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Wang Yi Holds Talks with Federal Councillor and Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs Didier Burkhalter of Switzerland

On December 12, 2016 local time, Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks with Federal Councillor and Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs Didier Burkhalter of Switzerland in Neuchatel, Switzerland.

Wang Yi said that innovation is the most important characteristic of Switzerland, and the most important driving force for China's future development as well. This April, the two heads of state announced to establish China-Switzerland innovative strategic partnership, which is the first strategic partnership China ever established in the world featuring innovation. It not only demonstrates the high level of China-Switzerland relations, but also indicates the bright future of bilateral relations. People of China and Switzerland enjoy friendly sentiment, respect each other's choice of social system and development path, and always treat each other with equality. These are valuable experiences for the sustained and sound development of bilateral relations and deserve to be further carried forward. Both sides should seize opportunities, tap potential and put the innovative strategic partnership into practice so as to add new connotations to the comprehensive and in-depth development of bilateral relations and find new impetus for the sluggish world economy. The two countries should actively discuss on an upgraded version of China-Switzerland Free Trade Agreement and jointly safeguard the world trade system in a bid to advance the process of global trade liberalization. Both countries should strengthen cooperation in international and regional affairs to inject stable elements into the turbulent international situation. China welcomes Switzerland to actively participate in the "Belt and Road" construction and supports Switzerland to play an active role in the development of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

Didier Burkhalter thanked Wang Yi for visiting his hometown, Neuchatel at invitation, and expressed that Switzerland is one of the first Western countries that recognize the People's Republic of China. Bilateral relations have enjoyed sound development and become more mature and stable, setting a model of seeking common ground while reserving differences as well as win-win cooperation for other countries. The Swiss side is willing to, together with the Chinese side, discuss the establishment of innovation cooperation mechanisms, jointly safeguard the free trade system and strengthen communication and cooperation in the multilateral arena so as to become a stable force in international relations.

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