BEIJING, June 28 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro exchanged congratulatory messages on Saturday to warmly celebrate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
In his message, Xi said that the China-Venezuela relations have been making steady progress over the past 40 years, especially after the two countries formed a strategic partnership for common development.
Currently, bilateral ties are on an important stage of continuing with the past and opening up a new future, Xi said, noting that it is a common aspiration to further bilateral relations and strengthen the overall pragmatic cooperation between the two countries.
Xi lauded the important contribution and significant efforts made by late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to promoting pragmatic cooperation and relations between China and Venezuela, noting the Chinese people will remember Chavez forever as a great friend.
The Chinese president also appreciated Maduro's inheritance of Chavez's friendly policy toward China and his continuation to place the Venezuela-China ties as a priority in venezuela's foreign relations since he was sworn in as Venezuela's president.
With celebration of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties as an opportunity, China is willing to work together with Venezuela to promote the achievement of greater successes in bilateral relations under the current new situation, Xi said.
In his message to Xi, Maduro said that Venezuela and China have cultivated a profound brotherly friendship and scored significant achievements in their cooperation in various fields since they established diplomatic ties in 1974, especially since the Bolivar revolutionary government came into power in Venezuela in 1999.
Noting Chavez had done a lot to enhance the Venezuela-China ties, Maduro said that the Venezuela-China relations currently are moving ahead steadily and the Venezuela-China friendship represents the fundamental interests of the two peoples.
Venezuela is willing to work together with China to constantly strengthen and expand cooperation in various fields, he said.
Also on Saturday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi exchanged congratulations with Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua on the anniversary.