|Premier Li Keqiang Met with Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith via Video Link|
Premier Li Keqiang met with Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith via video link at the Great Hall of the People on the afternoon of 21 July.
Li commended the longstanding and strong ties between China and Laos as close neighbors linked by mountains and rivers. General Secretary and President Xi Jinping has maintained close communication with General Secretary and President Bounnhang Vorachit.
China and Laos are now the co-chairs of the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC). Due to the sudden COVID-19 onslaught, the Third LMC Leaders’ Meeting originally scheduled for the first half of this year had to be postponed. Li pointed out that holding this video meeting is to increase communication and coordination to well prepare for this year’s Leaders’ Meeting which will help further intra-regional connectivity and trade and send a positive message of promoting win-win cooperation and meeting common challenges.
Stressing the LMC as an integral part of China-ASEAN cooperation, Li expressed China’s readiness to work with Laos and other countries concerned for the success of this year’s East Asian leaders’ meetings, and in particular, toward signing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement within this year. Li also expressed hope for a successful China-ASEAN Year of Digital Economy Cooperation as part of the effort to promote the sustained growth of China-ASEAN relations and enhance peace, stability, development and prosperity of the region.
Li highlighted China’s strong commitment to a growing China-Laos relationship and its readiness for continued cooperation between the two sides on the China-Laos economic corridor and other key projects. China will do what it can to support and assist Laos in building its capacity for sustainable development, and hope to see this bilateral relationship be elevated to a higher level.
Thongloun applauded the growth of China-Laos relations and expressed appreciation for China’s valuable support to Laos. He reiterated Laos’ consistent and firm support to China on issues concerning China’s core interests, and expressed readiness to work with China in building a Laos-China community with a shared future and actively taking forward the major cooperation projects. He said that Laos will work with all the parties concerned to ensure the success of the LMC Leaders’ Meeting and the East Asian leaders’ meetings this year, strive for early conclusion of the RCEP and push forward ASEAN-China relations.