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Laos-China ties enter ‘best period of development': Chinese ambassador
Publication Date : 23-09-2013
Bilateral relations between China and Laos have been growing and are now in ‘the best period of development in history', Chinese Ambassador to Laos Guan Huabing said last week.
The ambassador made the statement through an interpreter during an interview with Lao and Chinese journalists at his office in Vientiane.
The interview took place ahead of China's National Day on October 1 and the planned visit to China by President Choummaly Sayasone.
Choummaly, who is also Secretary General of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party, will pay an official visit to China from September 26 to 30 in response to an invitation from his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.
Over the past 52 years since the two neighbours established diplomatic ties in 1961, bilateral relations between Laos and China have been growing to new heights and are poised to develop further in line with the shared desire of both sides.
In 2009, leaders of the two countries agreed to uplift their bilateral ties to a ‘comprehensive cooperative strategic partnership' marking a milestone in the history of Laos-China relations.
Leaders have maintained regular contact and exchanged visits to each other's country.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong attended the 10th China-Asean Expo in Nanning, capital of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, where he held talks with his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang.
Last month, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi paid an official visit to Laos for talks with his Lao counterpart Thongloun Sisoulith.
Leaders of the two countries regard their nations as “good neighbours, good friends, good comrades and good partners. Both sides “enjoy mutual trust”, Guan said.
Growing bilateral trade has seen China become Laos' second largest trading partner, one its main import sources and third largest export market, the ambassador said.
In 2010, the value of bilateral trade reached US$1 billion and in 2012 the figure jumped to US$1.728 billion. In the first five months of this year, the value of bilateral trade climbed to US$794 million.
China is one of the top foreign investors in Laos with investment in areas ranging from agriculture to hydropower and banking.
China has invested US$5 billion in 745 projects in Laos, Xinhua reported, citing Lao statistics.
In light of the shared interests and joint efforts of both sides, Ambassador Guan said he believed Laos-China relations will enjoy an even brighter future.