How the rest of the world is revelling in the UK's potential break-up

Evan Bartlett@ev_bartlett
Tuesday 16 September 2014 16:00
news

The eyes of the world are on Scotland this week as its people decide whether to vote for independence from the United Kingdom.

A number of nations seeking their own referendums are watching with particular interest in the hope that Scotland's vote could help their own campaign, as well as one or two other countries who just hold a grudge against Britain...

Spain

The Scottish independence referendum is big news in Catalonia, the region in the north-east of Spain, whose request for its own independence vote in November has been dismissed by the Spanish government:

But as this cartoon by Jaume Capdevila shows, many Catalonians look upon Scotland with a mix of envy and admiration.

Two million people took to the streets of Barcelona last week to campaign for independence - the sea of red and yellow (depicting the Catalan flag) was reportedly interspersed with a few blue saltires.

France

Although a traditional enemy of Britain, France has held a mixed view of the potential of a break-up of the union.

French newspaper Le Monde recently likened Alex Salmond to Maximilien Robespierre - one of the most influential participants of the French revolution - who oversaw the execution of the former monarch.

China

China is treating the Scottish referendum with caution owing to their own suppression of nationalist feelings among the Tibetan and Uyghur peoples, but they would enjoy seeing Britain get its comeuppance.

Britain's power has been an irritant to China, owing to the relative size of the two countries and the insistence of British governments to question China on human rights issues and judicial shortcomings are a particular cause of dislike, according to the Times's Beijing Bureau Chief Leo Lewis.

He points out Chinese state newspaper the Global Times has written Britain could become a "second-rate nation" were Scotland to claim independence while David Cameron would become a "sinner of history" if he let it happen under his watch.

Russia

For Russia, some analysts believe Scottish independence would mean the world would be forced to recognise Crimea's referendum from March - a vote which is currently deemed illegal by much of the international community.

"[They] are trying to publicly humiliate, offend us, close the opportunity for us to do business, and this is why I want to see, what their reaction will be toward their own citizens," explained Crimea's acting regional head Sergei Aksyonov.

Komsomolskaya PravdaIzvestiyarecently wroteNorth KoreaChoson SinboTelegraphCanada

Reports from Canada suggest the separatist movement in Quebec is looking on Scotland's upcoming referendum with envy.

In pictures: London stands united for Scotland

More: If Scotland votes for independence, which country is next?

Trending