Amid growing concerns over China's tough stand on various foreign policy issues including maritime disputes and passports with controversial maps, Beijing has sought to assure its neighbours asserting that it has established friendly relations with them.
"We have advanced our ties with other countries and deepened good-neighbourly friendship and cooperation with our neighbours," Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi told foreign diplomats in Beijing on Monday in his first briefing after last month's leadership change.
"We have played responsible and constructive role of a big country in dealing with international and regional hotspot issues, worked actively to push for peaceful settlement of disputes, and stood for non-intervention in others' internal affairs and other basic norms governing international relations," Yang said.
The publication of disputed maps on new e-passports being issued by the Chinese government riled a number of neighbours including India, prompting China to initiate counter measures.
While India is using a seal with its official to stamp visas on the passports, Vietnam is issuing visas on separate peace of paper as the map claimed China's sovereignty over the South China Sea which Vietnam, besides Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan also claimed.
China is in dispute with Japan too regarding claim over islands in the East China Sea.
Beijing plans to step up public diplomacy after last month's leadership change, in which Vice President Xi Jinping succeeded Hu as leader of the ruling Communist Party of China.
Yang, in his address, said China will work with other nations toward world peace and development.
"China will, together with all other countries, share opportunities, tackle challenges, and make new and greater contribution to the lofty cause of peace and development for mankind," Yang said.
Briefing guests at the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, Yang said Beijing will continue to hold high the banner of peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit.
It will promote equality, mutual trust, inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutually beneficial cooperation in international relations, besides firmly pursuing an independent foreign policy of peace, he said.
Beijing will also unwaveringly follow the path of peaceful development and grow friendship and cooperation in all fields with other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, Yang said.
According to the foreign minister, 2012 has seen fresh and important progress in China's diplomatic work, as evidenced by the country's growing international standing and influence.
"We have carried out extensive public diplomacy activities as well as cultural and people-to-people exchanges to encourage deeper understanding and friendship between the Chinese people and people of other countries," said Yang.
He said China's diplomacy will maintain continuity and consistency, and the country will adapt itself to new developments and requirements, both domestically and internationally.
"We will seek to create a more favourable international environment for our efforts to complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects and achieve socialist modernization," he said.
"In the coming year, we look forward to maintaining good cooperation with all of you and stepping up mutual support and coordination with all related agencies," the foreign minister said.