Chinese President Xi Jinping attends the foundation-laying ceremony for a China-built hospital along with Lao President Bounnhang Vorachit in Vientiane, Laos, Nov 14, 2017. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
VIENTIANE – Chinese President Xi Jinping wrapped up a fruitful state visit to Laos on Tuesday, after the two sides agreed to build an unbreakable community of shared future with strategic importance.
Xi returned to Beijing on Tuesday evening after paying state visits to Vietnam and Laos.
In his first overseas trip after the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in October, Xi attended the 25th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting in Vietnam before visiting Laos in a two-day state visit.
In a joint statement issued in Vientiane after Xi’s visit, China and Laos pledged to further enrich and develop their long-standing and stable comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation with a high level of mutual trust, mutual support and mutual benefit, and hold the spirit of good neighbors, good friends, good comrades and good partners.
It is the first visit in 11 years by a Chinese head of state and top Communist Party of China (CPC) leader to Laos.
Xi, who is also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, hold talks with Bounnhang Vorachit, general secretary of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party Central Committee and president of Laos, and met separately with Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith and President of the Lao National Assembly Pany Yathotou during the visit.
The party and state leaders of the two countries briefed each other on their respective development progress, exchanged in-depth views on bilateral ties and international and regional issues of common concern, and reached important consensuses.
Speaking highly of each other's development achievements, the two sides agreed to strengthen exchanges and mutual learning, pushing forward China's reform and opening up and Laos' reform and renewal.
The Lao side spoke highly of the elevation of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era into the CPC's guiding principles during the 19th CPC National Congress.
President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, and Bounnhang Vorachit, general secretary of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP) Central Committee and president of Laos, lay ground for a China-sponsored hospital in Vientiane, capital of the Laos, Nov 14, 2017. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
Laos was confident that under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Xi at the core, the Chinese people will forge ahead smoothly towards the two centenary goals and build China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally-advanced, harmonious and beautiful, said the statement.
Since they established diplomatic ties 56 years ago, the two sides have continuously enhanced political mutual trust and expanded practical cooperation. They have also seen their people-to-people exchanges grow increasingly closer, as well as a comprehensive and ever deepening bilateral relationship, which have brought substantial benefits to the two peoples.
The document noted that China and Laos, both communist party-led socialist states, share similar dreams and beliefs, political systems, and development paths.
The two sides agreed that jointly building a community of shared future with strategic significance on the basis of mutual trust is in accordance with the fundamental interests and common expectations of the two parties, two countries and two peoples, and is also conducive to the noble cause of peace and development for mankind.
They also pledged to maintain the fine tradition of high-level exchange of visits so as to guide the development of bilateral ties in the new era and strengthen inter-party exchanges and cooperation, deepen exchange of experience in the governance of the party and the state, and step up cooperation in diplomacy, defense, law enforcement and security.
The two countries reaffirmed their firm support on issues related to each other's major interests, agreed to accelerate the synergy of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and Laos' strategy of turning itself from a "land-locked" country to a "land-linked" one.
China and Laos agreed to jointly build a China-Laos economic corridor, forge ahead with landmark projects such as the China-Laos railway, elevate the scale and level of their economic and trade cooperation in a bid to promote economic complementarity of the two countries.
They agreed to deepen cooperation in industrial capacity, finance, agriculture, energy, resources, water conservancy, telecommunication, infrastructure and health care, so as to better serve the general public of the two countries.
They will also carry out closer coordination under multilateral frameworks including the United Nations, the Asia-Europe Meeting, East Asia Cooperation and Lancang-Mekong Cooperation mechanisms.
On maritime issue, China and Laos called for relevant parties to reach agreement on a code of conduct in the South China Sea at an early date and jointly build the busy water body into a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation, said the statement.
A series of cooperation documents in various fields such as building the China-Laos economic corridor, digital Silk Road, electricity, science and technology, were inked during Xi's stay.
Both sides agreed that Xi's visit was successful and further consolidated the China-Laos traditional friendship and comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation, bearing landmark significance.
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, he 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.