Prime Minister Seeks Enhanced Ties With China

Prime Minister Seeks Enhanced Ties With China

Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith on Monday arrived in Beijing on a four-day official visit to China in response to an invitation from his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang.

Following a ceremonial welcome given to the Prime Minister, a bilateral meeting between the two government leaders and their delegations of senior officials was held at the National People’s Congress of China in Beijing.

Prime Minister Thongloun’s visit is the first official trip to China since he took office in April this year.

At the meeting, the Prime Minister expressed his gratitude to China for its assistance and support for the successful ASEAN Chairmanship of the Lao PDR and informed the host that the development projects funded with loans and grants provided by the Chinese Government were being implemented in a concrete manner thus contributing to the socio-economic development of Laos.

The Prime Minister expressed his support for China’s “One Belt One Road” initiative and highly valued latter’s active co-operation with neighbouring countries for providing 5 million more yuans to ASEAN-China Fund and is committed to providing 3.6 billion yuans to the least developed countries (LDCs) in ASEAN and 50 million yuans for building industrial parks in ASEAN member countries.

The Chinese government has also decided to increase scholarships for ASEAN students to 300,000 by 2025, and establish the ASEAN-China Silk Road Scholarship that will provide 1,000 scholarships in 2017.

Both sides also shared common points of view that they need to diversify and strengthen the comprehensive strategic co-operative partnership between Laos and China.

They also exchanged views on regional and international issues of common interest.

Both sides agreed that since the two countries upgraded their ties to a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership level in 2009, the two countries have enjoyed stronger mutual trust that has deepened in respect to political ties leading to a win-win co-operation in all areas.

They also agreed to enhance co-operation and assistance under regional and international frameworks for their own interest as well as for the peace and friendship and development in the region and the world community.

The two Prime Ministers also witnessed the signing of agreements related to the strengthening of mutual co-operation on economic and border trade affairs and a master plan on Boten-Bohan special economic cooperation.

Source: Lao News Agency