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The Scottish and Chinese governments have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in a bid to support "greater exchange and collaboration" in arts and heritage.

First Minister Alex Salmond and Chinese minister of culture Cai Wu signed the MoU at a ceremony in Beijing, which is one of three cultural agreements between the two countries.

The MoU commits both governments to closer ties in four main areas, such as best practice and cultural collaboration, as well as educational outreach and networking opportunities.

Following the signing of the MoU, Salmond was present to witness an agreement between the Edinburgh International Festival and China International Culture Association.

A formal deal between Historic Scotland and the State Administration of Cultural Heritage was also signed, which corporates the Scottish 10 digital mapping project in China.

Salmond said: "These links add value to educational, scientific and business activities that can bring lasting benefits to Scotland and to China.

"Taken together, these [agreements] underline the rich, varied and blossoming cultural dialogue and understanding between our two nations."

The announcement coincides with the arrival of two giant pandas from China at Edinburgh Zoo, which will reside at the Scotland attraction for 10 years.

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The Scottish and Chinese governments have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in a bid to support "greater exchange and collaboration" in arts and heritage.
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