GENEVA, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) — Swiss President Alain Berset on Monday said it is a good sign that China is playing an increasingly important role in the international community.
Berset was speaking in Bern to Switzerland-based foreign correspondents and answered a question about China’s role in the 21st century.
“The fact that China is playing a role in international cooperation is a very good sign,” he said.”It shows first of all that China is playing its role in the world and that China is taking its responsibility in international cooperation.”
Berset said that for a long time, China has been a very important partner for Switzerland, and the contacts between the two countries have covered a wide range of areas including economy, policy and culture.
“It is clear for us that China is playing an increasing role in the world,” the Swiss president said, adding that “the very good relations we have with China are part of that.”
He also highlighted Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Switzerland at the beginning of 2017 and the visit to “the international institutions in Geneva.”
Switzerland was one of the first Western countries to establish formal ties with China and the first country to set up an industrial joint venture in China in 1980.
Switzerland was also among the first European countries to recognize China’s market economy status, to ink a free trade agreement with China, and to apply for membership of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, a China-initiated multilateral bank.