Please read below the full text of the announcement which also mentions human rights as an issue of the bilateral talks.
China’s Head of State XI Jinping to make state visit next week
Bern, 06.01.2017 – As a sign of the ever closer political and economic ties between Switzerland and China, the Federal Council led by President Doris Leuthard will receive the Chinese President, XI Jinping, for a state visit to Switzerland next week. The programme for the visit begins on Sunday, 15 January, with the official speeches and a gala dinner, which President XI Jinping will attend with his wife PENG Liyuan. Talks between the Swiss and Chinese delegations are scheduled for Monday.
It is planned that the official talks will involve an exchange on world trade, the global financial system, the environment and climate protection and the situation in and around Syria. On bilateral issues, the focus will be on cooperation on economic and scientific matters, cooperation in the financial sector and on cultural matters, on human rights and in the context of the UN and on environment, climate and energy.
In addition to President Leuthard and President XI Jinping, members of both governments will take part in the talks. As part of the programme for the visit, a round table is scheduled to take place on Monday with representatives of the Swiss business community.
Contacts between Switzerland and China have grown closer in recent years in both political and economic terms. In April 2016, former Swiss President Johann N. Schneider-Ammann was invited to China for a state visit. On that occasion, both countries agreed to designate their bilateral relations as an Innovative Strategic Partnership“. This has brought a new dimension and new dynamism to Sino-Swiss relations.
The two countries have however enjoyed a close relationship for decades. Switzerland was one of the first western states to recognise the newly founded People’s Republic of China on 17 January 1950. Since 2010, China has been Switzerland’s most important trading partner in Asia and its third most important trading partner after the USA and the EU.
Currently, bilateral exchanges are ongoing in more than 20 areas, including business, human rights, migration issues, employment law, intellectual property and financial matters. In addition, science and technology, health and the environment are further important areas of cooperation.