by swisscham in Bilateral Relations
Swiss Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin, head of the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS), paid an official work visit to China from 30 March to 3 April. He was received by the Chinese Minister of Defence CHANG Wanquan in Beijing. This official visit by Defence Minister Guy Parmelin to his Chinese counterpart CHANG Wanquan is the first high-ranking meeting at ministerial level since the state visit of Chinese President XI Jinping to Switzerland in the middle of January. Federal Councillor Parmelin was also received by the Vice President of ChinaÕs Central Military Commission, General FAN Changlong, for a brief bilateral exchange. In addition, a visit was planned to a helicopter brigade which is primarily involved in natural disaster relief and rescue operations on behalf of the civilian population. From 2005 to 2009, the Swiss Armed Forces Joint Staff and the Department for Humanitarian Aid of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation provided support in setting up the Chinese rescue team. In parallel, the DDPS conducted various training sessions and workshops in China on earthquake rescue operations.