"In the new year, the Chinese side will push forward its traditional friendship and cooperation with the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] in keeping with the principles of carrying on the tradition, looking to the future, developing good-neighborly and friendly relations, and enhancing cooperation," Hong was quoted as saying by Yonhap agency.
The spokesperson also confirmed that Beijing sent a congratulatory message to the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on his birthday on Thursday.
China has long been seen as an important political ally of North Korea and opponent of the imposition of the international sanctions against Pyongyang. However, after Pyongyang’s third nuclear test in 2013 the relations between the two countries have become strained. The tensions rose further when North Korea seized several Chinese fishing boats throughout 2013.
Despite the worsening of relations with Pyongyang, Beijing voted against including the North Korean human rights record in the UN Security Council’s agenda in December 2014.