中华人民共和国驻冰岛大使馆经商处

Economic and Commercial Office of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Iceland

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Bilateral Relations

China and Iceland

(Last update: 2004/03/04)

I. Political relations

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

After the establishment of diplomatic relations, the relations between the two countries have been developed well on the whole. China rendered support to Iceland in its endeavor for the expansion of fishing area while Iceland backed China in restoring its legitimate seat in the UN. The bilateral exchanges increased gradually. The main Icelandic leaders who visited China since 1971 are: Mr. Thorsteinsson, Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1975); Mr. Agustsson, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Parliament (1979); Mr. Johannesson, Minister of Foreign Affairs(1982); Mr. Ingvarsson, Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1985); Mr. Hermannsson, Prime Minister (1986); In 1979, Chinese Vice-Premier Geng Biao visited Iceland as the first Chinese Government leader visiting Iceland.

The 1990s saw an increase of high-level exchanges between the two countries. Mr. Hannibalsson, Minister of Foreign Affairs (1994), Mr. Oddsson, Prime Minister (1994); Mrs. Thorkelsdottir, President of the Parliament (1995), Mrs. Finnbogadottir, President of Iceland (1995), Mr. Asgrimsson, Minister of Foreign Affairs (2001) paid visits to China successively. The Chinese state leaders who visited Iceland include: Qian Qichen, Vice-Premier and Foreign Minister and Vice-Premier (1995); Mr. Li Lanqing, Vice-Premier (1995); Mr. Tian Jiyun, Vice-Chairman of the Standing Committee of NPC (1996); Mr. Huang Ju, Member of the Standing Committee of CCP (1999); Mr. Li Peng, Chairman of the Standing Committee of NPC (2000); Mr. Ding Guangen, Member of the Standing Committee and Minister of Publicity of CCP (2000); Mme. Wu Yi, State Councilor (2000), Mr. Han Zhubin, Procurator-General (2000); President Jiang Zemin(2002), Mr. Wang Zhongyu, State Councilor (2002) and Mr. Shi Guangsheng, Minister of visited Iceland. In 2001, China and Iceland celebrated the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Mr. Asgrimsson, Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade of Iceland visited China in 2001. Mme. Fridleifsdottir, Minister for Environment and Mr. Haarde, Minister for Finance of Iceland visited China in 2002.


In 2003, Mr. Luo Gan, Member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee and Mr. Sun Jiazheng, Minister of Culture visited Iceland. Mr. Sigurdur Thordarson, Auditor General of Iceland visited China in 2003.

II. Trade Relations and Economic-Technological cooperation

The trade volume between China and Iceland had been comparatively small. Since the 1980s, however, the trade and economic cooperation between China and Iceland have developed to some extent.

According to statistics of Chinese customs, the total volume of trade between the two countries in 2003 was US$68.3 million, an increase of 107.5% compared with 2002. China's export value was US$45.53 million and its import value was US$22.77 million, up by 146.1% and 57.9% year on year respectively. The main exports from China to Iceland are coal, garments, textiles, footwear and ships, and the main imports from Iceland are fish products and mechanical and electrical products.

In 1995, the Icelandic Geothermal Energy Consulting Company and Tanggu District in Tianjin reached an agreement on exploiting geothermal energy, and built up a geothermal heating system. In November 2002, Beijing Tian Yin Geothermal Resource Development Ltd. established a consulting company in cooperation with Iceland.

Since November 1995, the Sino-Icelandic Mixed Committee on Economic and Trade Cooperation has held five sessions.

III. Cooperation in the fields of Science, Technology, Culture and Education

China and Iceland have had fruitful exchanges and cooperation in the field of geothermal energy. Since the 1980s, China has sent up to 50 geothermal technicians to Iceland for training courses.

Over the last years, the bilateral cultural exchanges have become increasingly active. Iceland held Stamp Exhibitions and Art Exhibitions in China. Many Icelandic artists visited China. The Collection of Icelandic Sagas and Edda were published in Chinese. Chinese Stamp Exhibitions as well as Calligraphy Exhibitions were held, and several folk music groups visited Iceland.

By the end of 2003 there are 1 Chinese students studying in Iceland and 2 Icelandic students in China. Since 1979, China has sent coaches of gymnastics, volleyball, badminton and table tennis to Iceland all together 30 person-times.

IV. Sister-city Relationship



Baoding (Hebei Province) and Hafnarfjordur (1984)

V. Important Agreements and Documents

1,The Bilateral Trade Agreement between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Republic of Iceland (1987)

2,The Agreement between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of Iceland for Protection of Investments (1994)

3,The Agreement between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of Iceland for Reciprocal Avoidance of Double Taxation (1996)

4,The Agreement between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Republic of Iceland Relating to Civil Air Transport (2003)


(Information from Ministry of Foreign Affairs, PRC)