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Full text of Chinese President Xi's signed article on Lao media

Updated:2017-11-14 11:13:36   Xinhua

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday published a signed article titled "China and Laos: Working Together for a Community of Shared Future with Strategic Significance" on mainstream Lao media the Pasaxon (the People), the Pathet Lao, and the Vientiane Times ahead of his state visit to Laos. The following is the full text of the article:

China and Laos: Working Together for a Community of Shared Future with Strategic Significance

Xi Jinping

General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and President of the People's Republic of China

At the invitation of Bounnhang Vorachit, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party and President of the Lao People's Democratic Republic, I will soon pay a state visit to the Lao PDR. I visited Laos twice, and was deeply impressed by its hospitable people, the golden Pha That Luang, and the beautiful scenery along the Mekong River. I look forward to renewing friendship and working with old and new friends in Laos to map out plans and open a bright new future for China-Laos relations.

China and Laos are friendly socialist neighbors with shared ideals, the same social systems and similar paths of development. Over the past half a century since the establishment of diplomatic ties, the relations between the two parties and the two countries have withstood the test of time and the changing global environment, leaving behind many touching stories. Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Kaysone Phomvihane, and other leaders of the elder generation forged among them a deep friendship based on a genuine meeting of minds, and laid down a solid foundation for lasting friendship between the two countries. The descendants of Quinim Pholsena studied for many years in China. They spent their youth in China, and became witnesses, supporters and members of new advocates for China-Laos traditional friendship. In the 1960s and 1970s, Chinese soldiers and civilians actively supported the national independence and liberation movement of Laos. Over 200 of them laid down their lives on this land, forging an indelible monument of China-Laos friendship with their flesh and blood.

In recent years, China-Laos friendship has been further cemented and is showing fresh vitality. The comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries has been expanding. Frequent high-level contacts and deepening inter-party exchanges have solidified our political mutual trust. The Chinese people believe that friends are those who follow the same cause and are inspired by the same vision. This is a vivid characterization of China-Laos relationship. As good neighbors, good friends, good comrades and good partners with the same vision, China and Laos have always treated each other as equals and supported each other in exploring innovation in socialist theories and practice, in fully advancing economic, political, cultural and social development, and in accelerating modernization. China-Laos relationship sets an example of good neighborliness and all-round cooperation between China and its neighbors.

China and Laos have worked expeditiously to align their development strategies. Thanks to our similar visions for development, there is a high degree of complementarity between China's Belt and Road Initiative and the strategy of Laos to transform itself from a landlocked to a land-linked country, and between China's 13th Five-Year Plan and the 8th Five-Year National Socio-economic Development Plan of Laos. Last year, all-round construction started on the China-Laos railway, a flagship project of our practical cooperation. The transportation artillery that will drive the development of Laos is a dream coming true. Good progress was made in the Mohan-Boten Economic Cooperation Zone and the Saysettha Development Zone, which have already seen a number of companies and institutions move in. This will help Laos upgrade its industries, attract FDI, create jobs and boost the growth of its SMEs.

China-Laos practical cooperation has entered a period of fast development. China has become the largest investor and second largest trading partner of Laos. Bilateral trade reached 2.1 billion U.S. dollars in the first nine months of this year, up by 25.1 percent. China's total direct investment in Laos exceeded 6.1 billion U.S. dollars, facilitating the development of hydroelectricity, mining, services trade and other sectors of the local economy. China has been actively involved in delivering a number of assistance projects relating to people's livelihood, including hospitals, roads and schools, contributing to higher living standards and more convenience for the Laotian people. The Nam Leuk hydropower station undertaken by Chinese companies is operating well, and playing an important role in the economic and social development of Laos. Export from Laos to China also expanded, and the Laotian agricultural products including rice, coffee, banana and water melon are increasingly popular among Chinese consumers.

China-Laos people-to-people and cultural exchanges have become more dynamic. 400,000 Chinese tourists traveled to Laos in the first half of the year. More and more people from Laos are traveling to China for business or as tourists. The number of Lao students studying in China under Chinese government scholarship tops all ASEAN countries. Chinese medical services initiatives including Peace Train and Mekong Bright Action were widely acclaimed by the Lao people. Nearly 100 young volunteers from Shanghai went to Laos to teach Internet technology and sports, and one of them became the head coach of the Lao national men's basketball team. The Story of Times, a documentary co-produced by China and Laos, was viewed several million times on the Internet, and deeply touched the hearts of our two peoples. The pop music video "Yi Dai Yi Lu" (Belt and Road), written and performed by a Lao musician, went viral on the Internet in China and received a huge number of likes and comments. 

Keywords:   text Xi's article Lao media