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China, Laos pledge to promote comprehensive cooperation


10:04, September 21, 2011

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (R), who is also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, shakes hands with Lao President Choummaly Saygnasone, who is also secretary-general of the Central Committee of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party, in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 20, 2011. (Xinhua/Ding Lin)

BEIJING, Sep. 20 (Xinhua) -- China and Laos have pledged to promote their comprehensive cooperation in a meeting between Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Lao President Choummaly Saygnasone here on Tuesday.

"History tells us that China and Laos enhancing good-neighborly friendship and reciprocal cooperation is conducive to our economic and social development, as well as regional peace and stability," Wen said.

During the hour-long meeting in downtown Beijing, Wen proposed several suggestions for strengthening bilateral comprehensive cooperation.

He said China will work with Laos to strengthen planning and coordination on bilateral economic cooperation, speed up the construction of big infrastructure programs, deepen cooperation in agriculture, energy and mining, make use of favorable policies of the free trade zone between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to increase trade and investment, and support neighboring areas' cooperation and the development of local economies.

The premier also vowed to provide Laos with assistance in eliminating poverty and improving people's livelihoods.

Choummaly spoke highly of his four-day official good-will visit to China, saying it will lay a "solid foundation" for strengthening bilateral cooperation.

During Choummaly's stay in Beijing, President Hu Jintao and Vice President Xi Jinping also met with him and vowed to further strengthen the partnership between the two countries and ruling parties.

Choummaly said both Laos and China started to implement five-year development plans. He hoped the two countries would strengthen coordination and improve cooperation mechanisms so as to better implement their bilateral cooperation plans for 2011 and 2012.

He said that Laos will stand resolutely with China in international affairs, no matter the changes in the international situation.

As for China-ASEAN relations, Wen said China supported ASEAN playing a leading role in east Asian cooperation. The properties, tasks and principles of the east Asian summit should be respected and maintained.

"China will work closely with Laos and promote the series of meetings of east Asian leaders this year to achieve positive results," Wen said.

Choummaly echoed Wen, saying Laos will continue to promote reciprocal cooperation between China and ASEAN.

Choummaly arrived in Beijing on Sunday for a four-day official visit to China at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao.

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