Carrying forward the spirit of "striving to be the first", China and New Zealand should enhance mutual trust and achieve win-win results, in a bid to inject new dimensions into bilateral relations in the new era and take practical cooperation to new levels, a senior diplomat said on Friday.
Wang Yi, member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs, made the remarks when meeting with New Zealand's Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta, who is on a visit to China from March 22 to 25, in Beijing.
Wang said, despite differences in history, culture and social systems, China and New Zealand have always respected, appreciated and trusted each other, and the bilateral relations have long been at the forefront of China's relations with developed Western countries.
China appreciates New Zealand's objective and friendly view of China's development and its practical and positive policy towards China, Wang said, adding that China regards New Zealand as an important cooperative partner and has full confidence in the certainty and stability of China-New Zealand relations.
Wang said the modernization of China is a great event of far-reaching importance and will bring new opportunities to New Zealand and other countries in the world, adding that China-New Zealand cooperation has great potential.
The two sides should make good use of the protocol on upgrading the free trade agreement between China and New Zealand and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, promote the upgrade of economic and trade cooperation, jointly create new engines for growth, jointly keep industrial and supply chains stable and unfettered, and maintain a fair and open environment for trade and investment, said Wang.
For her part, Mahuta said that it is nice to see China setting a great goal and that the relationship with China is very important to New Zealand.
New Zealand looks forward to strengthening high-level exchanges with China, deepening cooperation in various fields, creating more "firsts" and building a more mature New Zealand-China relationship in the next 50 years, she said.
The two sides exchanged views on cooperation with South Pacific island countries and agreed that they should jointly promote regional peace, stability and prosperity.
The two sides also exchanged views on the Ukraine crisis. Wang stressed that at present, the most pressing task is to cease fire and bring the conflict to an end as well as resume peace talks.
This is also the common aspiration of most countries and serves the common interests of the international community, he said, adding that China will continue to play a constructive role in promoting political settlement.
Mahuta said that peace and prosperity are what all parties expect. New Zealand stands that the spirit of international law should be abided by and supports the political settlement of disputes through dialogues.