Chinese President Xi Jinping (L), also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, shakes hands with Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith during their meeting in Vientiane, Laos, Nov. 14, 2017. (Xinhua/Ding Lin)
Chinese President Xi Jinping met Tuesday with Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, exchanging views on further consolidating bilateral relations. [Special coverage]
Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, said the two countries are friendly neighbors bonded by land and waters, with deep-running traditional friendship between the two peoples.
During the meeting, Xi told the prime minister that he and Bounnhang Vorachit, general secretary of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party Central Committee and president of Laos, both believe that the two countries should build a community of shared future with strategic significance.
China attaches great importance to developing bilateral relations with Laos, and will continue to adopt friendly policies to the Lao side, Xi said, adding that he believes the Lao people will achieve greater success in their pursuit for reform and renewal.
The Chinese president noted that the two countries need to keep high-level contact, deepen exchange of experience in governance of the parties and countries, and enhance cooperation in defense, law enforcement and security, so as to promote friendly feelings between their peoples and further enrich their comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation with a high level of mutual trust, mutual support and mutual benefit.
He urged the two sides to explore their economic complementarity, steadily push forward the China-Laos economic corridor and China-Laos railway, and expand cooperation in such fields as energy, resource, electricity, finance, education, health care and poverty alleviation, in order to allow the two peoples to enjoy the benefits of cooperation as early as possible.
China supports Laos as the co-chair of the 2018 Lancang-Mekong Cooperation, Xi said, while calling for closer multilateral coordination and continuous mutual support on issues of common concern.
Thongloun, for his part, congratulated Xi on his re-election as general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, saying he believes that under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Xi at the core, the Chinese people will achieve new success in their new journey to realize a great strategic goal, which will also be an inspiration for Laos' socialist cause.
Noting that the Lao people have long expected Xi's visit, the prime minister said he believes the historic visit will greatly promote the two countries' comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation.
The Lao side is ready to work with China to faithfully implement the results of the visit, deepen bilateral all-round exchanges and cooperation, and build an unbreakable community of shared future, he said.
Vientiane is the final leg of Xi's first overseas trip after the 19th CPC National Congress, which was held last month in Beijing.
Prior to the Laos visit, Xi attended the 25th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders' Meeting in Vietnam's central city of Da Nang and paid a state visit to the country.