【英语中国】苏格兰大臣抨击英国拒签中国教师决定

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所属分类:双语中国

2013-11-9 17:52

小艾摘要: Scotland’s first minister, has warned that a “ridiculous” UK decision to refuse visas to two Chinese teachers could jeopardise the recent improvement in relations with China.The Home Office, which ...
Scotland’s first minister, has warned that a “ridiculous” UK decision to refuse visas to two Chinese teachers could jeopardise the recent improvement in relations with China.

The Home Office, which oversees UK immigration policy, recently refused to renew the visas of two Mandarin teachers from China who had already spent a year working in Scotland as part of a Confucius Institute programme.

Speaking in Hong Kong after a visit to Beijing, Alex Salmond said the UK should avoid antagonising China with a decision that was “indescribable foolishness”.

“I don’t think the UK now is in a position to cause needless offence in China,” said Mr Salmond.

Mr Salmond was leading a delegation of 30 Scottish companies to China to promote exports including salmon and whisky.

Senior Chinese officials had until recently refused to see their British counterparts because Prime Minister David Cameron met the Dalai Lama in May 2012. But the ice was broken last month when George Osborne, UK chancellor, and Boris Johnson, London mayor, visited China.

Mr Salmond’s comments on UK immigration policy come as Scottish voters prepare to vote next year on independence.

Ahead of a meeting with Hanban, the arm of the Chinese education ministry that runs the Confucius Institute, Mr Salmond asked Mr Cameron to reverse the visa decision.

“How do you suggest I explain this ridiculous policy? Kindly reverse it,” Mr Salmond wrote to Mr Cameron in a letter obtained by the Financial Times.

In an interview, Mr Salmond said the UK risked offending China. He said the Chinese government welcomed his stance, but said the question did not come up in a meeting with Yang Jiechi, the top Chinese official for foreign policy.

“Clearly if you start refusing visas to Confucius instructors, this is very offensive,” said Mr Salmond.” How would you feel if you were Hanban, and you were financing a programme that is welcomed and endorsed, and find that people are refused visas?”

Last week, Mr Salmond wrote to Theresa May, UK home secretary, to complain about the decision, which he has described as “sabotage”.

Arguing the question of visas could damage relations with Beijing, Mr Salmond said “some elements in the UK government believe that you engage in a relationship with China by having high value Chinese tourists spend lots of your money in your economy and they think you can separate this thing from issues like educational visas, [but] you can’t”.

Mr Salmond said Scotland would implement a more liberal immigration policy than the current UK government if it became independent and would create a “green card” system that would give foreign students educated in the country the automatic ability to work for a “sustained period of time”.

The UK last month relaxed visa rules for Chinese tourists, following complaints from retailers that they were losing business to shops in other European capitals.

In Beijing, Mr Salmond met executives from two big energy companies, Cnooc and Sinopec, to promote investment in Scotland.

He said Scottish exports to China had grown 88 per cent since his first visit five years ago. He added that salmon exports had risen from zero to £20m over the past two years.

Mr Salmond said Scottish whisky sales were also growing well in China, but refused to comment on the impact of an austerity campaign launched by Chinese president Xi Jinping this year.

“The market is growing but?.?.?.? [it] is not the same growth that it was last year. But I don’t think any Scottish distiller would say that they are feeling the pinch at this present moment.”

苏格兰首席大臣亚历克斯?萨尔蒙德(Alex Salmond)警告称,英国决定拒签两名中国教师的做法非常“荒唐”,可能破坏近期有所改善的英中关系。

不久前,负责英国移民政策的英国内政部(Home Office)拒绝为两名来自中国的中文教师办理签证延期。二人在苏格兰孔子学院(Confucius Institute)授课,已经工作了一年。

亚历克斯?萨尔蒙德在访问北京以后在香港发言称,英国应该避免因这样“愚不可及”的决定激怒中国。

萨尔蒙德表示:“我认为英国不能这样无谓地冒犯中国。”

萨尔蒙德正在带领一支30家苏格兰企业组成的代表团访问中国,推动包括鲑鱼和威士忌在内的出口业。

直到最近,中国高级官员仍然拒绝会见英国高级官员,因为英国首相戴维?卡梅伦(David Cameron)在2012年5月接见了达赖喇嘛(Dalai Lama)。但上个月英国财相乔治?奥斯本(George Osborne)和伦敦市长鲍里斯?约翰逊(Boris Johnson)访华打破了坚冰。

萨尔蒙德对英国移民政策发表意见之际,正值苏格兰选民准备在明年就是否独立举行投票。

在会见中国教育部下属负责管理孔子学院的“汉办”之前,萨尔蒙德要求卡梅伦撤销拒签决定。

英国《金融时报》获取了一份萨尔蒙德致卡梅伦的信函,上面写道:“你要我怎么解释这个荒唐的政策?请发好心撤销吧。”

在接受采访时,萨尔蒙德表示,英国那么做可能会触犯中国。他表示,中国政府欢迎他的立场,但他透露,在会见中国外交政策最高官员杨洁篪时没有提及这个问题。

萨尔蒙德表示:“显然,如果连孔子学院的教师都拒签,就很让人很愤怒。如果你是‘汉办’,你为一个颇受欢迎和支持的项目提供资金,结果发现工作人员被拒签,你是什么感受?”

上周,萨尔蒙德致函英国内政大臣特里萨?梅伊(Theresa May)抱怨这一决定,他称之为“蓄意破坏”。

萨尔蒙德表示,签证问题会破坏英国与中国的关系。他表示,“英国政府的某些人士认为,他们可以吸引中国有钱的游客到英国大笔消费,以此建立经济关系,但又可以区别对待像教育签证这样的问题。实际上这么做行不通。”

萨尔蒙德表示,如果苏格兰独立,将实施比当前英国政府更自由的移民政策,并将创建“绿卡”体系,自动给予在苏格兰上学的外国学生“一段持续的时间”的工作权利。

英国上个月放松了对中国游客的签证制度,因为零售商抱怨他们的生意都流失到了欧洲其他国家首都的店铺。

萨尔蒙德在北京会见了两大能源公司中海油(Cnooc)和中石化(Sinopec)的高管,以推动后者对苏格兰的投资。

他表示,自5年前他首次访华以来,苏格兰对华出口已经增长了88%。他补充道,过去2年来,鲑鱼出口从0增长到2000万英镑。

萨尔蒙德表示,苏格兰威士忌在华销量也增长得不错,但拒绝置评中国国家主席习近平今年发起的反腐倡廉所带来的冲击。

“市场正在增长……但与去年的增长不同。不过我认为,没有一家苏格拉酿酒商会说此刻感受到了困难。”

译者/倪卫国

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