|Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with visiting Prime Minister of Laos Thongsing Thammavong in Beijing, capital of China, April 11, 2014. (Xinhua/Huang Jingwen)|
BEIJING, April 11-- Chinese President Xi Jinping met with visiting Prime Minister of Laos Thongsing Thammavong in Beijing on Friday, vowing to boost the China-Laos strategic partnership to a new stage.
China values greatly its friendship with Laos, Xi said, calling on both sides to consolidate cooperation and remain good neighbors, friends, comrades and partners forever.
He proposed maintaining high-level exchanges between the two parties and two countries, enhancing strategic coordination, sharing governance experience, and expanding cultural exchanges and cooperation in such areas as energy, tourism and infrastructure building.
Xi urged both sides to sign a cooperation deal on railway construction at an early date.
"We believe Laos will realize its development goals through reform," Xi said, adding China is willing to continue its aid to the country.
Thongsing, in return, expressed gratitude for China's support and help for his country over the years.
He said strengthening the all-round strategic partnership with China is of great help to Laos's domestic development.
Laos is committed to implementing the important consensus reached by the two heads of state, cementing cooperation with China in various areas, particularly its railway project, he said.
Thongsing said Laos appreciates China's initiatives to build a Silk Road economic belt and a 21st-century maritime Silk Road and will actively participate.
On Friday, the two sides also issued a joint press communique, highlighting the consensus reached during Thongsing's China tour.
Hailing the new progress made since the establishment of the all-round strategic partnership, the communique says the development of the partnership is of great significance for promoting stability and development of the two countries. It says development is in the fundamental interests of the two nations and in line with the common aspirations of the two peoples, as well as conducive to peace, stability and prosperity in the region.
The two sides agreed to carry on the tradition of frequent high-level interactions, enhance strategic coordination on economic development, boost cooperation, increase cultural and people-to-people exchanges, and increase collaboration on major issues regarding peace and development in the region, according to the communique.
Invited by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Thongsing is in China for an official visit from Tuesday to Saturday.
During the visit, Thongsing also held talks with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and met with China's top political advisor Yu Zhengsheng.
Before traveling to Beijing, Thongsing attended the opening ceremony of the annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia on Thursday in Boao, a coastal town in China's southernmost island province of Hainan.