Friday, September 26, 2008

The current financial turmoil in the United States is the main concern of the world's chief executive officers and investors gathering on Friday for s

"With the cultivation of their respective party and state leadership, the relationship of Laos and China are moving forward in a healthy and vigorous way. The positive momentum of development has been reflected in all aspects in the relationship -- politics, economy, education and tourism, etc. commented Lao Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavad in an interview with Xinhua Thursday in the Lao capital Vientiane.

Somsavat, also head of the standing committee of the government, could not help expressing his amazement by his recent trip to Beijing as a guest at the 2008 Paralympic Games closing ceremony.

"Beijing has changed so much. The splendor and grandness of the Beijing Paralympic Games is the best illustration of China's progress. I consider this is the best ever Paralympics in the history. It is not only a pride of the Chinese, but also a boast for the whole Asia," he said.

Somsavat said that with a peaceful and friendly approach, China is exerting more and more important influence on the region and around the globe, from which the Lao-Chinese relationship has benefited.

Frequent exchange of visits by top officials, broadening economic cooperation, booming inter-trade and investment, and the take-off of educational and scientific cooperation, are among the achievements in this bilateral relationship, he said.

Taking tourism as example, Somsavat cited that number of tourists from Laos to China or vice versa both had a leap in recent years, which has benefited the tourism in both countries, but also strengthened understanding and friendship between the twopeoples.

He also particularly mentioned the educational cooperation withdelightment: "Chinese language teaching projects will be launched soon in schools along the Lao-Chinese borders. Lao officials are now discussing details about the projects with Chinese counterparts. We believe it would provide a better language environment for the prosperity of border trade."

When asked about how the local schools view the projects, the Deputy Prime Minister said, "It is due to this growing local demand that we started the plan. The children were so happy at thenews about setting up Chinese courses."

He noted that a plan to open a Confucius College, a Chinese-government-supported project for teaching Chinese language overseas, in Vientiane is already undergoing preparation.

He also praised China's role in especially the Great-Mekong Sub-region.

He rejected some speculations that flooding in this August in Laos around Mekong River, which runs through the borders between Laos and China, had been caused by the acts by China to discharge waters from dams along the Lancang River -- the part of Mekong inside China's borders.

He explained that the August flooding in Laos has not only took place along the Mekong river, but also many other areas around lakes in the upcountry, which has been caused mainly by particularly heavy rains during this year's rainy season.

It was not directly related to the water discharge from Lancang River on the upper side of Mekong, said Somsavat. Instead, other countries in the Mekong region should be grateful for China's consistent efforts in providing related hydrologic data in an bid to enhance the downriver flooding control, he said.

Lao Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh will attend the West China Expo this October in Chengdu, China, and will also meet Chinese leader at this December's ASEAN Summit in Thailand. "I believe these exchanges and others in the future, will definitely upgrade the already good relations in all aspects between the two countries in a positive way," said the deputy premier.


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