Here’s why Edinburgh should welcome Hong Kongers who flee China – John McLellan
James Matheson attended the Royal High School and went on to Edinburgh University. About the same time William Jardine trained as a doctor at the university and obtained a diploma from the Royal College of Surgeons.
They met in China where they established the Jardine Matheson company in Hong Kong in the 1830s, building their fortunes trading in tea, cotton and smuggled opium and turning the firm into a commercial giant. Its modern iterations are still significant business institutions in the territory.
Those Scots had hugely significant roles in the development of Hong Kong as a global commercial centre, built on commercial, political and personal freedoms which are now under threat by the Chinese Communist Party which wants to impose new national security laws to limit those freedoms and tear up the UN-recognised 1997 treaty.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised to extend the immigration rights of just under three million Hong Kong citizens should this happen and it would be fitting if Edinburgh was first in the queue to welcome them.
A message from the Editor
Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.
In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.
Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.
With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper.