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New Zealand PM meets with Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong

AUCKLAND, New Zealand, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand Prime Minister John Key met with visiting Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong here on Sunday.

Liu arrived in Auckland on Sunday for a three-day official visit to New Zealand to discuss cooperation in science and innovation as well as education.

During the meeting with Key, Liu said China-New Zealand ties have made steady and sound development since the two countries established diplomatic ties 40 years ago. China attaches importance to developing bilateral ties and regards New Zealand as a good friend and good partner for strengthening mutually beneficial cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Chinese state councilor said China-New Zealand relations have gradually become a model of relations based on peaceful co- existence and mutual benefit among countries of different social systems and cultural background as well as different development phase.

Liu said the strategic goal for China's future development, set by the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, has opened broader prospect of friendly cooperation between China and New Zealand.

She hoped that, through joint efforts and expanding mutually beneficial cooperation, the two countries can raise their comprehensive cooperative ties to a new level,

Liu highly praised the launch of the first China Strategy report by the New Zealand government in February this year and the establishment of the New Zealand China Council. She thanked the New Zealand government for providing support to the family members of the Chinese students who lost their lives in the Feb. 22, 2011 earthquake in Christchurch.

The New Zealand prime minister said New Zealand and China have established and developed stronger, closer and more comprehensive cooperative ties since they established diplomatic ties 40 years ago. New Zealand is committed to further developing friendly exchanges and pragmatic cooperation, and push forward bilateral ties, he added.

On the same day, the Chinese state councilor met with Auckland Mayor Len Brown, visited Auckland University and delivered a speech at the banquet dinner marking the 40th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties hosted by New Zealand China Council.

Liu arrived in Auckland on Sunday after her visit to Cambodia. She will leave for Australia on Tuesday.

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