Xi re­turns with over­seas suc­cesses

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

China Daily - - 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 and Lao­tian Pres­i­dent Bounnhang Vo­ra­chith jointly at­tended a cer­e­mony on Tues­day to start the project of mod­ern­iz­ing a cen­tury-old hos­pi­tal in Vi­en­tiane with Chi­nese as­sis­tance.

The two lead­ers laid the cor­ner­stone for the up­grade project of Ma­hosot Hos­pi­tal, which was the first hos­pi­tal in Laos, built in 1910.

With a to­tal cost of 700 mil­lion yuan ($105 mil­lion), the ren­o­vated hos­pi­tal will have 600 beds. In ad­di­tion to build­ing a new struc­ture, China also will do­nate new med­i­cal equip­ment to the hos­pi­tal. The ren­o­va­tion is sched­uled to be fin­ished in 2021.

Af­ter the cer­e­mony, Xi and Bounnhang talked with Chi­nese oph­thal­mol­o­gists who were on an as­sis­tance project to re­move Lao­tian peo­ples’ cataracts for free.

Xi called the Chi­nese doc­tors am­bas­sadors for bright­ness and friend­ship, say­ing they have not only brought sight to Lao­tian pa­tients, but also con­trib­uted to the friend­ship be­tween the peo­ple of the two coun­tries.

With Xi and Bounnhang look­ing on, Chi­nese med­i­cal work­ers re­moved the ban­dages of two Lao­tian pa­tients — re­tired teacher Malaisouk, 71, and re­tired sol­dier Kham­sieng, 77 — who have re­cov­ered from treat­ment for cataracts.

Xi con­grat­u­lated them on their re­gained eye­sight and wished them a healthy life.

The Chi­nese pres­i­dent said he paid much at­ten­tion to im­prov­ing peo­ple’s liveli­hoods in China’s over­seas as­sis­tance projects.

In Laos, China’s as­sis­tant funds will mainly be used to im­prove health con­di­tions, build in­fra­struc­ture for ru­ral ar­eas and al­le­vi­ate poverty, Xi said.

The as­sis­tance should fo­cus on not only hard­ware and fa­cil­i­ties like mod­ern build­ings but also soft­ware ser­vices, Xi said. He also en­cour­aged more pol­icy ex­changes be­tween the health au­thor­i­ties of the two coun­tries.

Boun­thaphany Bounx­ouei, di­rec­tor gen­eral of Ma­hosot Hos­pi­tal, said the hos­pi­tal will be up­graded to international stan­dards.

“We hope that it will at­tract more peo­ple to re­ceive treat­ment at the hos­pi­tal. It will also re­duce peo­ple cross­ing the bor­der for med­i­cal treat­ment in neigh­bor­ing coun­tries,” he told the Lao­tian Times.

Zhang Shun­hua, an as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor from Pek­ing Union Med­i­cal Col­lege Hos­pi­tal’s Oph­thal­mol­ogy Depart­ment, said she ar­rived at Ma­hosot Hos­pi­tal on Nov 5 with 13 other Chi­nese doc­tors and nurses. The Chi­nese med­i­cal team is ex­pected to con­duct oper­a­tions on hun­dreds of lo­cal cataract pa­tients dur­ing their stay of about half a month, she said.

Since her ar­rival, she has com­pleted more than 60 oper­a­tions, she said.

“Com­pared with cases in Beijing, pa­tients here in gen­eral had more se­ri­ous con­di­tions, which de­mand higher skills,” she said. “Many of them had their con­di­tions wors­ened due to de­lays see­ing a doc­tor.”

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.

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