BEIJING, March 8
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi Saturday described 2008 as a year of "good harvest" despite enormous challenges for China's diplomacy.
The "ever-greater challenges" included the May 12 earthquake, "disruptive factors" prior to the Beijing Olympics and the global financial crisis, Yang said.
The country had met the challenges head on, Yang said on the sidelines of the annual parliamentary session. He cited the Beijing Olympics as an example of cultural diplomacy.
Soundbite: Yangjiechi, Chinese Foreign Minister, said: " The 'journey of friendship and cooperation' by President Hu Jintao to African and Middle East countries and the 'journey of confidence' by Premier Wen Jiabao to Europe at the beginning of this year greatly pushed relations with those countries.
The past year has been eventful for China and remarkable for China's diplomacy. 2008 was a year of "good harvest" despite "enormous challenges" for China's diplomacy.
"More than 180 state leaders, government heads and foreign officials came to China on official visits.
"This year's exchanges had started well, with President Hu Jintao's 'journey of friendship and cooperation' to Africa and the Middle East and Premier Wen Jiabao's 'journey of confidence' to Europe."
He said Chinese diplomacy would focus more on economic, security and cultural fields this year.