It has been termed THE LONGEST RUNNING
GENTLEMAN’S AGREEMENT IN THE HISTORY OF WORLD TRADE.
China, the largest nation on earth and one
of the smallest nations in Europe, Scotland, have had a remarkably
special relationship that, on the face of it, may seem highly unlikely
but it has lasted longer than Scotland’s union with England. Two crucial
factors come together to form the glue for this bond; trade and a
synergy of mindset.
THE SUBSTANTIAL INVOLVEMENT OF SCOTTISH
MERCHANTS AND GENTRY IN THE CREATION OF THE CHINA TRADE IN THE 18TH
CENTURY AND ITS SUBSEQUENT EXPANSION & DEVELOPMENT THROUGH THE 19TH
CENTURY. This is the subject of Adrien von Ferscht’s wider China
research spectrum as Honorary Research Fellow at University of Glasgow’s
Scottish Centre for China Research - a body of work that spans several
disciplines that include socio-anthropology, history, history of art,
global politics and economics – a body of work that views the subject
from a totally new perspective.
The following introductory article gives an
overview of the timeline of events that created this unique and
enigmatic relationship, using the iconic image of the Haig Dimple whisky
bottle and Chinese Export Silver as the unlikely catalysts that
demonstrate remarkably well how the Scots and the Chinese found a common
bond and kept it for almost three centuries. The article is constructed
from excerpts from the much larger body of work that will be published
late 2014 and is carried out under the auspices of the Asia Scotland
Institute, of which Adrien von Ferscht is a Fellow.
article can be read here