Bilateral relations between Switzerland and Taiwan

In line with its One China policy, Switzerland does not recognize the Republic of China, known as Taiwan, as an independent state and does not have any official contacts with Taiwan. In terms of trade, the country is of importance for Switzerland; however, trade is conducted entirely on the basis of private law.

Key aspects of bilateral relations

Two private organizations support relations between Switzerland and Taiwan: the Trade Office of Swiss Industries in Taipei (TOSI) and the Tapei Cultural and Economic Delegation in Bern and Geneva. These representations belong to the private sector and do not have any diplomatic status; however, they do offer consular services such as, for example, the issue of visas.

Since 11.1.2011, holders of Taiwanese passports no longer require a visa for entry to the Schengen area. Nonetheless, Switzerland continues to check the entry of high-ranking officials from Taiwan.

Switzerland regularly calls on the government of the People’s Republic of China and the Taiwanese authorities to resolve their differences by negotiation.

Economic relations

Taiwan is Switzerland's seventh largest export market in Asia. In 2011, exports increased in relation to the previous year, with the export of machinery (+60%) increasing at a dynamic rate. For decades Switzerland has enjoyed a significant trade surplus. Swiss companies employ around 17,500 people in Taiwan.

Swiss nationals in Taiwan

At the end of 2011, there were 295 Swiss nationals resident in Taiwan, of whom 117 hold dual citizenship.

History of bilateral relations

Switzerland recognized the People's Republic of China on 17.1.1950. Since then it has maintained a One China policy and regards the Republic of China, as the Taiwanese authorities continue to style themselves, not as an independent state, but as a region of China. In relation to its bilateral relations and at international level, Switzerland recognizes only one China: the People’s Republic of China, with its seat of government in Beijing.