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China Will Peacefully Develop: FM

Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing said in Beijing Friday that China will peacefully develop and adhere to an independent foreign policy of peace in the coming year.

Li made the remarks on a new year reception hosted by the Foreign Ministry in the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, at which State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan and nearly 400 foreign diplomats and Chinese officials were present.

This year, China, in a bid to safeguard the fundamental interest of the Chinese and world people, carried out many exchanges and cooperation with foreign partners, played constructive role in major international and regional issues and made contributions to world peace and common development, Li said.

China will "hold high the banner of peace, development and cooperation", adhere to an independent foreign policy of peace, stick to a road of peaceful development, seek domestic development and harmony and promote world peace and cooperation in 2006, he said.

Konan Kramo, ambassador of Cote d'Ivoire said on behalf of the diplomatic corps in Beijing that China has been an "essential player" in the world political and economic arena, safeguarding world peace and promoting common development.

He expressed congratulations on China's achievements in national building-up and said he believes China will further cooperate with foreign partners.

As below is the full text of the toast by Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing on the New Year Eve Reception:

Your Excellencies Ambassadors and Representatives and Your Partners,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I wish to extend, on behalf of the Chinese Foreign Ministry and in my own name, a very warm welcome to you, and I extend to you my best wishes for a happy new year.

During the past year, the Chinese people of all ethnic groups, under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Hu Jintao as the General Secretary, have made concerted and innovative efforts and made fresh progress in the cause of reform, opening-up and modernization drive. The major development goals set in the Tenth Five-Year Plan have been met ahead of schedule and China's economic and social development has maintained good momentum.

Over the past year, China has conducted extensive exchanges and cooperation with other countries with the aim of safeguarding the fundamental interests of the Chinese people and people across the world. It has played a constructive role in resolving major international and regional issues, and has made its due contribution to maintaining world peace and promoting common development.

The year 2006 will be the first year for China's implementation of the Eleventh Five-Year Guidelines. This five-year period will play a key role in building in an all-round way a society of moderate prosperity in China. We will keep forging ahead with full confidence from this new starting point.

We will continue to hold high the banner of peace, development and cooperation, adhere to the independent foreign policy of peace, pursue a road of peaceful development and promote development and harmony at home and enhance peace and cooperation abroad. We will work with the people of all other countries for the cause of peace, development and human progress.

Now I wish to propose a toast,

to the world peace and common development,

to the harmonious and bright tomorrow of the mankind,

to the health of all our guests, friends and comrades!



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