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China, Switzerland reach broad consensus at foreign ministers' meeting


 , Updated 18:38, 07-Feb-2024
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets with Swiss Federal Councillor and Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis in Beijing, China, February 7, 2024. /CGTN
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets with Swiss Federal Councillor and Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis in Beijing, China, February 7, 2024. /CGTN

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets with Swiss Federal Councillor and Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis in Beijing, China, February 7, 2024. /CGTN

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Wednesday met with visiting Swiss Federal Councilor and Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis in Beijing. The two sides reached a "broad consensus" through the third round of the China-Switzerland Foreign Ministers' Strategic Dialogue, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Wang, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, applauded China-Switzerland relations in their meeting, saying since the establishment of diplomatic ties 74 years ago, the two countries have stood the test of the international situation and explored a successful path featuring equality, innovation and mutual benefit, which is of exemplary significance for China's relations with Western countries. 

China is ready to work with Switzerland to open up new prospects for their innovative strategic partnership, Wang added.

For his part, Cassis expressed his pleasure to visit China before the Spring Festival and wished the Chinese people a happy Year of the Dragon. He said that Switzerland, one of the first Western countries to recognize and develop relations with China, firmly adheres to the one-China policy, adopts a positive attitude toward China and is willing to carry out candid exchanges and cooperation with China regardless of the two states' differences.

Cassis pledged to work with China to deepen cooperation in various fields and jointly push for further development of the Switzerland-China innovative strategic partnership and mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation.

The two sides had in-depth communication on strategic mutual trust, practical cooperation, people-to-people exchanges and multilateral coordination and reached a broad consensus.

Both agreed to work together to implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, continue to respect each other's core interests and major concerns, respect each other's choice of system and development path, and consolidate the political foundation of bilateral relations.

The two sides will continue to make good use of multiple inter-governmental dialogue and cooperation mechanisms to deepen cooperation in finance, science and innovation, education, intellectual property rights, climate change, green development, and ice and snow sports.

The two sides expressed satisfaction with the completion of the joint feasibility study on upgrading the China-Switzerland Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and agreed to launch the formal FTA upgrade negotiations as soon as possible. Wang introduced China's positive measures to comprehensively promote Chinese modernization and high-level opening up, hoping that the Swiss side will provide an open, fair and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese enterprises. Cassis appreciated China's spirit of openness, saying that Switzerland has always supported free trade and opposed protectionism.

The two sides will jointly prepare for the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties in 2025 and the "China-Switzerland Year of Culture and Tourism" to enhance people-to-people exchanges. Cassis spoke highly of China's visa-free treatment for Switzerland, saying that Switzerland warmly welcomes Chinese tourists and will provide more visa facilitation for Chinese citizens and Chinese enterprises investing in Switzerland.

The two sides will continue to support the central role of the United Nations in international affairs and step up multilateral communication and coordination. The Swiss side appreciated China's important role in international affairs and said it is willing to strengthen cooperation with China to jointly tackle global challenges. The Chinese side said that China stands ready to work with Switzerland to promote the development of the international order in a more just and equitable direction.

The two sides also exchanged views on international and regional issues of common concern.

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