburgh Zoo

Scotland's commitment to a strong, long-term, bilateral partnership with China


Back to top