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Destinies of China and its neighbors interconnected

By Zhang Jie (People's Daily)    09:20, November 15, 2017

Chinese President Xi Jinping has again demonstrated the major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics in his recent state visits to Vietnam and Laos.

Developing ties with peripheral countries is a priority of China’s diplomacy. Having similar paths of development with China, Vietnam and Laos are close to China geographically.

Xi’s visits are of special importance because China’s relations with the two countries are of special significance in its neighborhood diplomacy.

China and Vietnam enjoy a time-honored relationship. Prior to his visit, Xi stressed the "comradely and brotherly" friendship between the two countries in a signed article published on Vietnamese media.

During his stay in the country, Xi specifically visited the former residence of late Vietnamese Communist revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh.

Vietnamese leaders said the country will inherit and give full play to the traditional friendship between China and Vietnam, as well as support the China-proposed Belt and Road initiative.

The two leaders emphasized the active role of historical factors in shaping China-Vietnam ties, which were further confirmed by a joint statement issued on Monday. It’s fair to say that remembering history is an important guarantee of the positive and healthy development of China-Vietnam relations.

The two leaders also witnessed the signing of a series of documents, including the memorandum of understanding on the construction of the "Belt and Road" and the "two Corridors and one Ring,” injecting new impetus to the future development and cooperation of the two countries.

They also agreed to properly handle maritime issues and steadily promote maritime cooperation such as joint development in a bid to safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea.

The signing of the agreements is a reflection of China’s courage to face sensitive issues and its peripheral diplomatic principle of building friendships and partnerships with neighboring countries.

China-Laos ties set an example of good neighborliness and all-round cooperation between China and its neighbors.

“When brothers are of the same mind, they have the power to cut through metal," President Xi said, using a Chinese proverb to describe China-Laos friendship. It is high praise for the relationship.

Leaders of the two countries agreed to accelerate the strategic alignment of China’s Belt and Road initiative and the strategy of Laos to transform itself from a landlocked to a land-linked country.

They also agreed to jointly build a China-Laos economic corridor, and forge ahead with major projects such as the China-Laos railway, in a bid to better serve the people of the two countries.

In recent years, Laos has proactively supported China on regional affairs, playing a leading role in the synergy of development strategies with China. The China-Laos railway, which officially commenced at the beginning of 2017, is a tangible achievement of cooperation on interconnectivity between China and Southeast Asian countries.

In 2018, Laos will co-chair the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC), a dialogue and cooperation mechanism initiated by China and jointly established by five countries on the Indo-China Peninsula, including Laos and Vietnam.

The mechanism is expected to offer more assistance to these countries. As a major practice for China to benefit its neighboring countries with its own achievements, the mechanism will build a tranquil and prosperous neighborhood.

It is believed that China will progress with its neighboring countries toward more shared goals and at a more coordinated pace, and their cooperation will yield more fruitful results.

(The author is a researcher with the National Institute of International Strategy under Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)

 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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