Wellington, Nov 21: The formation of China-New Zealand comprehensive strategic partnership has "ushered our two countries into a new cooperative era", said Chinese President Xi Jinping in Auckland Friday.
Xi, who is on a state visit to the island country, and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key attended the launch ceremony of China-New Zealand Mayor Forum, Xinhua reported.
Xi told mayors from the two countries that the Chinese and New Zealand economies are "highly complementary" and people from both countries "bear friendly affections toward each other".
He compared the China-New Zealand relationship to an oil painting. "How spectacular such an oil painting can be depends not only on the overall structure but also on its detailed elements."
China has been making efforts to speed up industrialization, informationization, urbanization and agricultural modernization. "Such endeavors provide more opportunities for New Zealand and greater space for bilateral cooperation," he said.
The president urged people of the two countries to seize the opportunities and enhance cooperation in an effort to "paint a new picture of China-New Zealand friendship".
Xi is on a three-day state visit to New Zealand, the first by a Chinese president in 11 years. He is scheduled to fly to Fiji later Friday to continue his South Pacific trip, which has already taken him to Australia.