Xi re­turns with over­seas suc­cesses

Pres­i­dent says mu­tual trust will build up a win-win en­vi­ron­ment with Laos

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By AN BAIJIE in Vi­en­tiane and WANG QINGYUN in Bei­jing Con­tact the writ­ers at wangqingyun@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping said on Tues­day that his visit to Laos was a suc­cess and he is “fully con­fi­dent” of the fu­ture of China-Laos ties.

Xi, also gen­eral sec­re­tary of the Com­mu­nist Party of China Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, made the re­mark when Lao­tian Pres­i­dent Bounnhang Vo­ra­chith came to his ho­tel to bid farewell.

Xi said that dur­ing the visit he and Bounnhang, also gen­eral sec­re­tary of the Lao Peo­ple’s Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Party Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, had agreed to jointly build a com­mu­nity of a shared fu­ture with strate­gic im­por­tance for the two coun­tries and planned for co­op­er­a­tion to strengthen syn­ergy of strate­gies and to achieve mu­tual ben­e­fit.

He said that the two coun­tries should fully im­ple­ment the out­comes achieved in the visit and pro­mote bet­ter de­vel­op­ment of the bi­lat­eral com­pre­hen­sive strate­gic co­op­er­a­tive part­ner­ship.

Bounnhang said Xi’s suc­cess­ful visit to Laos has lifted Laos-China ties to a new level and that the Lao Peo­ple’s Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Party as well as Laos are “full of ex­pec­ta­tion” for the fu­ture de­vel­op­ment of the ties.

Af­ter the meet­ing, the two lead­ers wit­nessed the sign­ing of a co­op­er­a­tion deal be­tween the two for­eign min­istries.

Xi wrapped up his two-day visit to Laos and re­turned to Bei­jing on Tues­day night.

Ear­lier in the day, Xi also met with Lao­tian Prime Min­is­ter Thon­gloun Sisoulith. Xi said China and Laos should push for­ward the con­struc­tion of the China-Laos eco­nomic cor­ri­dor and en­sure smooth progress in the con­struc­tion of the China-Laos rail­way.

Co­op­er­a­tion be­tween China and Laos is highly com­ple­men­tary, Xi said, adding that the two coun­tries should ex­pand and deepen co­op­er­a­tion in en­ergy re­sources, elec­tric power and fi­nance and strengthen co­op­er­a­tion in ar­eas con­cern­ing peo­ple’s liveli­hood, in­clud­ing ed­u­ca­tion, health­care and poverty al­le­vi­a­tion.

The two coun­tries are friendly neigh­bors and the two peo­ples cher­ish a tra­di­tional friend­ship that has a long his­tory, Xi said, adding that China will con­tinue stick­ing with friendly poli­cies to­ward Laos.

He em­pha­sized the two coun­tries should con­tinue main­tain­ing high-level con­tacts, deepen ex­changes of the ex­pe­ri­ence of gov­ern­ing the par­ties and the coun­tries, strengthen co­op­er­a­tion in de­fense, law en­force­ment and se­cu­rity, and en­hance friend­ship be­tween the two peo­ples.

Also, both sides should keep en­rich­ing and de­vel­op­ing their com­pre­hen­sive strate­gic co­op­er­a­tive part­ner­ship fea­tur­ing a high level of mu­tual trust, mu­tual sup­port and mu­tual ben­e­fit, Xi em­pha­sized.

Thon­gloun said the Lao­tian peo­ple had long been look­ing for­ward to Xi’s visit and that he be­lieved the visit will pro­mote the two coun­tries’ com­pre­hen­sive strate­gic co­op­er­a­tive part­ner­ship.

In a meet­ing in Vi­en­tian on Tues­day with Pany Yathotu, pres­i­dent of the Lao­tian Na­tional Assem­bly, Xi said the ex­changes and co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress of China and the Na­tional Assem­bly of the Lao Peo­ple’s Demo­cratic Re­pub­lic is an im­por­tant part of the China-Laos com­pre­hen­sive strate­gic co­op­er­a­tion.

He en­cour­aged the two coun­tries’ leg­is­la­tures to keep up the tra­di­tion of high-level ex­changes.

Vi­en­tiane is the fi­nal leg of Xi’s first over­seas trip af­ter the 19th CPC Na­tional Congress.

The trip also took him to Da Nang, Viet­nam, to at­tend the 25th Asia-Pa­cific Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion Eco­nomic Lead­ers’ Meet­ing, and to Hanoi for a state visit.

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping, on a state visit to Laos, met on Tues­day with a Lao­tian fam­ily that he had come to know as a teenager when he went to school with some of them in Bei­jing.

