Switzerland, the first Western economy that signed a free trade agreement with China, has become more critical of Beijing's human rights record, local media reported.
Efforts by Switzerland to refresh its free trade agreement with China have stalled as Bern takes a more critical view of Beijing's human rights record, Swiss newspapers have reported.
Switzerland has been trying to update the accord to extend tariff reductions to more Swiss products and to expand the agreement to include sustainability features.
However, Beijing is not engaging, the newspapers said on Sunday.
"So far it has not been possible to agree on a common list of topics that should be explored in greater depth", Switzerland's State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) said in a statement to newspaper SonntagsBlick.
Switzerland and China signed a free trade agreement in 2013, Beijing's first such deal with an economy in continental Europe.
The move was styled as a mutually beneficial pact aimed at contributing to increased trade between the two economies.
'A real problem'
NZZ am Sonntag, under the headline "The Chinese impasse", said Switzerland had become more critical of China's human rights record.
A Swiss parliamentary initiative recently passed by the National Council's Legal Affairs Committee denounced forced labour of Uighurs in northwest China as "a real problem".
Jean-Philippe Kohl, head of economic policy at industry association Swissmem, told the NZZ am Sonntag that Switzerland should pursue quiet diplomacy on China's human rights record.
"If we, as a small economy, constantly point the finger of rebuke at China, nothing will change, except that relations will eventually break down", he told the newspaper.
Western states and rights groups accuse Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region authorities of detaining and torturing Uighurs and other minorities in camps.
Beijing denies the accusations and describes the camps as vocational training facilities to combat religious extremism.