Published online by Cambridge University Press: 21 April 2022
From the 1950s on, Sino-Swiss relations were unique in Western Europe. Switzerland’s early recognition of China and its neutrality led to a great deal of goodwill in China and extraordinarily amicable relations in the 1950s. China also used its diplomatic missions in Switzerland as political, economic, and cultural hubs for Western Europe and in some cases even for the entire world. For Switzerland, Sino-Swiss relations were supposed to establish Switzerland as an internationally respected, neutral mediating power. However, China mistrusted Swiss neutrality, and it also used Switzerland as a European hub for embargo goods deals. It was only with the Geneva Conference and China’s use of ‘peaceful coexistence’ as the official basis for its foreign policy that Chinese official statements on Swiss neutrality improved.