Warm wel­come for Xi in Laos

Neigh­bours to jointly de­velop Belt and Road and boost ties

The Star Malaysia - - World -

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

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