Chinese FM proposes three principles for China-Europe relations as he wraps up EU visit in Norway

May 13, 2023 —
The adherence to an inclusive worldview, commitment to a progressive view of history, and upholding the perspective of mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation should be principles to maintain the stable development of China-Europe relations amid a changing and volatile international situation, said Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang on Friday during his visit to Norway.

“China and Europe are two globally influential powers, two vast markets, and two great civilizations. I deeply felt, through the visit, a strong willingness of the European side to enhance communication, coordination with China,” Qin said during a joint press conference with the Norwegian Foreign Minister in Oslo.

Qin said that China and Europe should respect and support the different countries’ development paths chosen by their people, and jointly and positively respond to the universal concerns of the international community. What the international community needs most is peaceful development, fairness and justice, and progress rather than retrogression.

Both China and Europe, unanimously opposing “decoupling and breaking chains,” should jointly uphold the right direction of economic globalization, strengthen macroeconomic policy coordination, explore cooperation potentials, properly address each other’s major concerns, and jointly maintain the stability and smoothness of global industrial and supply chains, Qin said on his principles to maintain stable development of China-Europe relations.

During Qin’s visit to Norway, he met with Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store, Norwegian Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt, and members of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense of the Norwegian Parliament and exchanged views and understanding on bilateral cooperation and international hotspot issues.

China attaches importance to its relations with Norway and is willing to strengthen communication, enhance mutual trust and promote cooperation with Norway, Qin said on Friday when meeting with Store, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Qin said that China and Norway should strengthen cooperation in the fields of economic engagement and trade, ocean, social welfare and green transformation, expand cooperation both in depth and breadth, and push bilateral relations to a new level.

Norway attaches importance to cooperation with China and is willing to strengthen exchanges at all levels with China to work for greater development of cooperation, especially in the fields of green transformation, climate change, medicine and Arctic affairs, Store said.

Later on Friday, following candid talks with Huitfeldt, Qin said that they both have confidence in and expectations for the development of China-Norway relations.

He noted that the most important experience of the steady development of bilateral relations lies in adhering to mutual respect, equal treatment, mutual benefit and win-win results, and in seeking common ground while reserving differences.

The two sides exchanged views on the idea of strengthening bilateral cooperation in the next step, and agreed to resume and accelerate bilateral exchanges as soon as possible, promote mutually beneficial cooperation, enhance understanding and deepen friendship through more frequent people-to-people and cultural exchanges, Qin said as quoted by the Xinhua News Agency.

Both sides firmly support world peace, globalization and free trade, and support countries to jointly address climate change and achieve sustainable development, he added.

China has decided to enlist Norway as one of the eligible countries for the 72/144-hour visa-free transit policy in relevant Chinese cities, and the two countries have just signed a new version of the bilateral agreement for the avoidance of double taxation, Xinhua reported.

China appreciates Norway’s firm adherence to the one-China policy and appreciates that the two countries respect and accommodate each other’s core interests and major concerns. The essence of the Taiwan question is a fight against secession, Qin said, adding that China expects the Taiwan Straits to remain peaceful and stable, and to achieve peaceful reunification of China.

Qin also emphasized that the top priority for the Ukraine crisis is to facilitate a cease-fire and a cessation of hostilities without delay, and ultimately resolve the crisis through political negotiations. China will always stand on the side of peace and insist on promoting peace talks, he noted.

While meeting with the members of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense of the Norwegian Parliament, Qin noted that this visit, which is his first to Norway, aims at enhancing understanding, expanding consensus and promoting healthy and stable development of bilateral relations.

China is Norway’s largest trading partner in Asia, and the two countries enjoy extensive cooperation in various areas, they said, adding that the existing differences on some issues do not and should not affect the dialogue and cooperation between the two countries, noted several Norwegian parliamentary members.

Qin wrapped up his five-day visit to Europe on Friday, during which he visited Germany, France and Norway.

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