The Scottish First Minister, Alex Salmond, has claimed victory in his mission to win concessions from China over its human rights records, when he announced he had secured the release of 2 dissident Pandas who were being kept captive by the Chinese government.
Under the deal between the Scottish administration and Beijing, the two famous bamboo eating dissidents, known as Tian Tian and Yang Guang, would be freed and allowed to move to Edinburgh.
Critics have accused the First Minister of ignoring China’s human rights record in his efforts to cement closer economic, academic and industrial ties between China and Scotland. But Mr Salmond rebutted the criticisms, saying the freeing of the pandas was a vindication of his decision to woo the Chinese government:
The negotiations were tough but I was unrelenting in my insistence that Beijing must show some leeway on civil liberties, and finally by the sheer force of my argument, I managed to persuade the Chinese government to allow us to give them a million pounds a year for the pandas.
However, the arrival of the pair hasn’t been met with complete support amongst the Scottish public. As one Edinburgh citizen explained:
We already let too many immigrants in. These two were obviously fast-tracked for political reasons. Give me one other example where Chinese immigrants were given ten-year visas. I don’t think we should be allowing foreigners to come here just so they can sit around doing nothing all day except eat and drink. Couldn’t we have found any Scottish pandas?
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