Successful round of consultations between Norway and China

The first round of talks in the new political consultation mechanism between Norway and China was held in Oslo this week. The Chinese delegation was headed by Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Chao. Norway's delegation was at senior official level, headed by Secretary General Wegger Strømmen, and the talks were concluded with a meeting with Foreign Minister Børge Brende.

'We have now held the first round of political consultations with China. The talks were successful, with a broad agenda covering the whole range of topics relevant to relations between China and Norway. Meetings of this kind help to build mutual understanding and trust, and are important in the development of long-term, sustainable relations,' said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

'The topics discussed during the consultations included further strengthening of political ties and trade between Norway and China, global trade policy, human rights, international cooperation on environment and climate, cooperation in the Arctic, regional issues, cooperation in the UN and development policy,' said Mr Brende.

'I am pleased that we now have a forum where we can discuss all issues of relevance to our interests, both in areas where we have common interests and in cases where we have divergent views. We want our relations with China to be based on trust and openness, and the talks were useful and constructive,' said Foreign Minister Brende.

The consultation mechanism was established during Prime Minister Erna Solberg's visit to China in April this year, as a step in the normalisation of relations between Norway and China. The intention is to establish a permanent annual forum for political dialogue where all issues relevant to relations between Norway and China can be discussed. However, the consultations only make up a small part of Norway's broad-based contacts with China. Regular diplomatic contacts on topics of current interest, and in particular our networks of contacts in international organisations based in Geneva and New York, will continue to play a key role in Norway's relations with China.