Laos trip to be a mile­stone, am­bas­sador says

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - Front Page - By MO JINGXI mo­jingxi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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.

FENG YONGBIN / CHINA DAILY

Chi­nese line a street in Hanoi, Viet­nam, to wel­come Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping on his ar­rival on Sun­day for a state visit.

Lao am­bas­sador to China

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