By Zhang Jianhua
NA MOR, Laos, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- Winding through lush mountain forest, the Chinese-sponsored No. 13 Highway in Laos runs through local villages hidden in the mist of northern Laos, the place which has witnessed the history of the relationship between Laos and China, as well as the new development.
"Chinese martyrs sacrificed their lives for the China-Laos friendship and the ever-enduring relations have been continuously revitalized. Under the support of the two countries' leaders, the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between China and Laos has been strengthening while the two countries' peoples are building an unbreakable community of common destiny," Chinese Ambassador to Laos Guan Huabing said at the launching ceremony of the renovation of Chinese cemeteries in northern Laos.
Representatives from the Chinese Embassy to Laos, the Consulate-General in Laos' Luang Prabang, Chinese-invested companies, overseas Chinese stationed in Laos as well as Lao officials attended the ceremony at a Chinese cemetery in the Oudomxay's Na Mor district, some 310 km north of the capital Vientiane, on Tuesday.
Addressing the ceremony, Lao Minister of Labor and Social Welfare Khampheng Xaysompheng expressed gratitude for the great sacrifice made by the Chinese martyrs for the liberation of Laos. "Provincial authorities of Oudomxay and Xiengkhuang will create favorable conditions for the renovation of Chinese cemeteries in Laos, and are aiming to create a beautiful environment and nice place for the relatives of the martyrs to mourn and visit," he said.
According to Chen Yongjing, a military attache at the Chinese embassy in Laos, in the 1960s and 1970s, hundreds of Chinese martyrs sacrificed their lives for a sacred internationalist mission. As many as 215 Chinese martyrs were laid to rest at three cemeteries in Lao's northern Oudomxay and Xiengkhuang provinces, of which Na Mor cemetery in Oudomxay holds the souls of 81 Chinese martyrs.
In September 2016, at the witness of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, the two governments signed an agreement on the maintenance and upgrading of the Chinese cemeteries in Laos, marking the start of the project on cemetery renovation.
"Once the renovation has been completed, the cemeteries will become a new place for furthering education and nurturing the China-Laos friendship for peoples of both countries, especially the younger generations. This will inspire us to make further efforts to carry forward the bilateral friendship," said the Chinese ambassador.
In an interview with Xinhua and other Chinese media agencies, the Lao minister of labor and social welfare said, "The project is of great significance to memorize the Chinese revolutionary martyrs, as well as to cherish their contributions and supports for Laos."
"We will expand the three cemeteries and turn those into education bases so Lao people, including students, can learn more about history and remember the contributions of the martyrs," Khampheng told reporters.
Xun Jiazheng, chairman of China's Yunnan Sunny Road & Bridge Co., Ltd. that is in charge of the renovation project, said that at present, the relevant agencies of both sides are cooperating closely to complete the upgrading work quickly.
At the ceremony, representatives of both sides laid wreaths and offered incense at the Na Mor cemetery.
It is still dry season in Laos, but after the ceremony, a light shower suddenly seemed to deliver a refreshing atmosphere as if to show respect by making the martyrs feel comfortable -- the same martyrs who contributed so passionately to founding the China-Laos ties.
Along the road that meanders through mountains in northern Laos, there are newly-built roads as well as new offices and camps that serve the construction of the China-Laos railway, which indicates an even brighter future ahead for bilateral relations. Enditem