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Chinese president hails China-Switzerland "exemplary" partnership

(Xinhua)    08:45, January 16, 2017

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan enjoy tea and conversation with Swiss President Doris Leuthard and her husband Roland Hausin in a special train on their way to Bern, capital of Switzerland, Jan. 15, 2017. After the welcome ceremony at the Zurich airport, Xi traveled to the Swiss capital of Bern by a special train of the Swiss government. (Xinhua/Lan Hongguang)

Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke highly of the China-Switzerland partnership here on Sunday, saying it has become a paradigm of relations between countries of different sizes.

Accompanied by his Swiss counterpart Doris Leuthard, Xi made the remarks during a tea chat on a special train of the Swiss government running from Zurich to Bern, during his ongoing visit to the European country.

Appreciating the years' commitment of Leuthard to deepening the two countries' cooperation in all areas, Xi said he is glad to visit Switzerland at the beginning of 2017 and attend the World Economic Forum (WEF).

As one of the first Western countries to recognize and establish diplomatic relations with the People' s Republic of China, Switzerland has taken the lead in developing cooperation with China, recording a trove of "firsts" in this process, Xi said.

He cited Switzerland's lead on the continental Europe to sign and implement a free trade agreement with China, and join the China-proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

In 2016, Switzerland became the first and only country to set up a strategic partnership with China featuring innovation.

"During this visit, I would like to engage in in-depth talks with President Leuthard and other Swiss leaders, to enrich our partnership, and boost our cooperation in all areas," Xi said.

He added that China, sharing similar views with Switzerland on many international issues, wishes to work with the European nation to enhance their coordination in international affairs.

Noting that China encourages more and more Chinese tourists to travel to Switzerland, Xi said China, which is to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, stands ready to promote cooperation with Switzerland on developing winter sports.

For her part, Leuthard thanked Xi for choosing her country as the destination of his first state visit in 2017, saying the decision represents the importance China has attached to Switzerland.

Switzerland stands ready to push forward cooperation with China on various fields, said Leuthard.

China is an influential country in the world, said Leuthard, adding that the international community looks forward to hearing Xi's exposition of China's policies at the WEF as the world is facing many uncertainties right now, said the Swiss leader.

Xi will deliver a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the WEF annual meeting on Tuesday to share the views of the world's second largest economy on charting the course for globalization.

During the chat, the two leaders also exchanged views on such issues as Belt and Road Initiative and green development. They agreed to propel the two countries' cooperation in science and technology, innovation, connectivity, infrastructure construction, clean energy and regional-level exchanges.


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