BEIJING, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- Global leaders are wishing the best for those celebrating the Chinese New Year and the beginning of the Year of the Snake.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a statement Friday to extend his best wishes to those celebrating Chinese New Year in Canada and elsewhere in the world.
"The many fireworks and parades marking this special occasion always remind me of how alive and well the vibrant Chinese culture is in our country," Harper said. "It also reminds us of the enormous contributions by Chinese Canadians to build the great nation we have today."
Harper said that as Chinese Canadians usher in the New Year, "they can rest assured that our government is working to create the jobs and economic conditions that will help ensure that the Year of the Snake is one marked by good fortune and prosperity."
Separately, Sir Arthur Alexander Foulkes, governor-general of the Bahamas, wished a happy Chinese New Year to the Chinese people at a reception in the Chinese Embassy to the Bahamas on Saturday.
"On behalf of the government and people of the Bahamas, I wish the Chinese people a very happy new year. We value very highly our friendship with China," Foulkes said.
The governor-general said he and his wife have visited China several times and enjoyed the experience.
"We are hoping to visit there again some future day," he said.
Zarko Obradovic, the Serbian minister of science, education and technology, said at the opening Celebration of the Chinese New Year in Belgrade that "all of us here are the friends of the People's Republic of China."
"We have positive tradition and experience of supporting each other in hard times," he said.
Zhang Wanxue, the Chinese ambassador to Serbia, in turn praised Serbia.
"The success that we have accomplished in cooperation between China and Serbia are the merit of our leaders, but also of our friends from the people," Zhang said.