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Xi Jinping Meets with ASEAN Leaders Attending the Ninth China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO)

On September 20, 2012, Vice President Xi Jinping met respectively with Prime Minister of Laos Thongsing Thammavong, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and Thai Deputy Prime Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong on the sidelines of the ninth China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) being held in Nanning, capital of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

During the meeting with Prime Minister of Laos Thongsing Thammavong, Xi spoke highly of the new achievements made in various undertakings since the 9th Congress of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party and the first session of the 7th Lao National Assembly last year, adding that currently China-Laos relations enjoy a sound growth momentum. Xi called on both sides to further implement important agreements reached between the top leaders of the two countries in an aim to boost their bilateral comprehensive and strategic partnership and advance pragmatic cooperation in all areas. China and Laos share similar political systems and ideals, which is an advantage for the two nations in terms of boosting cooperation, coping with challenges and achieving long-term peace and stability in their respective countries. China welcomes the Lao side to continue to actively participate in the China-ASEAN Expo and China Kunming Import & Export Commodities Fair, to further deepen cooperation with Guangxi, Yunnan and other southwest provinces of China for the benefit of the two peoples.

Speaking highly of the positive role the China-ASEAN Expo has played in cementing friendly cooperative ties between China and ASEAN member nations including Laos, Thongsing said he admires the remarkable achievements China has made in promoting its economic and social development. Such achievements have showcased the vitality of the socialist system and contributed to the maintenance of peace and prosperity, Thongsing noted. In recent years, the two sides have carried out a lot of cooperative projects in the framework of the comprehensive strategic partnership. He expressed appreciation for China's aid and support for his country's development, pledging to promote high-level exchanges and expand cooperation in all areas with China so that both sides will remain good neighbors, good friends, good comrades and good partners.

In his meeting with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, Vice President Xi said the Chinese party and government attach great importance to developing relations with Vietnam and are willing to promote the continuous development of Sino-Vietnamese comprehensive strategic partnership guided by the principle of "long-term stability, good neighborliness, mutual trust and all-round cooperation" and the spirit of "good neighbors, good friends, good comrades and good partners". "Asian countries are now facing new serious challenges and our priority is to jointly safeguard the hard-won stability and development in Asia by deepening cooperation in the all-in-the-same-boat spirit," he said. Xi said China hopes to maintain close communication with Vietnam during an east Asia summit to be held later this year so as to maintain the overall situation of cooperation, jointly promote east Asian cooperation, maintain regional stability, promote economic development and achieve long-term prosperity. The issues regarding the South China Sea do not represent the entirety of China-Vietnam relations, but will affect their ties if improperly dealt with. The leaders of both countries have reached many important agreements regarding the sea and the two countries should earnestly implement them, said Xi. "This is also vital for the smooth development of bilateral cooperation," said the vice president.

Dung first congratulated on the 63rd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and wished the eighteenth National Congress of the Communist Party of China a great success. He firmly believed that the construction of socialism with Chinese characteristics will surely score even greater achievements. He said Vietnam and China are linked by mountains and rivers, and enjoy a profound traditional friendship. Dung said Vietnam will always remember and appreciate the valuable assistance provided by China, adding that it is the top priority of Vietnam's foreign policy to develop cooperation with China. Vietnam is ready to exert all its efforts to cherish and safeguard its traditional friendship with China, Dung said. He added Vietnam and China should conscientiously implement the consensus, despite the fact that the two countries hold different views on the South China Sea. The issue should be properly solved through negotiation and dialogue from a strategic height and in the spirit of brotherhood and comradeship, said Dung, adding that Vietnam will not let the issue affect the overall situation of bilateral ties.

During the meeting with Thai Deputy Prime Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong, Xi said China and Thailand are close and friendly neighbors. He spoke highly of the sound development of China-Thailand relations since the establishment of diplomatic ties 37 years ago, saying the relationship has become one of China's closest bilateral relations with neighboring countries. The two countries should cherish and continue to push forward the relationship. He said Thailand has been a reliable friend and important cooperative partner of China. China is ready to maintain high-level exchanges with Thailand, continue to expand cooperation, further tap potential and promote progress regarding their relations, he said. Xi also thanked Thailand for its support and coordination during an investigation and trial related to the murder of 13 Chinese sailors on the Mekong River, as well as called for a steady advance of judicial cooperation among China, Thailand, Laos and Myanmar in order to jointly maintain security along the Mekong River. Xi said Thailand, which is responsible for coordinating China and ASEAN, bears an important responsibility. He said he hopes the two countries will conduct close coordination to ensure the smooth development of China-ASEAN relations, as well as ensure that an upcoming series of meetings between east Asian leaders to be held in November will be held in a united, friendly and cooperative atmosphere.

Kittiratt said the China-ASEAN Expo has provided a valuable platform for economic and trade cooperation between ASEAN countries and China. He said his aim in attending the expo is to promote cooperation between Thailand and China in economics, trade, tourism and culture, as well as to deepen their strategic partnership. Kittiratt said Thailand will strengthen coordination and cooperation with China while it serves as the coordinator country of China-ASEAN relations and will make greater efforts for the development of China-ASEAN relations. He also added that Thailand has attached high importance to the murder of 13 Chinese sailors on the Mekong River. He said Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has made ​​quite a number of instructions on the case. He believed that the Thai side will speed up relevant work and bring justice to the Chinese victims.

MOC International Trade Representative & Vice Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng, Guo Shengkun, Secretary of CPC Guangxi Committee, Ma Biao, Chairman of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, as well as Chinese Ambassador to Laos Bu Jianguo, Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Kong Xuanyou and Chinese Ambassador to ASEAN Yang Xiuping attended the meetings.

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