Important dialogue with China

‘It's important to maintain dialogue and cooperation with China on current international affairs and the global economy. We have discussed the wars in the Middle East and Ukraine, the situation in the Red Sea, and the need for cooperation on climate issues and how to strengthen the international institutions. I have also raised the issue of human rights,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide.

Bilde av utenriksminister Eide og Kinas utenriksminister Wang Yi stående foran flagg
Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide and his Chinese colleague Director and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Credit: Ragnhild Simenstad/UD

Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide visited China on 5 – 6 February. He met with his Chinese colleague Director and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, and Minister of the International Department of the Communist Party of China Liu Jianchao. He will also meet Vice Premier Ding Xuexiang on Tuesday.

‘Norway is clear on the need for a world order based on international law and open, rules-based trade. This is necessary to achieve global climate and sustainability goals. We stand up for Norwegian values and international human rights,’ said Eide.

Differing views should not stand in the way of exchanges of opinions and experiences.

‘Human rights are an important part of Norway's relationship with China. I encouraged Chinese authorities to adhere to their international obligations, and I raised the human rights situation in China, including in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong,’ said Eide.

The collaboration between Norway and China also safeguards Norwegian interests, both long-term economic interests and interests related to international development.

In Shanghai, Eide will visit one of Snøhetta's projects at the Grand Opera and meet with Norwegian business leaders.

‘Norway will continue our clear and predictable China policy, based on our broad range of interests, including national security. Knowledge development and information sharing with Norwegian civil society, especially the business community and academia, are important for achieving this,’ said Eide.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Norway and China. The two parties agreed to hold a series of celebration activities, and further intensify high-level exchanges between the two countries.

The two parties agreed to further deepen pragmatic cooperation in various fields, discuss the establishment of a bilateral dialogue on green transition cooperation, and facilitate people-to-people exchanges.

The two parties agreed to uphold multilateralism and free trade, and strengthen cooperation in such fields as tackling climate change and biodiversity protection.

The two parties discussed the recent developments in the Middle East. They agreed on the need for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, and to allow for significantly increased humanitarian aid to the affected population. They stressed the need for common efforts to prevent regional spillover and called for the immediate release of all hostages.

The parties expressed their concern about recurrent violence in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the need to strengthen the support to the Palestinian Authority in this situation.  The end of hostilities must be followed by a political process leading to a two-state solution where both Israelis and Palestinians can live in peace and security.

Both parties welcomed the investigation by the UN and UNRWA, and expected full transparency from the organization. At the same time, they stressed the need to allow the organization to continue their important humanitarian efforts in Gaza and the region, and urged donor countries not to withhold support.

The parties also expressed concern for the increasing unrest in the broader Middle East Region. They decided to continue consultations and work together, where possible, through multilateral organizations.

Bilde av den norske delegasjonen og den kinesiske motparten sittende på hver sin side av bordet med blomster i midten
The wars in the Middle East and Ukraine and the need for cooperation on climate issues was among the topics raised at the meeting. Credit: Ragnhild Simenstad/MFA