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Laos trip to be a milestone, ambassador says

By Mo Jingxi | China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-13 07:14

President Xi Jinping's visit to Laos will be a historic and significant milestone for the relations between the two countries and two parties, Laos' top envoy to China said.

Vandy Bouthasavong, Lao ambassador to China, said she is delighted and positive about the traditional bilateral relations between the two countries, which have grown to a new level.

Xi is making his first overseas trip after the conclusion of the 19th National Congress of the CPC last month, and Laos will be the second leg of his trip.

This visit will be the first by China's top leader to Laos in 11 years.

"I do believe that President Xi's visit will be crowned by success, and it will be regarded as a remarkable moment and occasion for supporting and strengthening our long tradition of good friendship and cooperation," she told China Daily.

During the visit, she said, the two sides will reach agreements on cooperation in trade and economy, investment, technical and industrial production, education, culture and tourism. The leaders of the two countries will attend and witness the signing ceremonies of different cooperative agreements.

China ranks first among countries that make investments in Laos, devoting $6.9 billion to 771 projects, including the China-Laos railway project, the ambassador said.

The China-Laos railway will be the first overseas route connecting with China's railway system. Construction on the route, which uses Chinese technology, equipment and investment, began in December.

The project is scheduled to take five years to build with investment of some 40 billion yuan ($5.8 billion), 70 percent of which comes from Chinese investment and the rest from Lao sources, according to Xinhua News Agency.

Bouthasavong also said that there are many potential areas for cooperation between the two countries, such as the integration of the Belt and Road Initiative and Laos' "Land-Linked" strategy, which will promote the quality and quantity of bilateral cooperation in areas including trade and economy, industry and agricultural modernization.

The ambassador said China and Laos are not only neighboring countries, but also have similarities in ideology and social-economic development.

"The relationship between our two countries is not a simple relation, but it is regarded as a strategic relationship of building the community of common destiny between two nations by sharing interests," she added.

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