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China is buying in Europe and Switzerland with pays

Johann Schneider-Ammann stood there, where in General, the heads of state of large standing forces. Front row, right in the middle. Shoulder-to-shoulder with Xi Jinping .

It was 29. June 2015. Representatives of fifty countries, including India, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Germany, had travelled to the founding ceremony of the Asian infrastructure investment Bank (AIIB) in Beijing. Some of them promised billions. The group photo of Chinese President Xi Jinping left the best place, but the Swiss Minister of economic Affairs. He had promised only $ 706 million, but it was probably the most dedicated obstetrician of the AIIB on this side of the Himalayas.

at Home in Bern, you could not believe it. The great China. The small country of Switzerland. Side-by-side on the world stage.


Today, the euphoria is gone. In Bern, makes, instead, discomfort wide because of the AIIB. The reason is that Xi Jinping has promised to Italy investments and Jobs. The port of Trieste is to be renovated of China and the project of the century "New silk road" involved. Also in the port of Genoa, has for the supply of the Country, the Switzerland of great importance, it is hoped China, as the "Spiegel" reported.

Xi Jinping wants to seal the Deal during his current visit to Rome. To get the money he needs not to Worry. The AIIB will provide funds available. China buys influence in Italy with money from Switzerland.

"It is contrary to the Switzerland, if Italy's infrastructure can be rehabilitated."Damian Müller, FDP Council of States (LU)

In the Federal house feel some in the wrong movie. As the Federal Council in 2015, as requested in Parliament the AIIB membership, was of projects in Europe. The Federal Council justified the lending with the "poverty in Asia". You make a huge investment in the infrastructure of the Region. People needed access to sanitation facilities and clean water. Switzerland could help to facilitate these investments, by authority of the AIIB capital.

The Parliament approved a credit of 706 million US dollars. So Switzerland is a rather small Player in the AIIB, whose total capital amounts to 100 billion dollars. Also, the weight of Switzerland, with 0.9 percent of the votes manageable. For comparison: Austria 0.7 percent of the votes, France 3.2, and Germany even has 4.1 percent. According to observers, the voting shares but are already not significant. What really matters is the Veto, which might insert China, thanks to its blocking minority against any non-agreeable project. The AIIB makes a unique geopolitical instrument of power.

Growing doubt

While the Left in Switzerland, criticized this early on, arouse China's ambitions in Italy, now in the middle of politicians, a doubt. About CVP-Ständerat Beat Rieder. He fights a long time for capital controls as a means to prevent the sale of domestic companies. The interests of Switzerland, but he also sees threatened if China gains control of Italian ports: Switzerland could yet the fact that vital infrastructures are purchased through state funds and state companies. "Even more absurd it would be if the Federal government would provide even more money," says Rieder, with reference to the AIIB. "You would have to bind immediately."

Otherwise than by an exit, this is not possible: The state Secretariat for economic Affairs (Seco) confirmed on request that the Federal government can't pull its capital out of individual investment projects of the AIIB.

Schneider-Schneiter against withdrawal from the AIIB

Other Bourgeois reject outlet. "Basically, it is contrary to the Switzerland, if the dilapidated infrastructures in Italy, will be renovated," says Damian Müller (FDP). You have to but the consequences of China's policy analysis. Similar sounds with Roger Köppel (SVP): "Switzerland has a long Tradition of friendly cooperation with other countries, including China. All sides benefit."

Elisabeth Schneider-Schneiter (CVP) is opposed to the outlet from the AIIB. Swiss companies have, thanks to their better access in the Asian region. In addition, Switzerland could join in the conversation, if you Decide to would like. "Who drops out, loses all impact."

Fabian Molina (SP), however, doubts that Switzerland can play an important role in the AIIB effectively. Therefore, the government must consider a retreat. But Molina of the debate about China's influence in Italy is Positive: Actually, it is very good that China is pursuing its aggressive policy of expansion now also in front of our front door. "This makes us Swiss people aware of what is happening in Asia for years."

(editing Tamedia)

Created: 21.03.2019, 22:23 PM

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