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Chinese president vows stronger partnership with Laos

Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith in Beijing Thursday, vowing joint efforts with the country to build stronger comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation.

Xi hailed the progress of China-Laos ties since the forging of diplomatic relations 55 years ago, citing traditional friendship and rapid growth of cooperation in diverse areas.

China regards Laos as a good neighbor, friend, comrade and partner, and is ready to facilitate a stronger partnership and jointly build an unbreakable community of shared destiny, Xi said.

Thongloun, who was elected in April 2016, is on a four-day China visit from Monday to Thursday.

Xi proposed close exchanges between leaders of both countries and parties and timely exchange of views on major issues.

He urged the two ruling parties to share governance experience and learn from each other.

Xi called on both sides to connect their development strategies, and jointly boost the Belt and Road Initiative and cooperation in such areas as capacity investment, energy exploration, economic cooperation parks and infrastructure building.

China is ready to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with Laos in education, culture, tourism, law enforcement and security, Xi said, vowing to cement coordination with Laos in multilateral frameworks such as China-ASEAN cooperation, the Lancang-Mekong cooperation mechanism and United Nations.

Thongloun congratulated China on the sixth plenary session of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee held in Beijing in late October.

Applauding the achievements of bilateral cooperation in various areas, he said Laos appreciated China's support for its development and during Laos' period as ASEAN's rotating chair for 2016.

Calling China an important force in maintaining regional peace and stability, he said Laos is committed to closer cooperation between the two countries and parties.

Laos hopes to keep close coordination with China in global and regional affairs, and boost stronger ASEAN-China relations, he added.

Thongloun is visiting China as guest of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

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