China, Norway to resume talks on free trade as ties warm

China says Beijing and Norway will resume talks over a free trade deal as part of normalizing ties six years after Beijing froze out the Scandinavian country over the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to an imprisoned Chinese dissident.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Tuesday the two sides have agreed to negotiate the pact after Norway "made important and explicit statements on issues concerning China's sovereignty and territorial integrity."

Norway's Nobel committee awarded Liu Xiaobo the peace prize in 2010, infuriating China. Liu is still imprisoned in northern China.

The two countries said Monday normal relations have resumed. Although the Norwegian government has no say over the Nobel panel's choices, China had suspended a bilateral trade deal and restricted imports of Norwegian salmon — a major export earner.