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China, Laos to complete railway by the end of this year

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The China-Laos Railway tracks are successfully extended from the Lao capital Vientiane to the northern transport hub of Luang Prabang on Dec 29. KAIKEO SAIYASANE/XINHUA

China, Laos to complete railway by the end of this year

Construction of the Laos-China railway will be complete by the end of this year and will be another landmark development after the opening of Laos’ first expressway in December.

The developments were highlighted by Chinese ambassador to Laos Jiang Zaidong in a speech he gave on April 25 to mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Laos (April 25 1961-2021).

Over the past 30 years, Chinese investment in Laos has increased 70-fold and bilateral trade has increased 230-fold.

In 2019, over one million Chinese tourists visited Laos, 100 times the number who visited 30 years ago. In addition, there are currently 15,000 Lao students studying in China, constituting the eighth largest number of foreign students taking courses in China.

Over the past 60 years, China and Laos have shared suffering and happiness, and understand each other, Jiang said. During the revolutionary mission of liberation in the two countries, former leaders such as Comrade Mao Zedong, Comrade Kaysone Phomvihane and others formed deep friendships which laid the foundations for today’s close China-Laos relationship.

Stepping into a new era, Comrade Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China’s Central Committee, has held meetings with the top leadership of the Lao Party and State.

Following the 11th Congress of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, Comrade Xi Jinping and Secretary General of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party Central Committee, Thongloun Sisoulith, held an important telephone conversation and embarked on a new era of China-Laos cooperation towards a common destiny.

China and Laos have similar political regimes and development paths in the process of promoting their socialist mission. The two countries have learned lessons and helped each other and made progress towards creating a partnership with a shared destiny.

The Communist Party of China will soon celebrate its 100th anniversary. The Chinese people are entering a new era in building a modern socialist country, while the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party is promoting the 9th five-year National Socio-economic Development Plan and the Lao people are entering a new phase of industrialisation.

China-Laos relations have reached a new high and the two countries continue to anticipate a brighter future.

“We are pleased to work with Laos to deepen the exchange of lessons on Party management and public administration and, at the same time, adhere to the socialist path by strengthening the socialist regime and developing the socialist mission,” Jiang said.

“Linked to this are strategies to transform landlocked Laos into a country with access to the sea and accelerate the creation of the China-Laos Economic Corridor,” he added.

Currently, the Lao people are fighting an outbreak of Covid-19 which could have serious implications. The outbreak has occurred suddenly which has made response difficult and has had many ramifications.

The Lao party and government have taken prompt and decisive measures, including the lockdown of Vientiane, to prevent the spread of the virus. The two countries agreed to suspend events planned to celebrate the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations on April 23.

In the meantime, Laos is providing free Covid-19 vaccinations to high-risk Chinese citizens living in the country.

VIENTIANE TIMES/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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