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Icelandic ambassador sends festival wishes to readers of People’s Daily Online

By Kou Jie, Tian Kai (People's Daily Online)    09:45, February 06, 2018

Gunnar Snorri Gunnarsson, who has just started his second tenure as Icelandic ambassador to China, sent best wishes to readers of People’s Daily Online for the upcoming Spring Festival, calling for better bilateral ties between the two nations and their people.

“It seems to be my fate to come to China at 12-year intervals, and always the Year of the Dog. So I first came here in 1994 with my minister, who then was looking for where should Iceland open its first embassy in Asia, and of course we decided to open our first Asian embassy in Beijing. Then I came back later in 2006 as ambassador, and then once again in 2018,” Gunnarsson told People’s Daily Online during an interview on Thursday.

According to Gunnarsson, China is no longer catching up with the rest of the world. It is going further and making more progress than Western Europe and the United States. The ambassador has expressed positive remarks about China’s Arctic White Paper released in January, noting that the policy document could be an excellent basis for building Sino-Icelandic arctic cooperation.

Congratulating Chinese readers for the upcoming Spring Festival, Gunnarsson also hoped that more Icelandic people could get their knowledge of China directly from Chinese publications, rather than just information through European media outlets.

“I wish you happiness, prosperity, long life, and more contacts between Iceland and China. I think it may be too optimistic to hope [for] direct flight in this year, but maybe, still during my stay here, which might be three or four years, then I am optimistic that things might happen in that front,” he said.

This is the second time Gunnarsson served as Icelandic ambassador to China. His new tenure in China aims to create a sound environment for bilateral cooperation in areas of Arctic exploitation, logistics, and translation exchange, as well as geothermal research and utilization.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Web editor: Kou Jie, Bianji)

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