The Kingdom of Norway recognized the People's Republic of China on 7th January 1950 and established diplomatic relations with China on 5th October 1954. The two countries exchanged ambassadors in 1955.
During the 50 years after the establishment of diplomatic ties, the Sino-Norwegian relations have witnessed a smooth development on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. Cooperation between the two countries in various fields such as politics, economy and culture has increased constantly and yielded remarkable results.
There were a few contacts between China and Norway in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1958, Mr. Finn Moe, Chairman of the Committee of Foreign and Constitutional Affairs of the Norwegian Parliament, visited China at the invitation of the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs. He met respectively Premier Zhou Enlai and Lin Boqu, Vice-Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. In the 1970s, the exchange of visits between the two countries began to increase. In 1973, Norwegian Foreign Minister Dagfinn Vaarvik visited China, and during the visit the two sides signed the Civil Air Transport Agreement between China and Norway. In 1978, Norwegian Foreign Minister Knut Frydenlund visited China and met Vice-Premier Deng Xiaoping. In 1979, Vice-Premier Geng Biao visited Norway. He was the highest Chinese Government leader who ever visited Norway by then.In the 1980s, China-Norway relations further developed with frequent high-level exchange of visits. Chinese Premier, Vice-Premier and Vice-Chairmen of the NPC Standing Committee visited Norway successively, and Norwegian Prime Ministers and Presidents of Parliament visited China one after another.
Contacts and cooperation between the two countries in all fields have taken further development in the 1990s. The main Chinese visitors to Norway are: Vice-Premier Tian Jiyun and Zhu Rongji (1992), NPC Standing Committee Vice-Chairman Wang Hanbin (1993), CPPCC Chairman Li Ruihuan (1994), Vice-Premier Li Lanqing (1995), President Jiang Zemin (1996), NPC Standing Committee Chairman Qiao Shi, Vice-Premier Zou Jiahua (1997) and Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan, Mr. Huang Ju (1999), Member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of CCP, Mr. Ding Guangen, Member of the Political Bureau and Minister of Publicity of CCP, Chief Procurator Mr. Han Zhubin, Vice Chairman of NPC and President of the Women's Union Peng Peiyun and President of the Supreme Court Xiao Yang (2000), Ismail Amat, State Councilor, in 2001; He Luli, Vice-Chairperson of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and Luo Haocai, CPPCC's Vice-Chairman, General Chi Haotian, Vice-Chairman of the Central Military Commission, State Councilor and Minister of National Defense in 2002. The main Norwegian visitors to China are: Foreign Minister Bjoern Tore Godal (1994), President of Parliament Mrs. Kirsti Kolle Groendahl and Prime Minister Mrs. Gro Harlem Brundtland (1996), King Harald V of Norway (1997), Grete Knudsen, Minister of Trade, Industry and Information Technology, Ms. Ellen Horn, Minister of Cultural Affairs; Thorbjoern Jagland, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Trond Giske, Minister of Religion, Education and Research; Carsten Smith, President of the Supreme Court in 2001; Kjell Magne Bondevik, Prime Minister of Norway, Dagfinn Hoeybraaten, Norwegian Minister of Health and a delegation of the Financial Committee of the Norwegian Parliament in 2002.
In 2003, Minister of Culture, Sun Jiazheng, visited Norway and Minister of Culture and Church Affairs Valgerd Svarstad Haugland, Minister of Environment Boerge Breande visited China.
II. Trade Relations and Economic-Technological Cooperation
The economies of China and Norway are complementary to each other to a certain extent. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries 45 years ago, the bilateral economic cooperation has developed from simple exchanges of commodities to multi-fields cooperation in economy, trade, industry and technology. The bilateral trade volume has increased constantly since mid-1980s. According to statistics of the China General Administration for Customs, the volume of the bilateral trade between China and Norway in 2003 was US$1.76 billion, an increase of 21.7% compared with the previous year. Of that, China's import value was US$899 million while its export value was US$865million, respectively down by 6.3% and up by 70.6% from the previous year. China's main exports to Norway were ships, textiles and garments, mechanical and electrical products, shoes, suitcases and bags as well as coke, and its main imports from Norway were crude oil, mechanical and electrical products, fertilizer, building and mining machines, loading and unloading equipment as well as iron ore.
