China to continuously develop bilateral ties with Switzerland for more practical results in mutually beneficial cooperation

(Xinhua) 08:00, January 16, 2024

Chinese Premier Li Qiang attends a grand welcome ceremony held by President of the Swiss Confederation Viola Amherd at the Lohn Estate prior to their talks in Bern, Switzerland, Jan. 15, 2024. Chinese Premier Li Qiang held talks with President of the Swiss Confederation Viola Amherd here on Monday. (Xinhua/Zhai Jianlan)

BERN, Switzerland, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- China is willing to promote continuous development of bilateral relations with Switzerland to achieve more practical results in mutually beneficial cooperation, Chinese Premier Li Qiang said here on Monday.

Li made the remarks during talks with President of the Swiss Confederation Viola Amherd. Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin, head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research, attended the talks.

Since the establishment of diplomatic ties 74 years ago, bilateral relations have made great progress and set many "firsts," Li said.

He recalled that back in 2016, Chinese President Xi Jinping and then Swiss leader jointly announced the establishment of the China-Switzerland innovative strategic partnership, which has provided important guidance for the development of bilateral relations.

China is ready to work with Switzerland to implement the important consensus reached by the two heads of state, further consolidate the foundation of political mutual trust and carry forward the cooperative spirit of "equality, innovation and mutual benefit," the premier said.

China stands ready to continue to push for closer high-level exchanges with Switzerland, better play the role of the dialogue and cooperation mechanism between the two governments, and accelerate the resumption of exchanges at various levels and in diverse fields, Li said.

Both sides should explore more converging interests, bolster cooperation in free trade, customs and other fields, and foster and strengthen new growth areas of cooperation in green development, finance and digital economy, thereby elevating and upgrading bilateral economic and trade cooperation, he noted.

Li also expressed the hope that the Swiss side will continue to provide an open, fair and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese enterprises in Switzerland.

China is willing to strengthen cooperation with Switzerland in the fields of cultural relics, education, youth and sports, said Li.

Li called on the two sides to closely communicate and coordinate within multilateral mechanisms such as those within the United Nations, strengthen cooperation in the fields of connectivity infrastructure financing, international development assistance and climate change response, and jointly make positive contributions to the cause of world peace and development.

For their part, Amherd and Parmelin said that Switzerland was one of the first countries to recognize the People's Republic of China, noting that the Switzerland-China relationship enjoys a long history and rich connotations, and their bilateral business and investment cooperation has been continuously strengthened despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Switzerland stands ready to continue promoting quality bilateral dialogue with China, deepen cooperation in such fields as economy, trade, education, finance, science and technology as well as people-to-people and cultural exchanges, jointly address global challenges including climate change, public health and cyber security, and promote greater development of the Switzerland-China innovative strategic partnership in the Year of the Dragon, they said.

During their talks, the two sides announced that China and Switzerland have completed the joint feasibility study on upgrading the China-Switzerland Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and agreed to support the early launch of formal FTA upgrade negotiations.

The two sides will hold a new round of China-Switzerland strategic dialogue of foreign minister level, working group meetings on finance and energy, education policy dialogue, as well as consultations on UN Security Council affairs within this year.

The two sides will also take the opportunity of the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties next year to strengthen people-to-people exchanges.

China will grant unilateral visa-free treatment to Switzerland, and the Swiss side will provide more visa facilitation for Chinese citizens as well as Chinese enterprises investing in Switzerland.

The leaders of the two countries witnessed the signing of documents on bilateral economic and trade cooperation following the meeting.

Prior to the meeting, Amherd held a grand welcome ceremony for Li at the Lohn Estate. Li, accompanied by Amherd, reviewed the guard of honor.

Chinese Premier Li Qiang, accompanied by President of the Swiss Confederation Viola Amherd, reviews the guard of honor during a grand welcome ceremony at the Lohn Estate prior to their talks in Bern, Switzerland, Jan. 15, 2024. Chinese Premier Li Qiang held talks with President of the Swiss Confederation Viola Amherd here on Monday. (Xinhua/Wang Ye)

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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