Political Relations
2019/04/09

China and Iceland established diplomatic relations on 8th December 1971. In May 1972, China set up its Embassy in Iceland and assigned the first resident ambassador to Iceland. After 1983, the Chinese Ambassador in Denmark was concurrently accredited also to Iceland. By then, the post of Icelandic ambassador to China was held concurrently by an ambassador-at-large or an ambassador in a third country. In January 1995, Iceland set up its embassy in Beijing and assigned its first resident ambassador to China. In December 1995, China resumed the practice of sending resident ambassadors to Iceland.

After the establishment of diplomatic relations, the bilateral exchanges increased gradually. The main Icelandic leaders who visited China since 1971 are: Mr. Petur Thorsteinsson, Permanent Secretary of State (1975); Mr. Agustsson, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Althingi (1979); Mr. Olafur Johannesson, Foreign Minister (1982); Mr. Ingvi Ingvarsson, Permanent Secretary of State (1985); Mr. Steingrimur Hermannsson, Prime Minister(1986). In 1979, the Chinese Vice-Premier Geng Biao, as the first Chinese Government leader, visited Iceland.

In the 1990s, the exchanges of visits increased more rapidly. The main Icelandic leaders who visited China by then are : Mr. Jon Baldvin Hannibalsson, Foreign Minister (1994); Mr. David Oddsson, Prime Minister (1994); Mme. Salome Thorkesdottir, President of the Althingi (1995); Mme. Vigdis Finnbogadottir, President of Iceland (1995); Mme. Finnbogadottir was the first Icelandic President to visit China and during her visit she attended the UN's Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. Mr. Halldor Asgrimsson, Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade (2001); Mme. Siv Fridleifsdottir, Minister of Environment (2002); Mr. Geir H. Haarde, Minister of Finance (2002); Mr. Jon Kristjansson, Minister of Health and Social Security (2002 ); Mr. Sigurdur Thordarson, Auditor-General(2003); Mme. Valgerdur Sverrisdottir, Minister of Industry and Commerce (2004); Mr. Bjorn Bjarnason, Minister of Justice and Ecclesiastical Affairs (2004); HE Mr. Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, President of Iceland (2005); Mr.Halldor Blondal, Speaker of Althingi (2005); Mr. Jon Kristjansson, Minister of Health and Social Security (2005); Mrs. Sigridur A. Thordardottir, Minister for the Environment (2005); Mr. Össur Skarphéðinsson, Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade (2010). President Grimsson attended closing ceremony of 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, 2010 Shanghai International Expo and the 2nd World Investment Forum (UNCTAD) in Xiamen (2010) and the Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Tianjin (2010).

In 1995, Vice-Premier and Foreign Minister Qian Qichen and Vice-Premier Li Lanqing visited Iceland. Mr. Tian Jiyun, Vice-Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) of China in 1996 and Mr. Huang Ju, Member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in 1999 paid visits to Iceland. In 2000, Mr. Li Peng, Chairman of the Standing Committee of NPC, Mr. Ding Guangen, Member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee and Minister of Publicity of CCP, State Councilor Wu Yi and Mr. Han Zhubin, the Prosecutor-General of China visited Iceland. In 2002, HE Mr. Jiang Zemin, President of China paid an official visit to Iceland and State Councilor Wang Zhongyu also visited Iceland. In 2003, Mr. Luo Gan, Member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of CCP, visited Iceland. In 2004, Mr. Wang Zhaoguo, Vice-Chairman of the Standing Committee of the NPC of China visited Iceland. In 2006, Mr. Cheng Siwei, Vice-Chairman of the Standing Committee of the NPC of China, Mr. Huang Mengfu and Ms. Zhang Meiying, Vice Chairpersons of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, and State Councilor Chen Zhili visited Iceland. In 2010, Mr. He Guoqiang, Secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection visited Iceland.

In April 2012, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao paid an official visit to Iceland, and he was the first Chinese premier to visit Iceland since the establishment of the diplomatic relations. In April 2013, Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir of Iceland paid an official visit to China. The two sides issued the Joint Statement Between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of Iceland on Comprehensively Deepening Bilateral Cooperation. The two countries also formally signed the Free Trade Agreement Between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of Iceland. In October 2013, Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai paid an official visit to Iceland. In June 2014, Mr. Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade paid a working visit to China. In November 2014, Mr. Du Qinglin, Vice Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference visited Iceland. In June 2015, Mr. Guo Jinlong, Member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of CCP and Party Secretary of Beijing Municipal Government visited Iceland. In May 2017, Mr. Zhao Hongzhu, Member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee and Deputy Secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection visited Iceland. In January 2018, Mr. Steingrimur J. Sigfusson, Speaker of Althingi visited China in the delegation of Speakers of Parliaments of the Nordic and Baltic Countries. In July 2018, Mr. Zhang Qingli, Vice Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference visited Iceland. In September 2018, Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Gudlaugur Thór Thórdarson paid an official visit to China.

In addition to the above-mentioned bilateral exchanges of visits, the leaders of the two countries also maintained close communication through various means such as exchanges of letters. These exchanges have effectively promoted the continuous development of political relations between the two countries, enhanced mutual understanding and mutual trust, and laid a solid foundation for the comprehensive improvement of the bilateral relations.