（Written by Jiang Zaidong / Translated by Chen Zhiying）On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the China-Laos relations, Jiang Zaidong, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of China to Laos, published a signed article titled “Writing a New Chapter for China-Laos Relations in the New Era” in the media. The article is as follows:
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Laos. Over the past six decades, the friendship between the two countries has withstood the vicissitudes of the international landscape to become even stronger. Under the severe pandemic in 2020, bilateral relations have deepened, thanks to joint efforts by the ruling party and people of both countries, with high-level strategic guidance being a fundamental guarantee and significant advantage. In 2013, President Xi Jinping pointed out that “the ties between China and Laos are not the usual bilateral relations, as they form a community with a shard future and extensive common interests.” The remark profoundly reveals the nature and internal driving force of China-Laos relations. In April 2019, top leaders of the two countries signed the Action Plan for China and Laos to Build a Community of Common Destiny, outlining a clear road map to promote the comprehensive strategic cooperation between the two countries and pushing forward the good bilateral relations to a higher level. Since 2020, President Xi has communicated with the top leader of Laos by phone and through letters, injecting strong momentum for the two countries to further develop their relations under the new circumstance.
Guided by their high-level strategies, China and Laos uphold the spirit of a community with a shared future in the fight against the virus. At the critical moment of China’s fight, people from all walks of life in Laos did their best to help China, offering batches of anti-pandemic assistance, including US$ 700,000 in cash. Less than five days after Laos announced its first confirmed case and requested China’s assistance, the first group of Chinese experts flew to Vientiane, the capital of Laos. A second group arrived soon after to help it form a complete set of tailored plans ranging from preventing imported cases to curbing the spread of the COVID-19, helping Laos plan its pandemic prevention and control in a more scientific and standardized way. A COVID-19 nucleic acid testing laboratory built by the Chinese side has been handed over and put into operation in Laos, comprehensively improving Laos’ ability to detect the virus. The first batch of China-donated COVID-19 vaccines arrived in Vientiane on February 8, 2021. At the handover ceremony, Laotian Vice President Phankham Viphavanh expressed his sincere gratitude and spoke highly of China’s efforts to build a global community of health for all and its sense of responsibility. China is glad that Laos is one of the countries with the most remarkable achievements in pandemic prevention and control in the region.
With the normalization of the pandemic prevention and control measures, the two countries are actively coordinating their pandemic control work and economic recoveries, making good use of the fast track service for personnel exchanges, and speeding up the resumption of work and production. Thanks to the joint efforts of both sides, the construction of a community with a shared future between China and Laos has overcome the impact of the pandemic and is on a fast track. Despite the economic downturn triggered by the pandemic, China’s investment in Laos has risen, reaching US$ 1.163 billion in the first 10 months of 2020, a year-on-year increase of more than 20%. The Vientiane-Vang Vieng expressway has opened to traffic. The tunnel for the China-Laos Railway Project has been completed and half of the total track has been laid. The railway is expected to commence operations soon. Eight China-aid projects in Laos have progressed in an orderly manner and pilot poverty reduction projects have been completed in demonstration villages. Laos’ first modern refinery, jointly built by the two sides, has been officially put into operation, helping Laos enhance its capacity for independent development. The two countries have successfully fulfilled their responsibilities as co-chairs of the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation, promoted the adoption of the Vientiane Declaration, and made new contributions for and injected positive energy into regional development cooperation during the pandemic.
This year is of special significance for the development of the two countries and bilateral ties. The Communist Party of China will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its founding and China will embark on a new journey to fully build a modern socialist country. The Lao People’s Revolutionary Party successfully held its 11th National Congress, marking a new stage in the country’s national and socialist development. The two sides are holding a series of activities to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations and the Year of China-Laos Friendship. China will take this opportunity to implement the Action Plan signed by the heads of the two countries’ ruling parties and resolutely implement the requirements put forward by the top leaders of the two parties and two countries, so as to write a new chapter for relations between the two parties and nations in the new era, promote the construction of a community with a shared future between China and Laos, and bring more benefits to the two peoples.
Both sides should “explore together” to create a new type of relationship of socialist countries and work together to develop socialism with their own characteristics. The Chinese side is willing to strengthen the exchange of experience in governing the country with Laos. Together, both sides firmly adhere to the socialist path, consolidate the socialist system, and develop socialism. Both sides should “strive together”. The ruling parties of both China and Laos uphold a people-centered development philosophy and regard people’s yearning for a better life as their goal. The Chinese side is willing to learn and help from each other. Both sides should “develop together”. China is still the largest developing country, and the CPC has always regarded development as the top priority of governing and rejuvenating the country while Laos is making efforts to get rid of its backwardness and faces tough reform and development tasks. China is willing to work with Laos to strengthen the synergy of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and Laos’ strategy to transform from a landlocked country to a land-linked hub, advance the development of the China-Laos Economic Corridor, and ensure that a community with a shared future between the two countries strikes root and bears fruit.
Scenery of Laos
Source: China Daily