On Sep 1 at the Presidential Palace in Vientiane Capital, President Bounnhang Vorachit gave an interview to members of the Chinese media comprised of journalists from China Radio International (CRI), Xinhua, China Central Television (CCTV) and People’s Daily. During the interview, President Bounnhang Vorachit shared his views on various issues. The following is the exclusive interview:
CRI: Could you share with us your opinion about the Lao PDR being invited to participate in the G20 Summit to be held in Hangzhou, China?
President Bounnhang Vorachit: on behalf of the government and people of the Lao PDR, I am very proud and have the great honour to be extended an invitation by His Excellency Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China to attend the G20 Summit this time. We consider the G20 Summit a mechanism for discussion and for making shared solutions to economic issues in the region and the world to protect the economic interests of developing countries. ASEAN attaches importance to enhancing the cooperation for development with member states of the G20, especially China, who is a close friend of the Lao PDR. I would like to express gratitude to President Xi Jinping for the importance he has attached, and to the role of ASEAN at this summit. I am ready to contribute to the process and the discussion at G20 Summit.
CRI: what is the expectation for the Lao PDR and what comments it is going to make at this summit? What should be the outcome of this summit?
President Bounnhang Vorachit: G20 is the world’s largest group of indutrial countries and plays a key role in driving the world’s economic growth and development. Therefore, the discussion and international economic and financial measures that the G20 leaders will adopt will directly affect the economics and development in a number of countries in the region and the world including the Lao PDR. Therefore, the Lao PDR welcomes the initiative and action plans the G20 leaders will consider and approve at this meeting such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the plan on the industrialization of African and least developed countries. We hope that the initiatives and action plans will be effectively implemented and bring benefits to developing countries, especially the least developed countries which are currently facing a number of economic challenges, as well as to poverty reduction at the moment.
CRI: Could Your Excellency share with us your points of view on the role and contribution of China to international cooperation? What is the point of view of the Lao PDR on China – the host country – as to whether it will be able to create unity at the meeting?
President Bounnhang Vorachit: China is politically, socially and economically strong. As a result, the role of China is noticeable in regional and international arenas. Therefore, China has been able to enhance its role in international cooperation in addressing urgent issues of the world. This G20 Summit is another forum where China has enhanced its leading role in an effort to seek solutions to international economic and financial issues, and to seek assistance for disadvantaged countries, especially the least developed and African countries. This obviously reflects the external policy of the Party and government of China. I really appreciate the leading role of China.
China, and Chinese people in particular, is well known as a generous, kind and open-handed host to visitors.
The Lao PDR believes that with the active efforts of the Chinese government, and the cooperation and compromise of the member states and the host country, the G 20 Summit will achieve its goals as expected and be unforgettably impressiveness for all delegates. I wish the 11th G20 Summit hosted by China will be highly successful.
CRI: May we learn about the development of bilateral relations between Laos and China, and what are your recommendations for the relation to be more fruitful?
President Bounnhang Vorachit: I highly value the outcomes of relations and cooperation between Laos and China over the past years. And this year is both meaningful and important to the cooperation and relations between Laos and China. Both sides have together held activities to celebrate the 55th anniversary of diplomatic relations in a happy and meaningful manner.
Over the past half century, bilateral relations between Laos and China have grown and been deepened in various areas. Specifically, a joint statement made in 2000 determined the Lao-China relations to be relations of good neighbours, mutual trust, lasting stability, and comprehensive cooperation” and the “bilateral relations” were lifted to the level of “comprehensive strategic partnership” in 2009. This constituted a historic landmark for the cooperation of the two countries and a firm foundation to enhance the relations and cooperation between Laos and China during the current time.
In the future, I think that to ensure the relations record more achievements, both sides must enhance cooperation in a number of areas, especially through maintaining the regular exchanges of visits of senior officials of the Parties and governments to exchange points of views on bilateral cooperation, lessons on Party strengthening, governance, and socio-economic development, among others, to strengthen mutual trust, to continue to exchange information, mutually assist in external affairs in regional and international frameworks on various issues, continue to implement the agreements signed by both sides to promote the cooperation and relations between the two countries in a deeper manner and bring real benefits to the people of the two countries.