On February 7, 2024, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Foreign Minister Wang Yi jointly held the third round of China-Switzerland Foreign Ministers' Strategic Dialogue with Swiss Federal Councillor and Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis in Beijing.
Wang Yi said, since the establishment of diplomatic relations 74 years ago, China-Switzerland relations have stood the test of the international situation, maintained stability and growth, and explored a successful path featuring equality, innovation and mutual benefit. It has long been at the forefront of China's relations with Western countries, which is of exemplary significance. China is ready to work with Switzerland to follow the guidance of strategic planning of the leaders of the two countries, continue to carry forward the "pioneering" spirit and open up new prospects for China-Switzerland innovative strategic partnership.
Ignazio Cassis said that it gives him great pleasure to visit China before the traditional Chinese Spring Festival and wishes the Chinese people a happy Year of the Dragon. Switzerland was one of the first Western countries to recognize and develop relations with the People's Republic of China. Switzerland firmly adheres to the one-China policy, adopts a positive attitude toward China and renders mutual understanding and has candid exchanges with China. Differences between Switzerland and China do not affect bilateral cooperation, and bilateral relations are solid and strong and maintain a sound momentum of development. Switzerland is ready 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 and cultural exchanges and multilateral coordination and reached extensive common understandings.
Both sides agreed to jointly follow through on the important common understandings reached between 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 response, green development, and ice and snow sports, among others.
The two sides expressed satisfaction with the completion of the joint feasibility study on upgrading the bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and agreed to launch the formal FTA upgrade negotiations at an early date. Wang Yi introduced China's positive measures to advance Chinese modernization on all fronts and high-standard opening up and expressed the hope that the Swiss side will provide an open, fair and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese enterprises. Ignazio 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 relations in 2025 and the China-Switzerland Year of Culture and Tourism to enhance people-to-people ties. Ignazio 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 appreciates China's important role in international affairs and is ready to strengthen cooperation to jointly tackle global challenges. The Chinese side appreciates and welcomes the Swiss side's efforts to continue to be a "bridge builder" and stands ready to work with Switzerland to make the international order more just and equitable.
The two sides also had an exchange of views on international and regional issues of mutual interest and concern.