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BEIJING - A spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday called on Norway to take concrete steps to create conditions for improving bilateral ties, saying mending relations is up to Norway.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei made the appeal at a daily press briefing, when asked whether Norway's latest stance supporting China's bid for permanent observer status to the Arctic Council could be enough to improve bilateral ties.
"China always maintains that Arctic nations and non-Arctic ones should cooperate on Arctic issues on the basis of respecting each other's rights and understanding all parties' concerns, so as to ensure peaceful and sustainable Arctic development," Hong said.
"Arctic-related issues are not only regional matters, but also cross-regional matters involving climate change and navigation," he said.
On Monday, Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barthe Eide gave a definite "yes" when asked by a Xinhua reporter if Norway would back China's bid for permanent observer status in the eight-member regional council largely comprised of countries on the rim of the Arctic Ocean.