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China, Laos establish strategic partnership
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Chinese President Hu Jintao and his Laotian counterpart Choummaly Saygnasone on Wednesday agreed to lift bilateral ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership and pledged to boost relations between the two countries and their ruling parties.

Hu, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, hailed the Sino-Laotian relations, including frequent exchange of high-level visits, cooperation in various sectors.

"We exchanged in depth experience on party building and state governance, carried out fruitful cooperation on the training of cadres, and coordinated well on multilateral occasions," Hu told Choummaly at the Great Hall of the People.

The establishment of the comprehensive strategic partnership in the new situation of the 21st century will further bolster bilateral ties and cooperation, and will be conducive to the two countries' reform and opening-up efforts, Hu said.

Hu raised proposals in developing Sino-Laotian ties in a spirit of lasting stability, good-neighborliness and friendship, mutual trust and cooperation in an all-round manner.

He suggested the two countries' party and state leaders keep frequent exchange of visits, enhance contact and coordination on bilateral relations and issues of common concern.

The two sides could further learn from each other on party building and state governance, and step up cooperation on cadres training, he said.

China and Laos could expand trade and economic cooperation with the principles of equality, mutual benefit, result-oriented, richness of forms and common development, he noted.

He also proposed the two states should strengthen cooperation under regional cooperation frameworks such as the mechanism of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-China and ASEAN-China, Republic of Korea and Japan, as well as the Mekong sub-region cooperation framework.

Hu congratulated Laos' achievements since the eighth national congress of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party in 2006.

"We believe that under the leadership of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party with you as the general secretary, the Laotians will successfully complete all the goals set on the congress and record more achievements in the state's reform, opening-up strive and the building of a prosperous and strong nation," Hu said.

Choummaly, also secretary general of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party Central Committee, agreed on Hu's remarks, saying the long-term stable cooperation between the two countries proved that the traditional Laos-China friendship was based on a firm social foundation.

"China is a reliable strategic friend of the Laotians and to develop the comprehensive strategic cooperation with China is always a very important priority in our foreign policy," he said.

He pledged to further contact with China on major issues, to speed up economic and trade cooperation and promote cultural and people-to-people exchange.

Choummaly hailed China's reform and opening-up efforts under the CPC leadership, vowed to stick to the one-China policy and condemned the recent violence by separatists in Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

"The Laotians supports China's efforts in safeguarding sovereignty, social stability and national unity," he said.

Choummaly was in Beijing for a working visit which will end on Sept. 13.

(Xinhua News Agency September 10, 2009)

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