BEIJING, March 11 (Xinhua) -- Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Wednesday said that the China-Switzerland friendship can not only withstand the test of the epidemic, but will also be further deepened and developed.
In a telephone conversation with Ignazio Cassis, vice president and foreign minister of the Swiss Confederation, Wang said that in the face of the challenge of the COVID-19 epidemic, China and Switzerland have helped and supported each other, deepened traditional friendship and enhanced mutual trust.
Wang emphasized that since the establishment of diplomatic ties more than 70 years ago, China-Switzerland relations have always been at the forefront of China's relations with Europe and even with western countries, and the most important experience is to stick to the principle that all countries, big or small, are equal, and to uphold mutual respect and trust.
In recent years, in particular, Wang said, under the guidance of the two countries' heads of state, the development of China-Switzerland relations have entered a fast track, which has not only established the strategic positioning of innovative strategic partnership, but also made significant progress in such areas as free trade, finance and the Belt and Road Initiative cooperation.
These achievements are hard-won and the two sides should especially cherish them and constantly forge them ahead, Wang said, expressing hope that the Swiss side would continue to view China in an objective and rational manner and play an active role in promoting the sound and stable development of bilateral relations.
China appreciates Switzerland's openness in cooperation with Chinese-funded enterprises, and as China is moving faster in advancing high-level opening-up, the two countries are seeing broad prospects in innovative and pragmatic cooperation, Wang said, expressing hope that both sides will continue promoting free trade cooperation actively.
Noting that Beijing will host the Winter Olympics early next year and Switzerland is a major winter sports country and once hosted the Winter Olympics, Wang said that China is willing to learn from each other's experience in hosting the Games and strengthen exchanges and cooperation with Switzerland in areas such as event organizing and personnel training.
This will not only bring new business opportunities to Switzerland's winter sports industry, but also help activate people-to-people exchanges of the two countries after the epidemic, Wang added.
For his part, Cassis thanked China for its support and assistance in Switzerland's fight against the epidemic, saying that Switzerland attaches great importance to developing relations with China.
The two countries keep a good tradition of mutual trust and respect, and have seen remarkable progress in friendly relations and cooperation in recent years, Cassis said.
Switzerland stands ready to actively cooperate with China on the Winter Olympics, said Cassis, adding that his country regards China as an important cooperative partner and is willing to conduct strategic dialogues and exchanges with China to promote mutual understanding and support. Enditem