On the afternoon of December 19, 2016, Premier Li Keqiang met at Ziguangge of Zhongnanhai with Foreign Minister Borge Brende of Norway, who was paying an official visit to China.
Li Keqiang said that Norway is one of the first western countries that established diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China. The development history of bilateral relations proves that mutual respect, equal treatment and accommodation of respective core interests and major concerns serve as the precondition and foundation for strengthening political mutual trust and boosting the smooth development of bilateral relations. Foreign Ministers of both countries had candid and in-depth talks, and reached consensus on the normalization of bilateral relations. Appreciating the new Norwegian government's adherence to the one-China policy and its commitment to improving and developing relations with China, the Chinese side is willing to make joint efforts with Norway to open up a new chapter of China-Norway relations and push bilateral relations for sustained, healthy and stable development.
Li Keqiang pointed out that China and Norway share strong economic complementarities and enjoy profound foundation and broad prospects in mutually beneficial cooperation. China is ready to launch negotiations on the signing of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Norway and jointly send out a clear-cut signal of pushing forward trade and investment liberalization and facilitation. The two countries should intensify people-to-people and cultural exchanges, consolidate the public opinion foundation of the development of bilateral relations and bilateral cooperation, deepen cooperation in international and regional affairs and promote the development of relations between China and Northern European countries as well as between China and Europe. The country welcomes Norway to continuously expand its investment in China and deepen cooperation in energy saving, environment protection, scientific and technical research and development and other fields.
Borge Brende noted that the normalization of Norway-China relations is of historic significance and sends a positive message to the international community. Norway adheres to the one-China policy and respects China's core interests and major concerns, which is the political foundation of the development of bilateral relations. The Norwegian side hopes to take the normalization of bilateral relations as an opportunity to beef up high-level exchanges, push forward negotiations on the FTA, expand mutually beneficial cooperation in such fields as hydroelectricity, offshore oil and gas development and investment and jointly promote the liberalization of global trade.