Exclusive interview: continuous positive results in the Construction of a Community with a shared Future between China and Laos-- an interview with Jiang Zaidong, Chinese Ambassador to Laos
Vientiane, 15 Nov (Xinhua)-- an interview with Jiang Zaidong, Chinese ambassador to Laos,
Xinhua News Agency reporter Zhang Jianhua
In an exclusive interview with Xinhua News Agency reporters a few days ago, Chinese Ambassador to Laos Jiang Zaidong said that bilateral relations between China and Laos are currently in the best period in history. In April this year, the leaders of the two countries signed the Action Plan for Building a Community with a shared Future between China and Laos, which provided guidance and compliance for the long-term development of China-Laos relations and ushered in a new era of China-Laos relations. With the implementation of the action plan, positive results have been achieved in the building of a community with a shared future between China and Laos.
First, the top leaders of the two parties and countries maintain the tradition of annual meetings and strengthen strategic communication on major issues in bilateral relations and the international and regional situation in a timely manner. The two sides carried out omni-directional, multi-level and institutional exchanges and dialogue, and learned from each other to learn from each other's experience in managing the party's administration. The two sides also strengthen cooperation in the field of national defense and public security, closely cooperate in international and regional affairs, and earnestly safeguard common interests.
Second, China's "Belt and Road Initiative" initiative and Laos's "land-locked country into a joint land country" strategy to speed up docking. As a major project of "Belt and Road Initiative", the construction of the China-Laos railway is progressing smoothly and is expected to be completed and opened to traffic by the end of 2021. The Vientiane-Wanrong Expressway is progressing smoothly and is expected to be completed by the end of 2020. In the first three quarters of this year, bilateral trade volume between China and Laos reached US $2.86 billion, an increase of 18.7 percent over the same period last year. China has become Laos's second largest trading partner and the largest source of foreign investment.
Third, as of this year, the total number of Lao students who have won Chinese government scholarships has exceeded 4000, ranking among the highest among ASEAN countries. About 15000 Lao students study in China, ranking second among ASEAN countries and eighth out of 196 countries and regions in the world. The Chinese fever is in the ascendant in Laos, and the Lao Chinese Cultural Center and the Confucius Institute of the National University have become a new platform for cultural and educational exchanges between the two countries. 2019 is the "year of tourism between China and the elderly." in the first three quarters of this year, the number of Chinese tourists reached 757000, an increase of 26 percent over the same period last year.
Jiang Zaidong said: with the in-depth development of Sino-Lao relations, the friendly exchanges between the two peoples have become increasingly close. Since 2002, there have been 11 groups of 119 young Chinese volunteers to engage in Chinese teaching, physical education, medical and health, information technology counterpart exchange support. Since 2004, more than 400 Chinese teaching volunteers have gone deep into remote and poor areas of Laos to send "Chinese light" to primary and middle school students.
Jiang Zaidong said that he was deeply moved by the enthusiastic people of the two countries who spontaneously went to the hospital to take care of the injured and donate materials in the course of dealing with the serious traffic accidents that occurred on the Chinese tourist bus on August 19 this year. Let the injured and their families feel the warmth of borderless. This year, many provinces in Laos have been hit by major floods, and Chinese-funded enterprises have shown their strengths while organizing donations and helping to build bridges and roads in the disaster areas. It can be said that the people of the two countries have always been watching and helping each other, interpreting the common aspirations of the people with practical actions, and laying a solid foundation of public opinion for the building of a community with a shared future between China and Laos.
"I believe that with the joint efforts of both sides, the building of a community with a shared future between China and Laos will certainly take root and blossom and bear fruit." Jiang Zaidong said.