China ready to join Laos for new chapter of ties: Xi

Xinhua, December 23, 2020

China is ready to work with Laos to open up a new stage and write a new chapter for the relations between the two parties and the two countries in the new era, said General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday.

Xi made the remarks during his telephone conversation with Bounnhang Vorachith, general secretary of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP) Central Committee and president of Laos.

The Chinese leader noted that he is very happy to talk to Bounnhang on the phone again this year, saying that under the strong leadership of the LPRP Central Committee and Bounnhang, Laos has enjoyed political and social stability, sustained economic development and significant improvement in people's livelihood.

Xi said in recent years he and Bounnhang have actively pushed forward the building of a China-Laos community with a shared future, and opened up a new era of bilateral relations, adding that they have attached great importance to poverty reduction, and have made the poverty-reduction cooperation a highlight of China-Laos relations.

The two sides have joined hands in the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic and floods, and jointly rejected politicizing the pandemic and stigmatizing others on the pretext of the outbreak, which has vividly demonstrated the spirit of a community with a shared future that highlights sharing weal and woe and helping each other, said Xi.

Xi also noted that Bounnhang has devoted huge efforts to the development of the friendship between China and Laos, and he has forged close working relations and profound friendship with Bounnhang.

The Chinese leader said that the CPC will mark its 100th founding anniversary next year and embark on a new journey to build a modern socialist country in an all-round way.

Noting that the LPRP will hold its 11th congress and enter into a new stage of national construction and the development of socialism, Xi said China is willing to work with the Lao side to open up a new stage and write a new chapter for the relations between the two parties and the two countries in the new era.

The two sides should deepen strategic communication and firmly support each other on issues concerning each other's core interests, he said.

The two sides should intensify high-level exchanges, deepen the exchanges of theories and experience on governing their respective party and country, and continue to improve the all-round, wide-ranging and multi-level pattern of exchanges between the two parties, he added.

The two sides, Xi said, should deepen the alignment of their development strategies and take China's construction of a new development pattern and the formal signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership as an opportunity to steadily propel the construction of the China-Laos Economic Corridor and China-Laos Railway, expand cooperation in various fields such as culture and education, youth and tourism, and strengthen coordination in international and regional affairs.

In doing so, he said, the two countries can deliver more solid outcomes in the building of the China-Laos community with a shared future and create greater benefits for the people of both countries.

Xi also wished the 11th congress of the LPRP to be held next year a success.

For his part, Bounnhang said that he is very delighted to have a phone conversation with Xi at a time when the two parties and the two countries are at a crucial period.

Currently, Laos is enjoying a sound momentum of development in politics, economy and foreign cooperation, and the Lao party and government are making full preparations for the 11th congress of the LPRP and the Lao National Assembly ninth legislature, which will be held early next year, Bounnhang said.

The Lao side sincerely thanks the party, government and people of China for offering valuable support and help to Laos in a timely manner when the country was hit by the epidemic, he said.

The Lao side congratulates China on its major victories achieved in fighting the epidemic and alleviating poverty under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core, he added.

Bounnhang said Laos has paid close attention to the proposals for the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) for National Economic and Social Development and the Long-Range Objectives Through the Year 2035 adopted by the fifth plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Committee, adding that he firmly believes that China will score the victory of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and smoothly embark on a new journey of building a modern socialist country in an all-round way.

Noting that next year marks the 60th anniversary of the diplomatic ties between the two countries, he said Laos is willing to continue to join China to implement the action plan of the Laos-China community with a shared future signed by the top leaders of the two parties, strengthen mutual learning of experiences in governing their respective party, country and government, and maintain exchanges at all levels and practical cooperation in various fields.

He added that his country is also ready to work with China to further push forward practical cooperation in all sectors under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, jointly safeguard international and regional peace and development, and strive for new and greater development of Laos-China relations.