Khamphao Ernthavanh, Lao Ambassador to China (Photo provided by Embassy of Laos to China)
BEIJING, March 6 (Xinhuanet) -- Projects under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) are important milestones of Laos-China cooperation in the new era, said Lao ambassador to China Khamphao Ernthavanh in a recent written interview with Xinhuanet.
Laos has always attached great importance to and supported the Belt and Road Initiative, stressed the ambassador, adding that the Initiative is in line with Laos’ strategy to transform the country from being landlocked to land-linked within the region.
The ambassador highlighted the China-Laos Railway Project under the Initiative, saying the project is “the symbol under the Initiative” and “the outstanding and the largest partnership project for Laos.”
The railway project started in December 2016 and is scheduled to be completed and operational in December 2021.
The ambassador said the completion of the railway will increase the interaction of people and businesses and will create more favorable conditions for economic and trade cooperation, investment, tourism and other activities between the two countries.
She pointed out that the Belt and Road Initiative not only considers the economic interests of participating countries, but also takes into account mutual understanding in society, culture and environmental issues.
Noting that this year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of Laos-China diplomatic ties, the ambassador said that bilateral relations have been continuously enhanced over the past 60 years, benefiting both countries and contributing to regional and international development.
Laos will continue to strengthen cooperation with China in the fields of economy and trade, energy, processing industries and agriculture, she added.
The ambassador also hailed China’s support to Laos in the fight against COVID-19 and its achievements in poverty alleviation.
She said China has sent medical experts and provided COVID-19 vaccines to Laos, which helps Laos combat the pandemic.
This support will strengthen the comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation between Laos and China and their partnership of jointly building Laos-China community with a shared future, she said.
The ambassador said China’s achievement in poverty alleviation is “a wonderful history of world poverty alleviation” and expressed her willingness to learn from China to improve Lao people’s life.
Since the launch of the reform and opening up in the late 1970s, China has contributed to more than 70 percent of global poverty reduction.