Xi spoke with chil­dren and grand­chil­dren of the late Quinim Pholsena, a rev­o­lu­tion­ary leader who was for­eign min­is­ter of Laos from 1962 to 1963. Sev­eral of Pholsena’s chil­dren lived and stud­ied at Bayi School in Bei­jing in the 1960s, when Xi also was a stu­dent there.

Dur­ing their in­for­mal talk, Xi re­called that he had met his Lao­tian peers in sixth grade. He said he was im­pressed with how well they were dressed, with the boys in brown cor­duroy trousers and the girls of­ten in el­e­gant tra­di­tional dresses.

In a light­hearted mo­ment, Xi said he re­mem­bered that Pholsena’s sec­ond son was nick­named Chubby Boy.

Xi said that Pholsena had es­tab­lished rev­o­lu­tion­ary friend­ship with Chi­nese lead­ers of the time, in­clud­ing the late Chair­man Mao Ze­dong, adding that China-Laos friend­ship has lasted for gen­er­a­tions and be­come un­break­able.

China’s ac­cep­tance of the Lao­tian rev­o­lu­tion­ary fam­ily demon­strated that the older gen­er­a­tion of lead­ers of both sides had the strate­gic and vi­sion­ary idea of boost­ing bi­lat­eral friend­ship, Xi said.

In May 2014, China cel­e­brated the 60th an­niver­sary of its pub­lic diplo­macy or­ga­ni­za­tion, the Chi­nese Peo­ple’s As­so­ci­a­tion for Friend­ship with For­eign Coun­tries. To mark the event, Pholsena was cho­sen posthu­mously as one of the nine for­eign­ers who rep­re­sented friendly ex­changes dur­ing the 60 years of the Chi­nese pub­lic diplo­macy or­ga­ni­za­tion.

The pres­i­dent called on the peo­ple of both sides to stay true to their as­pi­ra­tions and make more con­tri­bu­tions to build­ing the com­mu­nity of a shared fu­ture of China and Laos.

Xi spoke of China’s am­bi­tious plan to lift the coun­try’s ru­ral poor out of poverty by 2020, say­ing that it is crit­i­cal for the Com­mu­nist Party of China’s goal of build­ing a mod­er­ately pros­per­ous so­ci­ety in all re­spects.

Xi also re­called meet­ing with the fam­ily mem­bers in 2010, when he was on a visit to Laos as vice-pres­i­dent. He gave them a photo of his meet­ing with the Lao­tian fam­ily in 2010. Xi re­ceived, in turn, a col­lec­tion of pho­tos about Quinim Pholsena and his fam­ily mem­bers’ in­ter­ac­tion with Chi­nese lead­ers.

Pholsena’s son Som­math Pholsena told Xi that his fam­ily felt deeply moved by Xi’s comments on the con­tri­bu­tions of his fa­ther in pro­mot­ing Laos-China re­la­tions.

Som­math Pholsena, who is Laos’ min­is­ter of nat­u­ral re­sources and en­vi­ron­ment, be­came teary-eyed as he spoke to Xi. He said his fam­ily could feel Xi’s af­fec­tion for them and they were moved that Xi men­tioned them in a signed ar­ti­cle pub­lished on Mon­day.

“The de­scen­dants of Quinim Pholsena stud­ied for many years in China. They spent their youth in China, and be­came wit­nesses, sup­port­ers and new ad­vo­cates of the China-Laos tra­di­tional friend­ship,” Xi said in the ar­ti­cle pub­lished by Lao­tian me­dia ahead of his state visit.

Som­math Pholsena told Xi that his fam­ily mem­bers will keep in mind Xi’s words of “stay­ing true to our orig­i­nal as­pi­ra­tion and re­mem­ber our mis­sion” and make con­tin­u­ous ef­forts to boost Laos-China friend­ship.

The min­is­ter noted China’s re­mark­able achieve­ments in the past five years and gave his con­grat­u­la­tions on the suc­cess of the 19th Na­tional Congress of the CPC and Xi’s re-elec­tion as the gen­eral sec­re­tary of the CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee.

MA ZHANCHENG / XIN­HUA

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping and Lao­tian Pres­i­dent Bounnhang Vo­ra­chith place flow­ers dur­ing a cer­e­mony on Tues­day mark­ing the start of work on a hospi­tal ex­pan­sion in Vi­en­tiane, Laos, in­volv­ing money and med­i­cal equip­ment from China.

LAN HONGGUANG / XIN­HUA

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping talks with the fam­ily of the late rev­o­lu­tion­ary leader Quinim Pholsena at Xi’s ho­tel in Vi­en­tiane, Laos, on Tues­day.

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