By Zhang Maorong, researcher with China Institute of Contemporary International Relations; cartoon drawing by Liao Tingting
During Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Switzerland, the European nation hosted the Chinese guest of honor by presenting him with a full set of hospitality.
Xi was greeted by Doris Leuthard, president of the Confederation of the Federal Council of Switzerland at the airport; then, the two heads of state had a tea chat on the train. Xi was accorded a welcome ceremony held by all members of the Swiss Federal Council. Those considerate arrangements made the trip memorable.
On January 16, Xi and his Swiss counterpart Doris Leuthard held talks in Bern to draw up a new blueprint for the future of bilateral relations.
President Xi's visit aims to consolidate bilateral relations. Sino-Swiss relations have been deemed the forefront of China-West relations. The two countries established the innovative strategic partnership in 2016.
Xi’s visit has deepened China-Switzerland pragmatic cooperation in various fields and enriched the connotation of their innovative strategic partnership, setting a good example of peaceful cooperation between countries of different social systems, development stages and sizes.
The visit is to promote the docking of Sino-Swiss development strategies. Both sides agreed to enhance the alignment of "Made in China 2025" and Switzerland's Industry 4.0 strategies, push for upgrading the bilateral free trade agreement, and promote the Belt and Road construction proposed by China. All these will play a positive role in promoting trade and investment between China and Europe and the Belt and Road cooperation.
Xi's visit is expected to guide the Sino-Swiss Innovative Strategic Partnership to a higher level, further facilitate pragmatic cooperation between China and Europe and record a perfect chapter for China's diplomacy in 2017.