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Switzerland’s First China Strategy Report

For the first time, on Friday, March 19, 2021, the Federal Council of the government of Switzerland adopted a public strategy for China. The Strategy sets out the objectives and measures for Swiss policy on China for the period from 2021 through 2024.

“The new China Strategy represents the Federal Council’s response to current geopolitical developments. Neither growing competition between major powers nor polarisation around China and the US is in Switzerland’s interests.”

The report says that its China policy is based on three principles: pursuing an independent policy on China, advocating the inclusion of China in the liberal international order, and a balanced, coherent and coordinated approach to China. It lists four thematic focus areas: peace and security including a human rights dialogue; prosperity such as trade, investment, education, and tourism; sustainability with a concentration on climate and the environment, health, a sustainable financial sector; digitalization, or “intact digital space that is governed by the principles of international law.”

According to Deutsche Welle, the Chinese Embassy in Switzerland responded to the Swiss “China Strategy” document on March 22, saying that although the document recognizes China’s great achievements in economic development and makes a positive assessment of Sino-Swiss relations, Beijing criticizes Switzerland for making unfounded accusations and attacks on China’s political system, minority policies and human rights development.

The Chinese embassy wrote in a statement: “Switzerland has attached some malicious labels on China and sent wrong signals to the outside world. These statements deviate from basic facts and are not conducive to the healthy development of Sino-Swiss relations. China expresses its firm opposition to this.”

Source: the official website of the Swiss Government
Deutsche Welle, March 22, 2021