On January 11, 2017, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a briefing for Chinese and foreign media. Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong introduced relevant information on President Xi Jinping's forthcoming state visit to Switzerland, attendance at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2017 and visit to international organizations in Switzerland, and answered questions from journalists.
Ⅰ.On State Visit to Switzerland
Li Baodong expressed that from January 15 to 18, President Xi Jinping will pay a state visit to Switzerland, attend the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2017 and visit international organizations in Switzerland. This is an opening chapter of China's diplomacy in 2017, and the visit to Switzerland is the first state visit of a Chinese President since the new century. During the visit, President Xi Jinping will attend activities held by President Doris Leuthard of the Swiss Confederation and members of the Federal Council, including welcoming ceremony, formal talks, signing ceremony and meeting the press, meet with Presidents of the National Council and Council of States of the Federal Assembly, and jointly meet with representatives from the Swiss economic circle with President Doris Leuthard of the Swiss Confederation. Both sides will exchange in-depth views on bilateral relations, respective development path, domestic and foreign policies as well as international and regional hotspot issues of common concern, which will draw a new blueprint for the future development of bilateral relationship. Witnessed by leaders of both countries, both sides will sign multiple cooperation agreements covering areas such as politics, free trade, culture, customs, energy, development cooperation and sports.
Li Baodong pointed out that Switzerland was one of the earliest western countries which recognized and established diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China. In recent years, China-Switzerland relations have maintained a sound development momentum. Under the current new situation, bilateral relations are facing new development opportunities. The development strategies of the two countries share fitting points, common grounds and complementarity, which will open up a broad space for both sides to comprehensively carry out innovation cooperation. The enhancement of high-level exchanges and cooperation in such areas as innovation, free trade and development between China and Switzerland will not only achieve mutual benefit and win-win results, but benefit the two countries and their peoples. It also sends a positive political signal amid international relations, showing that both sides devote themselves to safeguarding world peace and stability, maintaining the global trade system featuring opening up and inclusiveness, and promoting the international governance system towards a fairer and more reasonable direction. It is believed that this visit will enrich the connotation of China-Switzerland innovative strategic partnership, save more energy for bilateral cooperation in the new period, and make new contributions to advancing China-Europe cooperation and world peace, stability and development.
II. On Attendance at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2017
Li Baodong expressed that President Xi Jinping will attend the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2017 held in Davos, Switzerland on January 17. The theme of this annual meeting is Responsive and Responsible Leadership. During his attendance at the meeting, President Xi Jinping will deliver a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the annual meeting, and conduct dialogues and exchanges with Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum Klaus Schwab as well as some of the present guests. This will be the first time for a Chinese President to attend the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, which is of great historical significance. China is willing to work with all parties to carry out extensive exchanges and in-depth discussions on jointly coping with major global challenges, promoting the healthy and stable development of the world economy and other topics.
Li Baodong pointed out that at present, the world economy is at a key stage of the transformation between the old and new driving force, and the process of economic globalization is encountering headwind. A new round of scientific and technological revolution is still brewing. Traditional and non-traditional security risks are intertwined and the rising of political uncertainty has further increased the variable for the prospects of the world economy. Under such background, President Xi Jinping's attendance at the meeting draws great attention from all parties. The Chinese side expects the following outcomes from President Xi Jinping's attendance at the meeting. First is to expound China's views and proposals on economic globalization concerned by the international community and actively guide the process of economic globalization towards a more inclusive and mutually beneficial direction. Second is to analyze and explore the deep-rooted causes of the world economic growth dilemma, seek the direction and path of the world economy to walk out of its predicament, and boost the international community's confidence in world economic development. Third is to elaborate China's achievements and development experience since its reform and opening up by combing the international community's attention to China's economic hotspots, and introduce China's current economic situation, policies and measures so as to enhance the objective and in-depth understanding of all sides on China's economy. Fourth is to further deepen exchanges and cooperation with the World Economic Forum.
III. On Visit to International Organizations in Switzerland
Li Baodong said that President Xi Jinping will visit the UN Office at Geneva, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) respectively on January 18. President Xi Jinping will be the first top Chinese leader to visit the WHO and the IOC in history. This visit will fully demonstrate the importance Chinese leaders attached to multilateralism and will leave an indelible mark in the history of cooperation between China and relevant international organizations. During his visit, President Xi Jinping will deliver a keynote speech at the UN Office at Geneva, meet with President of the UN General Assembly, UN Secretary-General, WHO Director-General and IOC President, and witness the signing of the memorandum of understanding of the "Belt and Road" on health cooperation and other cooperation documents between China and the WHO.
Li Baodong pointed out that with closer links and dependence with each other, countries around the world have become a interdependent community of common destiny and interests. Meanwhile, the international situation is undergoing complex and deep changes, and global challenges are increasing. Through this visit, the Chinese side will contribute Chinese wisdom and exchange in-depth views with relevant parties on such major issues as promoting the cause of peace and development, strengthening global governance, advancing the development of international health and sports and jointly coping with global challenges. China expects the visit to achieve the following results: first, President Xi Jinping will fully elaborate the idea of community of common destiny for mankind at the UN Office at Geneva, provide China's plans for major issues concerning the future and destiny of mankind and draw the blueprint for human development and progress. Second, exchange in-depth views on China-UN cooperation to further enhance the level of bilateral cooperation, and send out a positive message of China's firm support for multilateralism, firmly upholding the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and promoting the improvement of global governance. Third, deeply advance the "Belt and Road" construction, promote the implementation of cooperation projects between China and the WHO, expand new areas of cooperation as well as create new cooperation highlights. Fourth, strengthen China's pragmatic cooperation with the WHO and the IOC. It is believed that this visit will elevate China's cooperation with relevant international organizations to new highs.