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Xi's visit presents golden opportunity to deepen exemplary China-Switzerland partnership

Editor: zhenglimin 丨Xinhua

01-15-2017 13:19 BJT

Full coverage: Xi Visits Switzerland, Attends WEF Annual Meeting

BEIJING, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Switzerland starting Sunday will further boost the two countries' unique partnership, a paragon of China's interaction with the West.

The trip, Xi's first abroad in 2017, is expected to build up Beijing's partnership with Bern, tap into the great potential for broader cooperation, update the bilateral free trade deal and expand consensus on safeguarding the global trade system.

Switzerland has recorded a trove of "firsts" in its participation in China's reform and opening up, and its sensible China policy has fostered substantial cooperation of mutual benefit.

To name a few, the Swiss Schindler Group opened the first Western industrial joint venture in the People's Republic of China in 1980, and Switzerland also pioneered on continental Europe in recognizing China's market economy status, signing a free trade agreement with China, and joining the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

On the political front, the two nations are committed to deepening mutual trust. Bern's farsightedness in welcoming China's rapid development and rising status helped incubate a paradigm of relations between countries of different sizes, with different social systems and at different development stages.

Now Switzerland, one of the first Western nations to establish diplomatic relations with China, has become the first and only country to set up a strategic partnership with China featuring innovation.

Xi's visit comes less than a year after then Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann's China tour in April. The crescendo of head-of-state diplomacy reveals the ardent aspiration of both sides for a more fruitful partnership.

Moreover, Switzerland, home to a group of multilateral events and organizations like the World Economic Forum, the UN Office at Geneva, the International Olympic Committee and the World Health Organization, offers a good platform for the Chinese leader to expound his prescriptions for various global woes.

It is painfully true that the international community is now struggling with a protracted global economic downbeat and a vociferous debate about the future of globalization, with anti-globalization sentiments on the rise in Europe and around the world.

Yet crises create opportunities. This trying time has prompted nations around the world to re-calibrate their current policies for development and the ways they work with each other, thus creating an unprecedented chance for cooperation in reshaping the global economic landscape.

Given such a backdrop, China and Switzerland need to issue an unambiguous rejection against ill-founded isolationism and protectionism, and help improve the current global governance system so that it could be more balanced and inclusive for all.

The two partners should also renew the pioneering spirit that has buttressed bilateral ties over the decades, and seize the moment to blaze new trails.

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