BEIJING: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang held talks with Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith via video link on Tuesday.
China and Laos are friendly neighbors linked by mountains and rivers, and have witnessed their even stronger relations withstanding the test of time, Li said.
The third Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) leaders’ meeting was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Li said, stressing that his virtual meeting with Thongloun aims to facilitate coordination, make preparations for the LMC leaders’ meeting, increase regional connectivity and trade exchanges, and send out a positive signal of seeking mutually-beneficial cooperation and jointly combating challenges.
Saying LMC is an integral part of China-ASEAN cooperation, Li voiced China’s willingness to work with relevant countries, including Laos, to successfully hold the series of leaders’ meetings on East Asia cooperation and promote the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) within the year.
The countries should also jointly work for the success of the 2020 China-ASEAN Year of Digital Economy Cooperation, to achieve sustainable development of China-ASEAN relations and promote regional peace, stability and prosperity, Li said. China attaches great importance to relations with Laos and stands ready to work with Laos to advance cooperation on the China-Laos economic corridor and the construction of key projects, assist Laos in increasing its capacity of sustainable development, and elevate the two countries’ ties to a new level.
Thongloun spoke highly of his country’s relations with China and voiced appreciation of China’s valuable support to Laos. Reaffirming Laos’ solid support on issues concerning China’s core interests, Thongloun said his country will work with China to build a community with a shared future, and actively implement major cooperation projects.
To promote ASEAN-China relations, Laos will make concerted efforts with relevant countries for the success of the LMC leaders’ meeting and the series of leaders’ meetings on East Asia cooperation, as well as the signing of the RCEP as soon as possible, the Lao prime minister said.