Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao exchanged congratulatory messages with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key on Saturday to mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
In his message, Wen said China-New Zealand relations had made significant progress in the past 40 years and the two countries had created several "firsts" in ties between China and Western countries.
Based on the principles of mutual respect, equal treatment, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation, China would like to work with New Zealand to make the 40th anniversary a new starting point to push the comprehensive relationship of cooperation to a higher level, in a bid to better benefit the two peoples, Wen said.
In his message, Key said, "Today, the relationship with China is one of New Zealand's most important and most wide-ranging."
"We are proud of the 'four firsts' which New Zealand has established with China," he said, adding his country had high aspirations for deepening the relationship even further and heading in new directions.
Also on Saturday, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi exchanged congratulatory messages with his New Zealand counterpart Murray McCully.