As Switzerland as a nation strengthens its ties with China, China’s Shenzhen has become the first Friendship City for its canton of Berne.
The free trade treaty between China and Switzerland took effect last summer. In late January this year, Chinese premier Li Keqiang visited Switzerland. Then in early February, the Swiss Treasury Minister reciprocated the visit in order to promote bilateral cooperation for the internationalization of the Chinese yuan. After two years of communication and preparation, the Swiss canton of Berne formally became a Friendship City with the city of Shenzhen, the most important industrial and economic city in southern China. Since it is the first Friendship City for Berne globally, the story was widely covered in Switzerland. Berne is the second most populous canton in the country. Its industrial structure bears high similarities with Shenzhen. Products include precision instruments, watches and clocks, medical and life sciences, finance, and technology.
Source: Radio Free Asia, February 20, 2015