Warm welcome for Xi in Laos
Neighbours to jointly develop Belt and Road and boost ties
BEIJING: China and Laos agreed to jointly develop the Belt and Road initiative and enhance cooperation on multiple issues including agriculture during President Xi Jinping’s state visit.
Xi, and his Laotian counterpart Bounnhang Vorachith, witnessed the signing of 16 documents to enhance collaboration in areas such as finance, trade, infrastructure and people-to-people exchanges.
Xi, who was given an enthusiastic reception in the Laotian capital of Vientiane, is on his first state visit to Laos since becoming president in March 2013, as well as his first visit since becoming general secretary of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee in late 2012.
Xi was re-elected general secretary of the 19th CPC Central Committee last month.
Bounnhang is also general secretary of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party.
Large portraits of Xi and Bounnhang were hung at the entrance to the airport, the national flags of China and Laos were placed along roads from the airport to the hotel, and local youngsters waved flags of both countries to greet Xi and the delegation.
Before holding talks, Bounnhang hosted a grand welcoming ceremony for Xi at Laos’ Presidential Palace.
In his opening remarks at the talks, Xi expressed gratitude for the warm welcome from Laos, saying that he was deeply moved by the enthusiasm of the Laotian people.
Xi also thanked the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party and Bounnhang for a congratulatory message on the success of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China and Xi’s re-election as general secretary of the CPC Central Committee.
During their talks, the two leaders agreed to jointly build a community of a shared future for China and Laos on the basis of mutual trust, which is in line with the core interests and common wishes of the two parties and countries.
The sides agreed to maintain the tradition of high-level exchanges, boost party-to-party exchanges and enhance cooperation in diplomacy, defence and law enforcement.
The two countries agreed to connect the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative with the Laotian strategy of increasing connections to a landlocked country.
They also agreed to cooperate in major construction projects including the China-Laos economic corridor and China-Laos rail project.
Both China and Laos are socialist countries led by communist parties, with good relations, friends, comrades and partners, Xi said in a statement on his arrival at Vientiane’s airport. — China Daily / Asia News Network