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Wang Yiwei: China, Norway mend ties after Oslo`s ‘serious reflection’ on impaired relations


Source: Global Times    Published: 2016-12-19

China and Norway have reached consensus on normalization of ties on Monday after Norway`s serious reflection.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said that the two countries` foreign ministers had candid and in-depth talks, and reached an agreement on the normalization of bilateral ties.

China hopes to work together with Norway to open a new chapter for bilateral ties, and push forward a sustained, healthy and stable growth of relations, Li was quoted by the Xinhua News Agency as saying.

According to Chinese foreign ministry`s website, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China-Norway relations stepped backwards in the past few years, but Norway had "serious reflection" on the reasons which impaired mutual trust between the two countries. "China is willing to normalize the relationship with Norway."

Norway adheres to the one-China policy and respects China`s core interests and major concerns, which are the political foundation for the ties, Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende was quoted by Xinhua as saying.

Norway hopes to boost bilateral free trade agreement negotiation and expand win-win cooperation, Brende said.

China-Norway relations deteriorated due to controversy around the Nobel Peace Prize award in 2010 and events connected to the Prize.

"Since 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited many countries around the world without visiting Northern Europe and started successful cooperation. One key reason is Norway," said Wang Yiwei, director of the Institute of International Affairs at Renmin University of China.

Almost all the exchanges have been halted since 2010, Wang Yiwei said. "For example, Oslo lost a huge amount of export income due to the plunging salmon trade with China."

Although Norway`s neighbors like Denmark and Sweden wished to promote their relations with China, they found it difficult to maintain unity with Norway and embrace China at the same time, given that the five Northern European countries have a high degree of integration, Wang Yiwei said.

Therefore, its neighbors might also have played a role in convincing Norway to be more pragmatic and reasonable rather than sticking to an ideological conflict, apart from Norway`s reflection, Wang Yiwei said.

"President Xi might visit Northern Europe next year," he said.

China and Norway released a statement on normalization of bilateral relations on Monday.

Wang Yiwei is a senior fellow of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China.

Key Words: China   Norway   relations   Wang Yiwei  

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