Deputy First Minister welcomes giant pandas

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has welcomed the arrival of two giant pandas in Scotland.

Tian Tian and Yang Guang are settling into thei new home and will be resident at Edinburgh Zoo for the next ten years.

They were met at Edinburgh Airport by the SNP Depute Leader on behalf of the people of Scotland.

Ms Sturgeon said: "This is a historic occasion for Scotland and I am delighted to welcome these giant pandas to their new home. Securing the loan of this breeding pair is a considerable honour and a strong and compelling symbol of the friendship between Scotland and China.

"Having Tian Tian and Yang Guang at Edinburgh Zoo is testament to the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland's world-class reputation for research, science and conservation. They will undoubtedly be a huge draw for visitors, benefiting the Scottish economy and tourism sector.

"Scotland's relationship with China is hugely important and the pandas represent a fantastic opportunity to deepen our business, cultural and diplomatic ties. The First Minister is currently in China to take forward current and establish new areas of cooperation, building on the progress we have made since publishing our China Plan to advance Sino-Scottish relations.

"As we pursue opportunities to generate economic growth and build a stronger Scotland, it is vital that the Scottish Government, our agencies and Scotland's business and education organisations do all they can to continue strengthening our links with China."

The Scottish Government is leading a sustained programme of engagement with China for the mutual benefit of both nations.

The China Plan identifies key areas of collaboration through existing and potential links between Scotland and China in the fields of business, education, science, culture and tourism.