Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks with Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide in Oslo on Thursday.

Wang said that while the global COVID-19 pandemic has not yet ended, China and Norway have conducted face-to-face communication, which not only demonstrates our respective confidence in defeating the epidemic but also signals that against the backdrop of regular epidemic prevention and control, the two sides will resume personnel exchanges in an orderly manner and restart mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields.

He said that China and Norway should strengthen solidarity and coordinate and cooperate with each other, so as to play a constructive role in speeding up the recovery of the world economy and meeting global challenges.

Wang put forward three suggestions on furthering China-Norway relations.

First, the two sides should grasp the dominant aspect of the healthy and stable development of China-Norway relations, adhere to the principles of mutual respect and equal treatment, take care of each other’s core interests and major concerns, and properly handle related sensitive issues to prevent the hard-won good momentum of bilateral relations from being disturbed again.

Second, China and Norway should grasp the main tone of mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries, which has huge potential and great space.

China is willing to work with Norway to complete negotiations for a bilateral free trade agreement as soon as possible, negotiate and sign documents on establishing “a blue partnership,” strengthen cooperation in winter sports and other fields, and provide a fair, just, open and non-discriminatory business environment for enterprises of both sides.

Moreover, the two countries should grasp the main theme of jointly safeguarding multilateralism.

Both China and Norway are beneficiaries and supporters of globalization, multilateralism and free trade, and oppose unilateralism and protectionism.

The two sides should well implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and promote the effective implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change, and jointly build an open world economy.

The Belt & Road has become the world’s largest platform for international cooperation. China is willing to actively explore ways with Norway to strengthen the joint construction of the Belt & Road, and jointly promote the connectivity and economic recovery of Asia and Europe.

For her part, Soreide said that all circles in Norway attach importance to strengthening cooperation with China, and it is very important for Norway to resume bilateral exchanges against the backdrop of combating the epidemic.

Norway hopes to strengthen vaccine development and maritime cooperation with China, complete negotiations for a free trade agreement between the two countries as soon as possible, strengthen exchanges and cooperation in winter sports, and support China in successfully holding the 2022 Winter Olympics, Soreide said.

She said that Norway values China’s interests and concerns and is willing to discuss relevant issues with China in the spirit of mutual respect. Norway has always supported multilateralism and advocated promoting global free trade and maintaining international order. Amid rising global instability, Norway is willing to join hands with the international community, including China, to carry out more international cooperation.

The two also had an in-depth exchange of views on international and regional issues of common concern.

Norway is the third leg of Wang’s ongoing European tour, which has taken him to Italy and the Netherlands and will also take him to France and Germany.