|Qin Gang and Norwegian Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt Jointly Meet the Press|
On May 12, 2023 local time, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang and Norwegian Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt jointly met the press in Oslo.
Qin Gang said that he had friendly and candid talks with Foreign Minister Huitfeldt, and that they both have confidence in and expectations of the development of China-Norway relations. China appreciates Norway's firm commitment to the one-China policy, and applauds the fact that the two countries respect and accommodate each other's core interests and major concerns. He noted that the most important experience drawn from the steady and sound development of China-Norway relations is that the two sides have upheld the principles of equality, mutual respect and mutual benefit in developing relations, and have sought common ground while reserving differences.
Qin Gang said that the two sides exchanged views on strengthening China-Norway cooperation in the next stage, and agreed to resume and accelerate exchanges as soon as possible, advance mutually beneficial cooperation, and enhance understanding and deepen friendship through more frequent and closer people-to-people and cultural exchanges. He said the two sides compared notes on economy, trade, investment, marine and maritime affairs, green transition, climate change, culture and tourism as well as cooperation at sub-national levels. China has decided to include Norway as one of the eligible countries for the 72/144-hour visa-free transit policy in relevant Chinese port cities, and the two countries have just signed a new version of the agreement on the avoidance of double taxation. Qin noted that the relevant cooperation achievements will bring more dividends to Chinese and Norwegian businesses and people. Noting that next year marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Norway, Qin Gang said both sides have agreed to prepare for and organize a series of celebration activities to make bilateral exchanges and cooperation even closer and lay a more solid foundation for exchanges in the next 70 years.
Qin Gang pointed out that the Chinese government has made unremitting efforts to protect human rights. Issues related to Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and Xizang are not human rights issues, but ones bearing on the protection of China's sovereignty, security, and development interests. China firmly opposes external forces using these issues to create instability in China. The Taiwan question is in essence an anti-separatism struggle. China hopes for peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and hopes to achieve peaceful reunification. It is the "Taiwan independence" separatist forces and certain countries that support and connive at "Taiwan independence" who have been undermining peace and stability across the Strait. The Chinese government and people will not waver in their resolve to defend sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Qin Gang said that peace and development are the most enduring aspirations of mankind. China and Norway share the view that the more volatile the world is, the more necessary it is to strengthen dialogue and exchanges. Both sides are firm champions of world peace, globalization and free trade, and both support the concerted effort of countries to address climate change and achieve sustainable development. China is ready to work with Norway to safeguard the UN-centered international system, the international order underpinned by international law, and the basic norms governing international relations based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, to strengthen coordination on affairs related to peace and reconciliation, and to promote world peace and development.
Regarding the Ukraine crisis, Qin Gang stressed that the top priority now is to cease the hostilities, and a political settlement of the crisis must be ultimately achieved through negotiations. China will always stand on the side of peace and promote talks for peace. He expressed the hope that relevant parties to the crisis will remain cool-headed and exercise restraint, make joint effort for a negotiated settlement of the crisis, and work to build a balanced, effective and sustainable European security framework to realize enduring peace and stability in Europe.