Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said on Saturday that 2008 was a year of "good harvest" despite "enormous challenges" for China's diplomacy.
Large events such as the devastating earthquake in southwestern Sichuan Province, "disruptive factors" during the run-up to the Beijing Olympics and the global financial crisis brought "great ever challenges" to China's diplomatic work last year, Yang told apress conference on the sidelines of the annual parliamentary session.
The country, however, met the challenges head on and saw good harvest in its diplomacy, Yang said, citing the Beijing Olympics, a big cultural event, as an example of cultural diplomacy.
As many as more than 180 state leaders, government heads and foreign officials came to China on official visits, attending opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games and the 7th Asian-European Meeting in Beijing, among others.
The new year has also seen a good start of China's international exchanges, Yang noted.
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, Yang said.
He said more attention this year should be given to diplomacy in specific fields such as economic, security, cultural and public diplomacy.
(Xinhua News Agency March 7, 2009)