BEIJING, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- China has taken note of incoming U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's comments on China-U.S.relations and is ready to continue building a cooperative partnership between the two countries, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Friday.
It was the second time that China officially sent out affirmative signals concerning the designated U.S. secretary of state in less than a month.
"The Chinese side places great importance on developing China-U.S. relations," Hong told a regular press conference.
"We are ready to work with the U.S. side to further advance the development of the China-U.S. cooperative partnership and explore the development of a new relationship between major powers," Hong said.
At his Senate confirmation hearing for secretary of state on Thursday (local time), Senator Kerry said strengthening the relationship between the United States and China is critical.
Kerry expressed his hope that the Chinese side will also recognize the need to broaden the bilateral relationship.
He also said the United States should not "overreact" to China's military buildup in the Asia-Pacific region.
In response to Kerry's comments, Hong said the Asia-Pacific region is where China and the U.S. have the closest convergence of interests and the most frequent interactions.
"China and the United States should jointly play a constructive role in maintaining peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region," Hong said.
Hong said the two sides may continue and maintain communication, coordination and cooperation through such mechanisms as the Strategic and Economic Dialogue and consultations on Asia-Pacific affairs, in a bid to realize positive interactions in the Asia-Pacific region.
During a regular press briefing on Dec. 24, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson extended China's congratulations to Senator Kerry for his nomination as secretary of state.