BEIJING, June 17 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping wrapped up a one-day tour in Laos and arrived in the New Zealand city of Auckland Thursday for a three-day official visit, the third leg of his four-nation tour.
In a written speech at the Auckland airport upon arrival, Xi said the relationship between China and New Zealand is "at its best," adding he believes his visit would increase mutual trust, deepen friendship and expand cooperation, thus advance the bilateral comprehensive bilateral cooperative relationship to a new high.
During his stay in New Zealand, Xi is expected to hold talks with Prime Minister John Key, Governor-General Anand Satyanand and other leaders.
In Laos on Wednesday, Xi met separately with Vice President Boungnang Vorachit, Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh and Choummaly Saygnasone, General Secretary of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party Central Committee and President of the Lao People's Democratic Republic.
The two sides hailed their traditional friendship and the sound development of bilateral ties in recent years and signed a series of cooperation pacts covering a wide range of fields.
During their talks, Xi and his Lao counterpart Boungnang Vorachit reached comprehensive consensus on further deepening the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries, which was established last year.
The two leaders signed a total of 18 cooperation pacts covering a wide range of fields, including trade, infrastructure construction, finance and power generation and grid renovation.
Xi put forward a five-point proposal on boosting bilateral relations, which includes maintaining frequent high-level visits to consolidate strategic trust, exploring new fields and approaches for cooperation to seek new breakthroughs in trade and economic cooperation, among others.
Vorachit said his country is willing to join hands with China to further strengthen cooperation on trade, aviation, tourism, infrastructure and other areas.
In talks with Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh, Xi said the prospects of economic cooperation between China and Laos are promising and urged both sides to take more concrete measures in this regard.
While meeting with Choummaly Saygnasone, Xi said China cherishes its traditional friendship with Laos and is ready to join hands with Laos to enrich the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.
Choummaly said the two countries' decision to lift bilateral relations to comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership last year is of significant importance to bilateral ties.
Before leaving Vientiane, Xi also met with a group of Lao people who have been old friends with China and pledged Chinese government's further efforts to consolidate its traditional friendship with Laos.
The first stop of Xi's current four-nation tour is Bangladesh. After a visit in New Zealand, he will travel to Australia, the last stop of his tour.