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Xi: China and Laos need to enhance relations

By AN BAIJIE | | Updated: 2016-12-01 19:52

China and Laos should make joint efforts to establish a community of common destiny and benefit the people of both sides, President Xi Jinping said on Thursday.

Xi made the remarks while meeting with visiting Laotian Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

The two countries should jointly push forward the Belt and Road Initiative and enhance cooperation in areas including production capacity, energy, economic cooperation zone and infrastructure, Xi said.

Calling Laos a good neighbor, friend, brother, and partner, Xi said the relationship has surpassed the common bilateral ties.

Mentioning that this year marks the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties, Xi expressed gratitude for the support from Laos in terms of China's core interests’ issues.

The China-Laos cooperation has not only brought benefits for the people of the two countries, but also contributed to regional peace and stability, he said.

Thongloun said that it was his first visit to China after becoming the prime minister. The warm welcome of China is a great encouragement for him to fulfill his duty, he said.

Laos deems China as an important force to safeguard regional peace and stability, and would like to enhance coordination with China in international affairs, he added.

On Monday, the two countries signed two cooperative documents covering border trade and joint development of an economic cooperation zone.

Song Yinghui, a researcher in Southeast Asian studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said Laos wants to learn China's rich experience in reform and opening-up and governing.

October is the end of Laos' fiscal year, and choosing to visit China at the end of November shows that "Laos has high expectations of bilateral cooperation in the coming fiscal year," she said.

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