BEIJING, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- A Foreign Ministry spokesman on Thursday said China hopes for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's speedy recovery.
"China has been following the developments concerning President Chavez's health and we sincerely hope that he will recover soon," spokesman Hong Lei said at a daily press briefing.
"Venezuela is an important country in Latin America and a friend of China. We hope Venezuela will maintain national stability, as well as social and economic development," Hong said.
Chavez will miss his scheduled swearing-in ceremony on Thursday for health reasons.
Re-elected to his third six-year term last October, Chavez was expected to be sworn in at the National Assembly on Thursday, but remains hospitalized in Havana following cancer surgery in December, his fourth such surgery thus far.