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13 Ene 2017

Tibet demo in Bern precedes first Chinese state visit for 18 years

Tibetans in Switzerland and their supporters will hold a demonstration in Bern on Sunday ahead of the state visit of China’s President, Xi Jinping.
The protest will take place on Waisenhausplatz from 10am to midday on Sunday morning just before the Chinese delegation arrives, after the Bern authorities reached a “compromise” with Tibetans who wished to demonstrate during his visit, reported news agencies.
Reto Nause, the city councillor responsible for security in Bern, told news agencies his decision took into account the need to respect freedom of expression and the importance of ensuring security during the visit.
The last time a Chinese president visited Switzerland was in 1999 when then-President Jiang Zemin was angered by Tibetans demonstrating in the capital.
Eighteen years later, Xi Jinping’s visit is seen as hugely important by business leaders in Switzerland.
He and his wife will be welcomed by Swiss President Doris Leuthard on Sunday evening with official speeches and a gala dinner, before talks between the Swiss and Chinese delegation begin on Monday.
In a statement, the Swiss government said the Chinese visit was a “sign of the ever closer political and economic ties between Switzerland and China”.
Talks will focus on world trade and the global financial system, the environment and climate protection and the situation in Syria, plus bilateral issues including cooperation on economic, financial and scientific matters.
The issue of human rights will also be discussed, said the government.
China has been Switzerland’s most important trading partner in Asia since 2010, while in 2013 a free trade agreement reinforced relations between the two.