YANGON — China’s media took little notice of the visit of Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong this week. As Sturgeon met with Chinese political and business leaders, all parties were careful to avoid uncomfortable issues, such as Scotland’s relationship with post-Brexit U.K., aware that secession is a particularly touchy subject with Beijing. There was just a two line mention on Xinhua news sites regarding Sturgeon’s meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua in Beijing on April 9, discussions that Scotland’s leading independence advocate depicted as “very constructive.” The English language version of The People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, did not mention the visit.
EDINBURGH – Outside on an ancient stone plaque on the wall of Scotland’s parliament building, lines penned by Sir Walter Scott reminisce about an independent Scotland, lamenting rule from London. Inside, on Sept. 27, opposition leaders and Scotland’s Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon fired off salvos at each other in a debate reminiscent of Westminster exchanges, all jeers and catcalls bouncing back and forth. If Scottish nationalists have their way, such discussions will soon be a feature of an independent Scottish state, as per Scott’s wistful lines etched on the wall outside. Ms. Sturgeon’s Scottish National Party (SNP) is campaigning, on the back of a big 2011 election win, for Scotland to secede from the United Kingdom.