Since its launch in December 2021, the China-Laos Railway, a landmark project connecting Kunming in southwest China’s Yunnan Province with the Lao capital Vientiane, has demonstrated its advantages and favorable effects in passenger and freight transportation.
According to the Laos-China Railway Co., Ltd. (LCRC), a joint venture based in Vientiane and responsible for the operation of the railway’s Lao section, so far, the Lao section of the China-Laos Railway has shipped a total of around 2 million tonnes of goods, most of which are cross-border goods, and has carried 1.26 million passengers.
Meeting with visiting Thongloun Sisoulith, general secretary of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party Central Committee and Lao president, Chinese President Xi Jinping Wednesday said that with joint efforts, the two sides have made the China-Laos Railway a road of development, happiness and friendship for the people of the two countries.
Xi said this not only brings great benefits to the people of the two countries, but also provides a model for the building of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and promoting the building of a human community with a shared future.
Mourning Comrade Jiang Zemin’s death
Xi began by telling Thongloun that Comrade Jiang Zemin passed away earlier in the day in Shanghai after all medical treatments had failed.
Comrade Jiang was an outstanding leader enjoying high prestige acknowledged by the whole Party, the entire military and the Chinese people of all ethnic groups, a great Marxist, a great proletarian revolutionary, statesman, military strategist and diplomat, a long-tested communist fighter, and an outstanding leader of the great cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics. He was the core of the CPC’s third generation of central collective leadership and the principal founder of the Theory of Three Represents, Xi stressed.
Thongloun expressed his deep condolences on the death of Comrade Jiang, saying that this is a great loss for the CPC and Chinese people, and his Party and Lao people feel the same way.
Calling Jiang a close friend to the Lao side, Thongloun said Jiang’s visit to Laos in 2000 played an important leading role in the development of Lao-Chinese relations, as Jiang proposed the principle of long-term stability, good neighborliness, mutual trust and comprehensive cooperation.
Xi and Thongloun Wednesday reiterated that the two sides firmly uphold this principle and vowed to uphold the spirit of being good neighbors, friends, comrades and partners.
In April 2019, China and Laos signed an action plan to jointly build a community with a shared future. Since then fruitful cooperation results have been achieved and the China-Laos Railway is a vivid example.
Xi told the Lao president that China will encourage more Chinese enterprises to invest in Laos, welcome more high-quality products from the Lao side to enter the Chinese market, and continue to provide assistance to the Lao side to alleviate the current difficulties it faces.
He added the two sides should continue to expand exchanges and cooperation in science and technology, education, culture, tourism, health, youth and other fields as well as promote people-to-people bonds.
Nowadays, China has become the second-largest trading partner and the country with the largest foreign direct investment in Laos.
According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, as of February 2022, China has invested a total of $13.27 billion in various types of investments in Laos. Within its capacity, China has provided assistance to Laos in the form of non-reimbursable assistance, interest-free loans or preferential loans in the fields of materials, complete project assistance, personnel training and technical support.
China is the mainstay
China is willing to deepen coordination and cooperation with the Lao side within the framework of Lancang-Mekong Cooperation and China-ASEAN cooperation, promote the common values of humanity and jointly maintain world peace, stability, development and prosperity, Xi noted.
Thongloun said that under the complex changes the world is experiencing, China is the mainstay of maintaining world peace and stability and is committed to promoting common development and building a community with a shared future.