Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg began a trade trip to China on Friday, signaling a restoration of diplomatic ties between the two countries, six years after China cut relations over a Chinese dissident’s selection as Nobel Peace Prize winner.
Solberg met with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during a welcoming ceremony, in which the premier told Solberg the visit “symbolizes the normalization of the China-Norwegian relationship.”
China cut off ties with Norway in 2010, after the Nobel committee awarded its peace prize to Liu Xiabao, a Chinese dissident convicted of subversion in 2009 for writing a document calling for democracy in China.
Despite Norway’s government having no control over the peace prize selection process, China suspended a bilateral trade deal with Norway and restricted imports of Norwegian salmon.
Solberg told Li she thinks the two countries can “find a lot of common areas of shared interests to work together.”
An official statement from Norway’s government named combating climate change as one of the areas for possible cooperation, and said China is “playing a key role” in the area already.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said in December the two countries had restored normal relations after Norway “made important and explicit statements on issues concerning China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”