Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday met in Beijing with visiting Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith on closer cooperation to build the China-Laos community with a shared future.
China and Laos are good neighbors, friends, compatriots and partners that share future, Xi said.
He urged the two sides to join hands and work together to defend the common interests of both countries and other developing nations on a wider scale.
Hailing the friendly relations between China and Laos, Xi said China attaches great importance to relations with Laos and is ready to carry forward their traditional friendship, deepen mutual political trust, implement the action plan on the building of a community with a shared future for China and Laos, and promote practical cooperation featuring win-win results.
Reiterating China's firm support for Laos in safeguarding its national sovereignty and territorial integrity, Xi also urged the two sides to strengthen coordination and cooperation in regional and global affairs, calling for further development of the China-Laos comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.
China, Laos eye closer cooperation, boost ties
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, on the same day, also held talks with the Laotian official, pledging to maintain cooperation with Laos to bring more benefits to both countries.
Noting the huge potential for cooperation between the two countries, Li pointed out that the bilateral trade volume increased last year against all odds.
China stands ready to work with Laos to promote the construction of key infrastructure projects and deepen cooperation in finance and agriculture, and welcomes high-quality Lao agricultural products to enter the Chinese market, said Li, adding that China encourages its competitive and reliable enterprises to invest in Laos and supports efforts in improving its people's livelihood.
Li also voiced China's support for Laos in hosting the third Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) leaders' meeting and said China is willing to work with ASEAN countries including Laos to facilitate regional economic integration and promote the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) scheduled for this year to jointly cement regional peace, stability, development and prosperity.
For his part, Thongloun congratulated China on its development achievements and said the signing of the action plan last year on building a community with a shared future for both countries has laid a solid foundation for the two sides to enhance mutual political trust and deepen pragmatic cooperation.
Laos is ready to closely work with China for more mutually beneficial results, enhance experience exchanges on governance, and deepen cooperation in trade, investment, tourism and agriculture as well as the Laos-China railway project, he said.
Thongloun said his country will continue to promote trade facilitation, optimize its business environment and welcome Chinese enterprises to invest in Laos.
After the talks, both sides witnessed the signing of several bilateral cooperation documents covering areas such as finance, information and e-commerce.
Ministers from China and Laos reviewed progressive diplomatic relations as they pushed ahead with new agreements.
(With input from Xinhua)
(Cover: Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) shakes hands with Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, January 6, 2020. /Xinhua Photo)