Scotland’s history links with China are being explored in a new television documentary.
BBC Two Scotland is showing Scots in China, with the first part having aired on Monday, 7 January, and the second is due to show on 14 January.
Neil Oliver meets extraordinary Scottish people from all walks of life, living and working in China today. Their experiences will help him to unpack the mystery of Modern China.
China is a country which fascinates but it can also be a place many struggle to understand. The People’s Republic, a Communist nation of 1.4 billion which was born out of revolution, yet now has the most billionaires on the planet.
China has stealthily reinvented itself and – to steal a phrase from Chairman Mao – it has taken another Great Leap forward. Rapidly developing and no longer shut off from the world, it is looking outwards, opening itself to global markets, and Scots are playing a part in this transformation.
In episode one, Neil examines the seeming contradiction between China’s embrace of both communism and capitalism, its recent remarkable development, and how it has arrived at what observers call ‘Socialism with Chinese characteristics.’
The episode can be watched HERE.
In the second and final part, being transmitted from 9–10pm, Neil looks forward and wonders how the future might look, learning from the views of the Scottish ex-pats and their Chinese hosts.
He visits the site of the Merchiston International School, the first overseas venture by Merchiston Castle School in Edinburgh, and goes into rural China to see how Scottish botanists are playing a part in protecting endangered species.
Back in Beijing he catches up with an Aberdonian who is a respected advisor at the highest level of media and government and gets the low-down from a veteran of the Glasgow punk-rock era who is a now a communications lecturer in the capital.