BEIJING, April 8, 2016 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) holds a welcoming ceremony for Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann before their talks in Beijing, China, April 8, 2016. (Xinhua/Ding Lin)
BEIJING, April 8 (Xinhua) -- China and Switzerland will establish an innovative strategic partnership to promote common development and prosperity, a joint statement issued on Friday said.
The statement was released after the talks between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann, who is paying a state visit to China from Thursday to Saturday.
During the talks, Xi said Switzerland is one of the earliest Western countries establishing diplomatic ties with New China, praising the sound development of China-Switzerland relations in recent years.
The two countries have jointly cultivated a cooperative spirit featuring equality, innovation and win-win, the Chinese president said.
He said the political foundation of the two countries' innovative strategic partnership lies in adherence to equality, mutual respect, exchanges and mutual learning.
He suggested the two sides enhance strategic consultations, increase mutual understanding and trust, and outline major cooperative areas, so as to effectively implement the new partnership.
The pioneering and innovative spirit is a distinct feature of China-Switzerland relations, said Xi, calling on the two sides to beef up innovation cooperation on the basis of expanding free trade and financial cooperation.
He said the two sides should support the establishment of innovation cooperation platforms and encourage innovative cooperation between businesses, colleges and research institutes.
The president suggested the two countries deepen mutually beneficial cooperation in renewable energy, modern eco-agriculture, energy saving and environmental protection, as well as medicine.
The Belt and Road Initiative has provided broad space for China-Switzerland cooperation, he said, noting that China is ready to work with Switzerland to enhance cooperation within the framework of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
Xi also called on the two sides to create more platforms to facilitate cultural exchanges.
China is willing to enhance policy coordination with Switzerland on international affairs and hopes that the two sides will be jointly committed to the peaceful settlement of international and regional conflicts, so as to pool wisdom on global economic and financial governance, said Xi.
Xi said Switzerland is one of the first European countries to recognize China's market economy status and the first country in continental Europe to reach an FTA with China.
China hopes that Switzerland continues to support the development of China-Europe relationship so as to bring the practical cooperation in various fields to a new level, said Xi.
Schneider-Ammann, for his part, said Switzerland and China have maintained good relationship in the principle of mutual respect since the two countries forged diplomatic ties in 1950.
Speaking highly of the rapid development of bilateral cooperation in areas including economy and trade, investment and finance in recent years, Schneider-Ammann said Switzerland is satisfied with the implementation of the FTA and glad that bilateral cooperation has entered a new era of innovative strategic partnership.
He expressed the hope to further enhance exchanges and cooperation with China in areas such as science and technology, innovation, environmental protection, finance, culture, education and sports.
Switzerland is willing to actively participate in the Belt and Road Initiative and the construction of the AIIB, he said.
In the joint statement issued after their talks, the two sides agreed that it is in line with the fundamental interests of the two nations and their people to deepen bilateral innovative cooperation, which is of long-term and strategic significance.
The two sides should develop their new partnership on the basis of mutual respect and equality, it added.
To achieve the objective, the two sides agreed to strengthen high-level exchanges, expand consensus and cement political mutual trust, said the document.
The two sides should deepen mutual understanding on each other's choice of development path and accommodate each other's core interests, it said.
China respects the positive role played by Switzerland's policy of neutrality in coping with international crisis, and Switzerland reaffirms its adherence to the one-China policy.
The two sides appreciated the deepened trade relations since the implementation of the China-Switzerland FTA, which entered into force in July 2014.
They also supported the construction of the offshore-yuan market in Zurich of Switzerland, as well as the cooperation on the training of senior management personnel of financial institutions.
Switzerland supports China to host the Group of Twenty (G20) Hangzhou summit in September, and China has invited Switzerland to participate in relevant activities.
After the talks, the two presidents witnessed the signing of a number of cooperative documents in the areas of vocational safety and health, low-carbon city construction and technological innovation.
Prior to the talks, Xi held a welcoming ceremony for Schneider-Ammann at the square outside the East Gate of the Great Hall of the People.
Earlier Friday, China's top legislator Zhang Dejiang met with Schneider-Ammann.
Zhang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), said the NPC is willing to enhance exchanges and mutual understanding with the Federal Assembly of Switzerland.
He called on the two countries' parliaments to strengthen mutual learning in the legislation of intellectual property protection, innovation and entrepreneurship as well as vocational education.