The President of the Confederation Micheline Calmy-Rey met the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China at the Lohn Country Residence in Kehrsatz for an official working visit. She was accompanied by State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Peter Maurer, State Secretary for International Financial Matters Michael Ambühl and State Secretary for Education Mauro Dell’Ambrogio, as well as by a senior representative of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). This visit is part of the political dialogue initiated in June 2010 by Federal Councillor Micheline Calmy-Rey in Beijing in order to deepen relations between the two countries.
The talks focused on bilateral relations in general, on major issues of international concern and the situation in the Near and Middle East. The topical issues discussed included negotiations on a free trade agreement and the question of human rights. During their talks, the two ministers reviewed several current dossiers, in particular relating to scientific, financial, intellectual property and migration matters.
At the multilateral level, Switzerland's contributions to the G-20 debates were presented to China. As a major financial centre, Switzerland makes proposals on monetary matters and the fight against corruption.
The meeting was preceded by a tour of the Old City of Bern. The Chinese Minister wished to visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site. The talks ended by an excursion and a lunch on a boat on Lake Thun.
Bilateral relations between Switzerland and China are dynamic and varied. They were marked last year by the 60th anniversary of Switzerland's recognition of the People's Republic of China, as well as by numerous meetings at the political and technical levels.
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