Bei­jing and Oslo will seek trade deal

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By LI XIAOKUN lix­i­aokun@chi­nadaily.com.cn Hu Yongqi con­trib­uted to this story.

China and Nor­way agreed on Mon­day to nor­mal­ize bi­lat­eral ties, which de­te­ri­o­rated six years ago, with Oslo vow­ing not to sup­port acts that ham­per China’s core in­ter­ests.

Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang and Nor­we­gian For­eign Min­is­ter Borge Brende con­firmed in their meet­ing that the two coun­tries would ne­go­ti­ate a free-trade deal.

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

“The Nor­we­gian side ad­heres to the one-China pol­icy and re­spects China’s core in­ter­ests and ma­jor con­cerns,” Brende told Li, ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease.

He said nor­mal­iza­tion of the ties bears his­toric sig­nif­i­cance and sends a pos­i­tive sig­nal to in­ter­na­tional so­ci­ety.

Li said the two mu­tu­ally sup­ple­men­tal economies have a bright fu­ture of co­op­er­a­tion. Bei­jing will also deepen co­op­er­a­tion with Oslo in in­ter­na­tional and re­gional af­fairs, he added.

The Nor­we­gian side ad­heres to the one-China pol­icy and re­spects China’s core in­ter­ests.” Borge Brende, Nor­we­gian for­eign min­is­ter

For­eign Min­is­ter Wang Yi said while meet­ing with Brende in Bei­jing ear­lier on Mon­day that in re­cent years, re­la­tions had taken a step back­ward, ac­cord­ing to the For­eign Min­istry’s web­site.

“Nor­way deeply re­flected upon the rea­sons why bi­lat­eral mu­tual trust was harmed and had con­sci­en­tious, solemn con­sul­ta­tions with China about how to im­prove bi­lat­eral re­la­tions,” Wang said.

He said the two sides reached an im­por­tant con­sen­sus on the lessons learned and restora­tion of mu­tual trust.

Brende told Wang that Nor­way will “fully re­spect China’s de­vel­op­ment path and so­cial sys­tem, and will not sup­port any move ham­per­ing China’s core in­ter­ests and ma­jor con­cerns”.

Shares of Nor­we­gian salmon ex­porters, which have largely been shut out of the lu­cra­tive Chi­nese mar­ket, rose on Mon­day, with Grieg Seafood up by 2.1 per­cent and Marine Har­vest up by 1.1 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to Reuters.

Pang Zhongy­ing, pro­fes­sor of in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions at Ren­min Uni­ver­sity of China, said the change of Nor­way’s stance fol­lows the logic of eco­nomic in­ter­de­pen­dence in global trade.

“The Euro­pean econ­omy is not per­form­ing well, while China still has rel­a­tively rapid growth. That’s the ba­sic rea­son,” he said.

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