BEIJING, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- Several world leaders have expressed their goodwill and best regards to the Chinese people on the Chinese Lunar New Year.
Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev sent on Thursday a message of goodwill and best wishes to Chinese President Xi Jinping and the people of China on Spring Festival of the Year of the Goat.
The Goat occupies the eighth position in the Chinese Zodiac circle of 12 animals.
In the message, Atambayev noted that the ongoing development of relations between Kyrgyzstan and China is based on longstanding friendship, good neighborliness and mutual respect.
The two countries have been expanding contacts in such fields as trade, economy, science and technology, and culture.
"Our high level of mutual understanding and support has been fully confirmed during our meeting in Shanghai in May last year and in Dushanbe in September 2014. And I hope we can continue the meaningful dialogue with you in the upcoming SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) summit in the Russian city of Ufa," Atambayev said in the message addressed to Xi.
Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho also issued a statement to congratulate the Chinese people, the Portuguese community in Macao, and the Chinese community in Portugal on the occasion of the Spring Festival of 2015.
"On the occasion of the Chinese Lunar New Year, I want to send in the name of the Portuguese government, and in my own personal name, the most sincere wishes for the Year of the Goat," which shall be translated into wishes for prosperity, health and good fortune for the Chinese people, for the Portuguese community in Macao and the Chinese community in Portugal, Passos Coelho said in the statement.
"The Chinese Lunar New Year commemorates the beginning of the festive season, marked by family reunions and celebrations that take place in China and over the world, reflecting the vibrant nature of the Chinese culture," he added.
Passos Coelho added that the Chinese Lunar New Year is celebrated in Portugal as well, "illustrating the important ties that join us and the richness of our diversity."
Passos Coelho pointed out that China and Portugal would commemorate the 10th anniversary of "all-round strategic partnership" between the two countries and said the Year of the Goat symbolizes "perseverance" and "creativity".
"We will join efforts to continue to work with perseverance and creativity for the deepening of our friendship, with mutual advantages for countries and citizens," Passos Coelho added.
He also praised the Macao community which, he said, serves as an important link between Portugal and China, and the Chinese community in Portugal for their example of "work and integration".
The Venezuelan government Wednesday congratulated the Chinese government and people on the Chinese Lunar New Year.
The Foreign Ministry issued a statement on behalf of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, reiterating his government's willingness to continue strengthening the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two nations, with mutual respect and benefit.
The Venezuelan government also reaffirmed its willingness to continue bilateral efforts to improve the welfare of both nations.
Caracas and Beijing have forged close ties based on mutual respect, and notably increased exchange and cooperation in the areas of trade, energy, infrastructure, industry, transport and financing of social projects.