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MFA: Sino-Norway face no barrier on human rights dialogue
April 01,2017   By:MFA
April 1, 2017 -- At the invitation of Premier Li Keqiang, Prime Minister Erna Solberg of the Kingdom of Norway will pay an official visit to China from April 7 to 11.
 
During the visit, President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang, Chairman Zhang Dejiang and other state leaders will hold meetings and formal talks respectively with Prime Minister Erna Solberg to exchange views on bilateral relations and issues of common interest.
 
Norway was one of the first Western countries to recognize the People's Republic of China. There is a long history of exchanges between China and Norway and a strong foundation for bilateral practical cooperation. Last December, the governments of China and Norway issued a joint statement on normalizing bilateral relations. Now China and Norway faces a new opportunity to grow their ties. We believe that Prime Minister Solberg's visit will further enhance our political trust and practical cooperation and promote the healthy and steady development of China-Norway relations.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang's Regular Press Conference on March 31, 2017
 
Q: Regarding the upcoming visit from Norway, China and Norway ceased the human rights dialogue in 2010. In line with developing sound political relations with Norway, will China be interested in restarting the human rights dialogue? What are the necessary preconditions for that to happen?
 
A: China never opposes dialogue on human rights. We always stand for having human rights dialogues with other countries on the basis of mutual respect to promote international human development. At the same time, we firmly oppose attempts by any country or any force to interfere with other countries' internal affairs by using the so-called human rights issues. This position has never changed. We believe if the two sides can return to mutual respect, there will be no obstacle for engaging in human rights dialogues.
 
Q: Certain Chinese state media have given the impression that Norway has reflected deeply on several issues and learned its lessons after the breakdown in relations with China in 2010. Has Norway, in China's view, been apologetic in its stance? 
 
A: I have talked about the whole process of normalization of China-Norway relations. I would refer you to the joint statement issued by the Chinese and Norwegian governments last December. It is not necessary for me to interpret those media comments here. We only interpret policies of the Chinese government here.
 
 
Q: What is your expectation for the Norwegian Prime Minister's visit? There is opposition party in Norway that oppose putting economic interests over human rights principle. What is your response?
 
A: As I said, we attach importance to the upcoming visit of the Norwegian Prime Minister. I believe, party interests or other factors aside, as long as the decision is made to serve the fundamental and long-term interests of the Norwegian people, then it will have support inside Norway.
 
Q: One key issue of the Norwegian Prime Minister's visit to China next week is to restart negotiations on a free trade agreement. How far will such negotiations proceed? Will the agreement be reached during the visit?
 
A: To reach a mutually beneficial free trade agreement at an early date serves the interests of the enterprises and consumers in the two countries. We also hope that such a good arrangement can be reached as soon as possible. We will timely inform you of good news when we have them.