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Li Keqiang Holds Talks with Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong of Laos, Jointly Announcing Start of Negotiations on Railway Cooperation Agreement Between the Two Governments

In the afternoon of April 8, 2014, Premier Li Keqiang held talks with Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong of Laos in Sanya, Hainan Province. Both sides reached new consensus on promoting China-Laos comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership.

Thongsing Thammavong extended condolences to the families of the Chinese passengers on board the missing Malaysia Airlines flight. He highly praised the Chinese side for the tremendous efforts in search operation. Li Keqiang thanked Thongsing Thammavong for his message of condolences just after the incident. He stressed, China has been conducting all-out search efforts with the international community over the past month and would continue the close contacts and cooperation with all parties concerned in this regard.

Li Keqiang said, both China and Laos are now at a crucial period of deepening reforms. China is comprehensively deepening reform and opening-up in accordance with the deployment of the third Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), and taking more effective measures to stabilize growth, restructure the economy and benefit the people's livelihood. Laos is also accelerating efforts to advance its economy and people's livelihood and to vigorously promote the cause of renovation and opening-up. It is believed that this will bring new opportunities to the development of the bilateral comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership.

Li Keqiang noted, China-Laos railway constitutes the focal point of the bilateral cooperation on major projects. China is willing to start the negotiation with Laos on railway cooperation agreement between the two governments and to strive for an early signing of the agreement, so as to lay a solid foundation for the next step of cooperation.

Thongsing Thammavong said that the unceasing development of Laos-China relations in recent years have brought tangible benefits to the two peoples. Laos thanks China for its selfless help and support. Committed itself to advancing renovation and opening-up cause at present, Laos is willing to take the opportunities brought by the development of China to further strengthen exchanges on the experience of governance and administration of state affairs, to comprehensively deepen cooperation in various fields and to focus on an early substantial outcomes from Laos-China railway cooperation project, so as to jointly maintain regional peace, stability and development.

Following the talks, the two Premiers witnessed together the signing of bilateral cooperative documents covering financial and other fields.

Prior to the talks, Li Keqiang held a welcoming ceremony for Thongsing Thammavong's visit to China.

State Councilor Yang Jing was present at the above events.

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