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Remarks by Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the Reception Marking the 30th Anniversary of the Spokesperson Mechanism of the Chinese Foreign Ministry and the Advent of New Year with Foreign Journalists in China

Dear Friends from the Press,

Good evening!

I am so glad to have this opportunity of meeting you here. I wish to begin by extending, on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, our best regards and sincere greetings for the New Year to you all. I also wish to thank the Beijing Municipal government and other organizers for their thoughtful arrangements for this reception.

Friends from the press and other guests,

The year 2013 has been an extraordinary year in China's development. The new government achieved a steady yet impressive start. The economy, while keeping the turn for the better and achieving sound progress, continued to lead in growth rate among the world's main economies. The Third Plenum of the 18th CPC Central Committee held not long ago mapped out the comprehensive deepening of reform, holding out a bright prospect for the nation.

As we speak, vigorous efforts are underway to explore a path of major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics. Much success has been achieved by China's diplomacy in the new era, thanks to its global vision, its innovative drive and its ability to reflect the trend of the times.

No changes are more evident in our changing world than in China. To make a country of 1.3 billion a modern country may be the greatest saga in human history, but it is certainly the most stupendous accomplishment in today's world. Shortcomings, deficiencies and weaknesses are hardly avoidable. What is important, however, is that China has never stopped growing and making progress and China's future will be more and more bright. Thanks to six decades of exploration and practice after the founding of New China, and particularly since the launch of reform and opening-up 35 years ago, China has found a development path suited to its national conditions and developed a whole set of effective systems and mechanisms. History has, and will continue to show that this path is entirely correct.

The China story is a success story, which depends, first and foremost, on our own efforts. At the same time, the effective role of foreign journalists is also crucial. Known as "uncrowned kings", the profession of journalists commands the respect of society and shoulders special social responsibility. I hope you will get closely in touch with China's common people, listening to them and learning about their hearts and minds, so that you can present a full and genuine picture of China, and become a good bridge between the Chinese people and people of the rest of the world.

The Chinese government will, as always, welcome foreign journalists, try its best to respond to their practical difficulties and reasonable needs in news coverage in China, and offer still better services and more conveniences. I hope all of you will succeed in your work and enjoy life in China, finding an opportunity to make a real difference in your career.

Friends from the press and other guests,

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the spokesperson mechanism of the Chinese Foreign Ministry. As we say in China, "A man should be independent at the age of 30". Thanks to 30 years of exploration and efforts, the spokesperson mechanism has grown more mature and complete, becoming an important window on the country's reform and opening-up and a key symbol for China's development and progress. A total of 27 have served as spokespersons of the Chinese Foreign Ministry. Despite differences in time, experiences and styles, they have had one thing in common, which is their loyalty, dedication and sense of responsibility. They love from the bottom of their hearts their country, their people and the cause they have chosen. As spokespersons, they work hard and persistently to uphold China's sovereignty, interests and dignity, painstakingly elaborate on the concepts, principles and policies of China's diplomacy, and energetically dedicate themselves to increased knowledge and mutual understanding between China and the rest of the world. Let me take this opportunity to pay tribute to all the 27 spokespersons!

Building on three decades of development, the spokesperson mechanism of the Chinese Foreign Ministry stands now at a new starting point. I hope and believe that the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokespersons will continue to speak for peace and development, promote the idea of win-win cooperation and sow the seeds of friendship and trust far and wide.

Friends from the press and other guests,

The Chinese New Year of the Horse is around the corner. In Chinese tradition, the "horse" symbolizes diligence and progress. In the upcoming year, we will continue to advance reform and opening-up and open a new prospect for China's diplomacy. I look forward to your continued support and assistance!

Thank you very much and happy New Year!

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