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BEIJING - Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi on Monday addressed an event for foreign diplomats and representatives of international agencies and said that China will work with other nations toward world peace and development.
"China will, together with all other countries, share opportunities, tackle challenges, and make new and greater contribution to the lofty cause of peace and development for mankind," Yang said at a New Year Reception hosted by the Foreign Ministry.
Briefing the guests on the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, Yang said China will continue to hold high the banner of peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit; promote equality, mutual trust, inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutually beneficial cooperation in international relations; firmly pursue an independent foreign policy of peace; unwaveringly follow the path of peaceful development and grow friendship and cooperation in all fields with other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.
According to the foreign minister, 2012 has seen fresh and important progress in China's diplomatic work, as evidenced by the country's growing international standing and influence.
"We have advanced our ties with other countries and deepened good-neighborly friendship and cooperation with our neighbors," Yang said.
He told the audience, "We have played the responsible and constructive role of a big country in dealing with international and regional hotspot issues, worked actively to push for peaceful settlement of disputes and issues, and stood for non-intervention in others' internal affairs and other basic norms governing international relations.
"We have carried out extensive public diplomacy activities as well as cultural and people-to-people exchanges to encourage deeper understanding and friendship between the Chinese people and people of other countries."
Yang said China's diplomacy will maintain continuity and consistency, and the country will adapt itself to new developments and requirements, both domestically and internationally.
"We will seek to create a more favorable international environment for our efforts to complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects and achieve socialist modernization," he said. "In the coming year, we look forward to maintaining good cooperation with all of you and stepping up mutual support and coordination with all related agencies."
In his address, Nolana Ta-Ama, dean of the Diplomatic Corps and Togo's ambassador to China, hailed China's great achievements in 2012.
"In today's world, the positive developments would not have been possible without China's decisive contribution," he said, particularly stressing China's role in tackling the international financial crisis and addressing environment and climate change issues.
"I cannot help but mention the courage of China as a permanent member of the UN Security Council in urging countries in conflicts to respect the concerns of all parties, show flexibility and practicality and resolve crises through dialogue and other diplomatic means," he added.
More than 400 people, including Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo, attended Monday's reception in Beijing.