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Xi hails inter-parliamentary exchanges in promoting Sino-Swiss relations

Editor: zhangrui 丨Xinhua

01-17-2017 06:44 BJT

Full coverage: Xi Visits Switzerland, Attends WEF Annual Meeting

BERN, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping said Monday that close inter-parliamentary exchanges between the two countries have played an important role in promoting the sound and steady development of Sino-Swiss relations.

The legislatures of two countries can strengthen their exchanges at various levels, and boost cooperation in the building of the legal system and in the fight against corruption, said Xi while meeting with Jurg Stahl, president of the National Council, and President of the Council of States Ivo Bischofberger, who are heads of the two chambers of the Swiss parliament.

"China' s National People' s Congress has, for many years, maintained close exchanges and cooperation with the Swiss parliament, playing a key role in facilitating a sound and steady development of China-Switzerland relationship," he said.

He expressed his appreciation that both chambers of the Swiss legislature have adopted a mainstream acknowledgement to actively develop relations with China, while praising the role the parliament has played in the process that led to the signing of a free trade agreement (FTA) between Beijing and Bern.

The Chinese president said as long as the two countries respect their respective social systems and choice of paths of development, treat each other as equals and cooperate in a mutually beneficial and win-win way, the development of bilateral ties will always move forward.

China is willing to join Switzerland in maintaining high-level exchanges, using innovation as the guide to comprehensively push the pragmatic cooperation between the two countries to a new stage, strengthening cultural and people-to-people exchanges, reinforcing cooperation in international affairs, to enrich the contents of Sino-Swiss Innovative Strategic Partnership and lift bilateral ties to a higher level, said Xi.

For their part, Stahl and Bischofberger said bilateral ties have seen a sound development since the establishment of diplomatic ties 67 years ago.

The trade connections have grown ever stronger between the two countries since the FTA signing, they said, noting that China has become Switzerland' s most important trading partner in Asia, and the third biggest in the world.

The Swiss side is ready to join China in promoting legislative exchanges, as well as cooperation in trade, education, energy efficiency and the Belt and Road Initiative, they said.