Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R), who is also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, shakes hands with visiting Lao President Choummaly Saygnasone, who is also secretary general of the Central Committee of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party, prior to their meeting in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 26, 2013. (Xinhua/Xie Huanchi)
BEIJING, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Thursday met with Lao President Choummaly Saygnasone, discussing how to deepen China-Laos ties and promote China's relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Choummaly, also general secretary of the Central Committee of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP), is paying an official visit to China at the invitation of General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Li reviewed the growth of the relations between the two countries and the relations between the CPC and the LPRP and hailed the solid progress of bilateral cooperation in all fields.
Describing the talks between Xi and Choummaly on Thursday afternoon as productive, Li said China would like to work with Laos to increase high-level visits, promote cooperation in trade, investment and infrastructure, expand people-to-people exchanges and boost growth of the China-Laos comprehensive strategic partnership.
As the eighth east Asian leaders' meetings will take place next month, China expects to work with other countries to discuss regional cooperation and development, Li said.
The premier said the ten-year China-ASEAN strategic partnership has yielded fruitful cooperation, benefiting countries and peoples in the region.
Li underscored China's commitment to pursuing a friendly policy with ASEAN, saying China would like to enhance trust with ASEAN, deepen cooperation, upgrade the China-ASEAN free trade area, promote telecommunications and transportations and beef up financial and maritime cooperation in a bid to seek more growth in China-ASEAN relations.
Li called for Laos to continue to play a positive role in promoting China-ASEAN relations.
Choummaly hailed the continuous and sound growth of China's economy, saying it contributed to the world economic recovery.
Choummaly appreciated China for long-term support and aid to Laos and said he has been satisfied with bilateral cooperation in recent years.
Choummaly called for the two countries to speed up cooperation on railways and other big projects and encouraged Chinese businesses to invest in Laos.
He reaffirmed Laos' commitment to working with China to bring bilateral relations to a new high.
Choummaly will conclude his five-day China visit on Monday.