BEIJING, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- World Bank President Robert Zoellick's leadership has enhanced the bank's cooperation with China and contributed to the country's development and poverty-reduction goals, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said Thursday.
When asked to comment on Zoellick's plans to step down from his post in June, Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said that during Zoellick's term, the World Bank has played a positive role in pooling various resources to help developing countries cope with the global financial crisis, boost global growth and alleviate poverty.
He has actively pushed forward reforms in the World Bank's management structure and promoted the voices of developing countries as well, Liu said.
In regards to selecting a replacement for Zoellick, China expressed hopes that the World Bank would follow the principles of "openness, competition and selecting based on qualifications," Liu said.
The World Bank announced Wednesday that Zoellick, who took office in July 2007, will step down when his five-year term ends on June 30.
The bank said that under Zoellick's leadership, it has provided a record 247 billion U.S. dollars to help developing countries boost growth and overcome poverty.