Switzerland plans to sign an accord backing China’s Belt and Road initiative when President Ueli Maurer visits China this month, as other Western countries view the gargantuan project with skepticism. Washington views President Xi Jinping’s new Silk Road initiative as a way to spread Chinese influence abroad.
Locked in a trade war with China, the US has been particularly critical of Italy’s decision to sign up to the plan, the first for a G7 nation, Reuters said.
Neutral Switzerland sees the accord, to be signed during Maurer’s trip, as a way to support economic development, especially in central Asia.
The aim is “for both parties to intensify cooperation on trade, investment and project financing in third markets along the routes of the Belt and Road initiative,” the Finance Ministry said on Tuesday.