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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs                    20  September 2011

China-Laos presidents meet

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President Hu Jintao and his Laotian counterpart, Choummaly Saygnasone, held talks on Monday, agreeing to boost bilateral ties in light of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of China-Laos relations.

Hu, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, congratulated Choummaly's re-election as president of Laos and secretary-general of the Laos People's Revolutionary Party Central Committee.

Hu hailed the current state of bilateral political relations, saying that both countries share similar social systems, political ideals and developmental mindsets.

"It bears positive significance for the cause of socialism and for peace and development in Asia and the world for China and Laos to be good neighbors, friends, comrades and partners," Hu said at their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in downtown Beijing.

Hu said China will enhance strategic communication, substantial cooperation, party-to-party exchanges and coordination on international and regional issues with Laos.

China appreciates the Laos government's adherence to the one-China policy and will firmly support Laos as it advances on a road that fits its domestic situation, Hu said.

Hu pledged to strengthen cooperation with Laos in the areas of economics, trade, mining, agriculture, infrastructure, tourism and education and promote exchanges between the legislative bodies, political organizations and social management networks of both nations.

Hu suggested that both sides should enhance cooperation in national defense and public security in order to safeguard peace and stability of both countries.

Hu said China supports Laos in hosting the ninth Asia-Europe Meeting next year and expressed confidence in the country's national development.

Referring to China as a "close and reliable friend" and "strategic partner," Choummaly spoke highly of the cooperative ties between the parties and governments of both countries, stating that comprehensive cooperation with China has fueled development in Laos.

Choummaly said both sides should maintain high-level visits, strengthen cooperation in national defense and public security and expand cooperation in the fields of economics, trade, culture, education and tourism.

Choummaly arrived in Beijing on Sunday for a four-day official visit to China at the invitation of Hu.



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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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