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Laos, China enhance relations, broaden cooperation

Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith and Chinese premier Li Keqiang held talks in Beijing on Monday, calling for fulfilment of the master plan on the building of a community with a shared future between Laos and China to enhance bilateral relations.
Visiting China from January 5 to 9 at the invitation of Premier Li, PM Thongloun sincerely thanked the government and people of China for the warm hospitality extended to himself and his delegation.
The heads of the two governments discussed various issues including implementation of the master plan, the Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release.
The meeting noted the increasing investment and trade cooperation between Laos and China, which is Laos’ largest foreign investor.
The two premiers witnessed the signing of several bilateral cooperation documents in fields such as finance, information and e-commerce, Xinhua reported.

Laos is ready to work closely with China for more mutually beneficial results, share more experiences in governance, and deepen cooperation in trade, investment, tourism and agriculture as well as the Laos-China railway, PM Thongloun was quoted as saying by Xinhua.
Laos will continue to promote trade facilitation, improve the business environment and encourage Chinese businesses to invest in Laos, the Lao leader added.
Premier Li said China is ready to work with Laos to promote the construction of key infrastructure projects and deepen cooperation in finance and agriculture, and welcomes the sale of high-quality Lao agricultural products in the Chinese market, according to Xinhua.
China encourages its competitive and reliable enterprises to invest in Laos and supports Laos’ efforts to improve its people’s livelihoods, the Chinese premier added.
The meeting noted that satisfactory progress has been made in several cooperation projects, particularly construction of the 409-km Laos-China railway linking Vientiane to the Chinese border, which is now 83 percent complete.
Also enhancing connectivity, 50 percent of the 113.5-km Vientiane-Vangvieng section of an expressway linking Vientiane to the Chinese border has been completed.
Other cooperation projects financed by Chinese grants are also making good progress.
Both sides reviewed cooperation in the spirit of the four “goods” - good neighbours, good friends, good comrades and good partners - as well as implementation of the master plan following its signing in April last year.
PM Thongloun congratulated the successful celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, and the 40th anniversary of opening-up, as well as achievements in national development.
The two sides have designated 2021 – the year they will mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties – as the year of friendship.
The two premiers also touched on the third Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) leaders’ meeting, which they will co-chair when it takes place in Vientiane in March this year.
PM Thongloun invited Premier Li to pay an official visit to Laos.
During their visit, the Lao prime minister and his delegation called on the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China’s Central Committee and President Xi Jinping in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
President Xi called on the two countries to work together to maintain close high-level exchanges, exchanges in governance, and jointly improve the ability to govern and safeguard the common interests of both countries and the developing world, Xinhua reported.
“China will continue to firmly support Laos’ efforts to safeguard its sovereignty and dignity,” President Xi was quoted as saying.
The Chinese leader said China is willing to work with Laos to promote the building of a community with a shared future between the two countries, advance the alignment of development strategies, accelerate the construction of the China-Laos economic corridor, advance major cooperation projects in areas such as railways and industrial parks, and strengthen people-to-people exchanges as well as coordination and collaboration in international and regional affairs, so as to lift bilateral ties to new heights.
Prime Minister Thongloun conveyed to President Xi the greetings of Lao President Bounnhang Vorachit, who is Secretary General of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party Central Committee, and congratulated the People’s Republic of China on its achievements since its founding 70 years ago.
The Lao prime minister said he believed that under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee with Comrade Xi at the core, the Chinese people would without doubt achieve the first centenary goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.
He added that Laos would actively work for the completion of important Belt and Road projects such as the Laos-China railway as scheduled, and thus contribute to the economic development and improved livelihoods of Lao people.
During the visit, Mr Thongloun also met Mr Li Zhanshu, chairman of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, and other senior Chinese officials and business executives.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update January 8, 2020)

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