Li Keqiang: Promote China-Norway Relations from a New Starting Point
2017-04-12 16:07

Li Keqiang Holds Talks with Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway, Stressing to Promote China-Norway Relations from a New Starting Point

On the afternoon of April 7, 2017, Premier Li Keqiang held talks at the Great Hall of the People with Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway, who was in China for an official visit.

Li Keqiang pointed out that since the establishment of diplomatic relationship between China and Norway 63 years ago, Norway has always been standing at the forefront of European countries in developing relations with China. Currently, China-Norway relations have been brought back on track, which is worth cherishing. It is hoped that Norway could adhere to the one-China policy, work with China in the spirit of mutual respect and equal treatment, respect each other's core interests and major concerns, and enhance the leading role of political mutual trust, so as to promote bilateral relations and practical cooperation from a new starting point.

Li Keqiang noted that China and Norway are highly complementary in economy and have great potential for development. China is ready to, together with Norway, restart free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations, hold a new round of Joint Commission on Economy and Trade, resume the political consultation mechanism, establish an inter-governmental energy and policy dialogue mechanism and intensify exchanges between the two business communities. The two sides should bring the guidance of these platforms and mechanisms into full play, strengthen cooperation in energy, marine projects and other fields, explore third-party markets, and enhance exchanges and cooperation in various fields, including agriculture, fishery, science, technology, innovation, social security, law enforcement and people-to-people and cultural exchanges at local levels. China is pushing forward a new round of opening-up at a higher level to make the country the most attractive investment destination. China welcomes Norwegian enterprises and sovereign wealth funds to expand investment in China for mutual benefit and win-win results.

Li Keqiang stressed that both China and Norway advocate multilateralism and are committed to pursuing an open global economy and free trade as well as advancing international cooperation and sustainable development to tackle climate change. China is willing to enhance communication and coordination in international and regional affairs to push forward more fruitful outcomes from cooperation within the frameworks of the Arctic Council and China-Nordic cooperation and others with Norway.

Erna Solberg noted that Norway is among the first Western countries to establish diplomatic relations with China. Norway would like to take the normalization of bilateral relations as a new starting point, follow the spirit of the joint statement on the normalization of bilateral relations, uphold the one-China policy, respect China's core interests and major concerns, enhance political trust, and consolidate the political basis of bilateral relations, so as to establish a long-term and friendly cooperative partnership. Norway is a natural partner of China, and the country hopes for the early resumption of bilateral FTA negotiations and the expansion of cooperation in areas like agriculture, fishery, ocean, shipping, environmental protection, finance, taxation and investment. Norway also expects to further expand non-governmental exchanges, enhance people-to-people and cultural cooperation, and conduct cooperation in winter sports with China. Norway supports China to play an active role in the Arctic Council, and is willing to strengthen communication and coordination China in polar affairs and major international and regional issues, promote the development of relations between Nordic countries and China, and jointly advance the sustainable development of economy and society.

Prior to the talks, Li Keqiang held a welcoming ceremony for Erna Solberg at the square outside the East Gate of the Great Hall of the People. Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Wang Qinmin and others attended the ceremony.

After the talks, Li Keqiang and Erna Solberg witnessed the signing of multiple bilateral cooperation documents covering economy, trade, scientific research, culture, sports, and health.

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