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Sino-Swiss visit aims to tighten energy ties

Energy Minister Moritz Leuenberger has begun a trip to China where he is due to sign a cooperation treaty in water projects and forecasting natural disasters.

This content was published on April 17, 2009 - 15:50

His first day in the country included a visit to the Three Gorges dam on the Yangtze River and a meeting with the Chinese minister for water.

Leuenberger admitted to being impressed by the "enormous scale" of the dam, which he said protected millions of people from flooding and produced renewable energy, helping to cut down on coal consumption in the country.

However, he said the dam still posed potential environmental problems and had led to the destruction of towns and relocation of more than one million people.

As part of the five-day trip Leuenberger is due to sign a treaty on Sunday outlining cooperation in the field of sustainable water management and the prevention of natural disasters.

For its part Switzerland will bring expertise in flood forecasting to the Three Gorges dam and China will assist with its know-how in earthquakes.

swissinfo with agencies

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