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President Hu arrives in Wellington for visit
( 2003-10-25 14:30) (Xinhua)

Chinese President Hu Jintao arrived in Wellington Saturday afternoon on a three-day state visit to New Zealand, which is expected to enhance the economic and trade cooperation between the two countries.

In a written statement issued upon his arrival at the Wellington International Airport, Hu said the friendly exchanges between the peoples of New Zealand and China can trace back to ancient times.

Relations between the two countries have undergone steady development since the establishment of diplomatic relations 31 years ago, he said, adding that both countries have conducted everexpanding and fruitful exchanges and cooperation in all fields.

Further strengthening the friendly cooperation between China and New Zealand not only conforms to the common aspirations and fundamental interests of the two peoples, but also contributes to the maintenance and promotion of peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large, he said.

The president said that his current visit is aimed to consolidate friendship, expand common ground, enhance cooperation and promote common development.

"I look forward to an in-depth exchange of views with New Zealand leaders on the ways to further strengthen the friendly relations of all-around cooperation between China and New Zealand,and on issues of mutual interests," Hu said.

The Chinese leader said he will meet New Zealand friends from all walks of life to know more about the country's achievements and success experiences.

"I believe that with the joint efforts of the two sides, the China-New Zealand relations will surely bear richer fruits," he said.

The Chinese president was met at the airport by New Zealand Governor-General Dame Silvia Cartwright, Prime Minister Helen Elizabeth Clark, Chinese Ambassador Chen Mingming and staff members of the Chinese embassy.

Hu was arriving from Australia, where he also paid a three-day visit. Before his trip to Australia, he visited Thailand and attended the informal Economic Leaders' Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation in the Thai capital of Bangkok.

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