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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs    14 June 2012

Sino Laos cooperation moves further

12 June 2012

Laos and China have reached a cooperation deal signing 10 agreements to enhance bilateral relations and economic cooperation.

The agreements were signed in Vientiane on Sunday during an official visit to Laos by Standing Committee member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, He Guoqiang, from June 10-12, according to a press release from the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP).

Guoqiang, who is also head of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, led a high-level delegation of the CPC to visit Laos in response to an invitation from the LPRP's Central Committee.

Politburo member of the LPRP and Head of the State-Party Inspection Committee, Dr Bounthong Chitmany, led a high-level delegation of the Party in talks with their Chinese counterparts on the same day.

Both sides hailed their sound bilateral relations and cooperation, deemed by the leaders of both sides as "good neighbours, good friends, good comrades and good partners".

Vientiane and Beijing signed 10 agreements to deepen their long-standing relations and cooperation, which has been raised to the level of a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.

Standing Member of the LPRP's Politburo, Bounnhang Vorachit, witnessed the signing of the agreements.

The agreements inked included one on technical and economic cooperation between the two governments.

Two loan agreements were signed in which the Chinese government will provide soft loans for the Nam Khan 3 hydropower project and for road improvements in Vientiane in preparation for the 9th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit in November.

Laos' Ministry of Planning and Investment and China's Sinohydro Corporation inked a concession agreement for Phase I of the operation of the Nam Ou hydropower project.

Vientiane and Beijing also signed a memorandum of understanding on Xebanghieng River hydropower projects 1 and 2.

A document in which the Chinese side provides office equipment worth more than 1.2 billion kip (US$150,037) for use in the LPRP's office was also signed.

Both sides inked a memorandum of understanding and agreement on cooperation to build a Laos-China primary school worth more than $420,000 in

Nongping village of Chanthabouly district, Vientiane.

During the talks, Dr Bounthong represented the Party, government and people of Laos in expressing gratitude to the Party, government and people of

China for the valuable assistance and support extended to Laos.

He said he highly valued the visit of the Chinese delegation, which further enhances the relations and cooperation between the two parties, governments and peoples. Dr Bounthong reaffirmed that he would continue to work with the Chinese side to enrich relations and cooperation.

For his part, Guoqiang congratulated the progress made by the Lao people in developing their country.

Both sides briefed their counterparts on the socio-economic development situation in their respective countries and discussed regional and international issues of common interest.

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