|Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg in Beijing, capital of China, April 10, 2017. [Photo: Xinhua]|
President Xi Jinping met visiting Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg in Beijing Monday, voicing the hope that the two countries could cement political mutual trust.
"I appreciate the positive efforts made by the prime minister and Norwegian government in the normalization of bilateral ties," said Xi.
Noting that Norway was one of the first Western countries to recognize the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the first European country to acknowledge China's market economy status, Xi said that friendship and cooperation have featured throughout the 63-year diplomatic relations.
"We believe the China-Norway relationship and practical cooperation will embrace broad prospects, as long as the two sides follow the principle of mutual respect and equal treatment, while accommodating and respecting each other's core interests and major concerns," said Xi.
Xi stressed that China and Norway should manage bilateral relations from a long-term and strategic perspective, calling on the two sides to enhance political mutual trust, high-level contact, people-to-people exchanges and coordinate on major global and regional issues.
Xi said China and Norway can cooperate within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, to contribute to Asia-Europe connectivity and common development.
Xi expects Norway to play a more positive role in promoting cooperation between China and the Nordic region, saying China will deepen cooperation with Norway in arctic research, resource exploration and environmental protection.
Noting that the two economies are highly complementary, Xi called on the two sides to advance cooperation in areas that they have advantages.
"As the host of 2022 Winter Olympic Games, China is ready to strengthen exchanges with Norway in winter sports and share experience in holding winter sports events," Xi said, adding the two sides should create more favorable conditions to facilitate people's visits to the other country.
Solberg noted she was "impressed by China's rapid development."
She said the joint statement inked last December on the normalization of bilateral ties served as an important guarantee for restoring and developing China-Norway ties. Norway will adhere to the statement, uphold the one-China policy, and highly value China's core interests and major concerns.
Norway will promote high-level contacts with China and push forward bilateral relations from the new starting point, Solberg said.
She said the Norwegian side supports the Belt and Road Initiative, and is ready to expand cooperation of mutual benefit in areas including Arctic issues and cement communication and coordination on global issues.
The visit marks the normalization of bilateral ties, and shows that the relationship is back on the correct track, said Tian Dewen, an analyst with the Institute of European Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Tian said the two countries will cooperate in the traditional areas of fishery and finance, and new areas such as innovation and environmental protection.
Solberg arrived in China on April 7. During her stay in Beijing, she also met with Premier Li Keqiang and top legislator Zhang Dejiang.
Earlier Monday, State Councilor Yang Jiechi met with Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende on bilateral ties.
Apart from Beijing, Solberg visited Shanghai on April 8, attending culture and business events.