ZURICH (Reuters) – Switzerland will sign an accord backing China’s Belt and Road Initiative when President Ueli Maurer visits China this month, cementing ties with a major trading partner as other Western countries view the gargantuan project with scepticism.
President Xi Jinping’s new Silk Road initiative has been controversial particularly in Washington, which views it as a way to spread Chinese influence abroad and saddle countries with unsustainable debt, a charge Beijing rejects.
Locked in a trade war with China, the United States has been particularly critical of Italy’s decision to sign up to the plan, the first for a G7 nation. Others in the West are less keen to jump aboard, although many have kept an open mind.
Neutral Switzerland sees the BRI accord to be signed during Maurer’s trip as a way to support economic development, especially in central Asia.
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