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The Longest Running Gentleman's Agreement in the History of World Trade
By Adrien von Ferscht


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.

This article can be read here

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