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Switzerland’s decision to consider taking in two Chinese Uighur prisoners from Guantanamo Bay has not gone down well with China. The Chinese embassy in Bern has written to the Swiss authorities, making it very clear that such a move could damage Swiss-Chinese relations. A possible breakdown in ties comes at a delicate time, with both countries in the early stages of drawing up a free-trade agreement.
For its part, the Swiss government says a final decision has yet to be taken on whether the two Uighurs will be coming. WRS’s Mark Butcher speaks to Harro von Senger, professor of Sinology at the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law in Lausanne and an expert on Chinese affairs:
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Chinese government cannot withstand whoever supports Uighur and Tibetan. Such reaction is not unusual and known by world. It’s pity that many western government including U.S. instead of defending human rights fall under China’s pressure. China will certainly flexed its economic muscles against Switzerland to stop taking Uighur.
I hope Switzerland will maintain its own principle and not dictated by Chinese authoritarian regime.