In 1980, the two countries signed the Agreement on Economic, Industrial and Technological Cooperation and set up the Sino-Norwegian Mixed Committee of Economy and Trade. 15 committee sessions were held until now. Up to the end of year 2003, the two sides have signed contracts on 166 projects for technological transfer and imports of equipment with a total amount of US$ 424 million of contractual investment. The main fields of investment are post and telecommunications, electronics, machinery, transportation, light industry, agriculture and environmental protection. Up to the end of 2003, China and Norway had established 172 joint ventures, with contracted Norwegian capital amounting to US$320 million and the capital actually invested totaling US$230 million. The main jointly-funded enterprises were Haidelu Suzhou Huasu Plastic Co., Ltd., Baolige Taican Chemical Industrial Co., Ltd., Guangzhou Zuodun Yuanyang Lacquer Co., Ltd., Shanghai Naikeming Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Ningbo Huagang High-speed Passenger Ship Co., Ltd., and Luoshan Scana Machine Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
Norway has provided China with government concessional loans since 1985. Up to the end of 2003, Norway had provided government loans to China with the contracted amount reaching US$240 million, which was used for financing 64 projects mainly in communications, telecommunications, urban construction and environmental protection.
In January 2000, the two countries reached agreement on issues concerning China's entry into WTO.
III. Exchanges and Cooperation in the Fields of Science and Technology, Culture, Education and Military
Since the 1980s China and Norway have signed several agreements on cooperation in science & technology and environmental protection, as well as the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of China and Norway on Protection of Intellectual Properties. The two countries signed a cultural agreement in 1963, which was the first one of its kind between China and Western Countries. Programs for cultural and educational exchanges have also been made since the 1980s. In November 1998, China and Norway signed the Program for Cultural and Educational Cooperation for 1999-2003. Up to the end of 2000, there were 661 Chinese students studying or engaged in advanced studies in Norway and 86 Norwegian students studying in China on state scholarship.
Military contacts between the two countries started in the 1980s. In 1984, General Sven Hauge, the Norwegian Chief of Defense, visited China, and Xu Xin, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the PLA, headed a Chinese military delegation to Norway. This was the first time that military leaders from the two countries exchanged visits. In April 2002, General Chi Haotian, Vice-Chairman of the Central Military Commission, State Councilor and Minister of National Defense, visited Norway.
IV. Consular Relations
In June 1996, Foreign Ministers of the two countries signed in Oslo the Agreement on Reciprocal Establishment of Consulate General. Three months later, the Norwegian Consulate General in Shanghai was opened officially. In February 1997, China and Norway reached an agreement and exchanged notes on the maintenance of the Norwegian Consulate General in Hong Kong SAR after July 1 of the same year. On March 1 2003, Norway closed its Consulate General in Hong Kong. On September 10 two Governments reached an agreement on the appointment of an Honorary Norwegian consul in Hong Kong. Under the agreement, Norway may appoint an Honorary Consul in Hong Kong, whose consular district covers the Hong Kong SAR and Macao SAR. In February 2004, China and Norway exchanged notes concerning the extension of the scope of the consular district of the Norweigian Consulate General in Shanghai to Jiangxi and Fujian Province.
V. Sister-city Relationship
Zhuzhou City, Hunan Province and Fredrikstad City (1999)
Jiaxing City, Zhejiang Province and Sandfjord City (2000)
Shanghai City and Oslo City (2001)
VI. List of Important Bilateral Agreements and Documents
1,Bilateral Trade and Payment Agreement between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Kingdom of Norway (1958)
l2,Cultural Agreement between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Kingdom of Norway (1963)
3, Agreement on Civil Air Transport between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Kingdom of Norway (1973)
4, Agreement on Economic, Industrial and Technological Cooperation between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Kingdom of Norway (1980)
5,Agreement on Long-term Bilateral Trade between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Kingdom of Norway (1982)
6, Agreement on Mutual Protection of Investments between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Kingdom of Norway (1984)
7, Minutes of Scientific and Technological Cooperation between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Kingdom of Norway (1985)
8,Agreement between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Kingdom of Norway for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income (1986)
9, Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Kingdom of Norway on Protection of Intellectual Properties (1995)
10,Agreement on Reciprocal Establishment of Consulate General between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Kingdom of Norway (1996)
11,Agreement on the appointment of an Honorary Norwegian consul in Hong Kong(2003)
12,Memorandum on Sports Cooperation.(2003)
13,Agreement on Maritime Transport between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Kingdom of Norway.( revised and renewed in 2003)
14,China and Norway exchanged notes concerning the extension of the scope of the consular district of the Norweigian Consulate General in Shanghai to Jiangxi and Fujian Province (2004)
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