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Partnership based on 'four-good' principles


Laos and China are sharing experiences and strengthening cooperation to eradicate poverty

This year marks a significant milestone for the Communist Party of China. Since its founding 100 years ago, the CPC has steered China on a path of rapid development, leading to socioeconomic successes that have enabled the country to earn global respect.

Leaders and academia around the world have appreciated China's achievements, which are attributed to the strong leadership of the CPC and the right choice of development path that offers inspiration to other nations in the pursuit of their own development. On this note, I wish to share a view from Laos given the two countries' long-held relationship in diplomatic and other spheres.

The CPC has decisively embarked on a revolutionary journey to create the political landscape required to alleviate poverty, enhance national strength and achieve well-founded prosperity. China's success has provided practical lessons for other countries regardless of differences in political regime. In 1982, the country launched poverty alleviation initiatives and introduced measures to exploit the rural productive force, such as training and transfer of rural labor, and to help release vitality and increase farmers' incomes.

The Scientific Outlook on Development was introduced in order to advance the development of a harmonious and moderately prosperous society in all respects, and facilitate the development of a new socialist countryside.

Now under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, a better life for the people is at the heart of efforts to realize the first centenary goal. This has helped lift almost 100 million people out of poverty. President Xi's strategy was clear when he emphasized "No single poor area or person should be left behind in achieving this goal."

Victory in the fight against extreme poverty, as declared by President Xi in February, was achieved 10 years ahead of the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development deadline. The CPC has shown that poverty can be eradicated through collective leadership, determination, a sense of responsibility, targeted measures and extraordinary efforts. China's success provides a reference for other countries' poverty alleviation efforts.

There have been substantial improvements in people's incomes and welfare, with all impoverished rural residents having adequate food and clothing and guaranteed access to compulsory education, basic medical care and safe housing.

Almost 100 million people who were living below the poverty threshold in rural areas, including in 128,000 impoverished villages, have now been lifted out of abject poverty.

Compulsory nine-year education is available to children from rural poor families, and the completion rate is 94.8 percent. Also, over 98 percent of the poor villages have access to optical fiber communication and 4G technology, enabling distance learning for students living in remote areas.

On the health front, county-level hospitals in impoverished areas can treat 90 percent of diseases, with almost all the poor being covered by basic medical insurance.

Alleviating poverty is also one of the strategic tasks of the Lao People's Revolution Party. Thanks to the CPC and the Chinese government, assistance has been provided to Laos as part of the cooperation framework to build a community with a shared future for mankind.

This year, Laos and China are celebrating 60 years of the establishment of diplomatic ties by cooperating at all levels of the parties, the governments and peoples of the two nations. The comprehensive relationship between the two countries exists not only on the diplomatic front, but also in the areas of cultural exchanges, development, trade and investment, and has been built on longstanding mutual trust, respect, and shared values for development and prosperity.

Laos and China continue to strengthen the "four-good" principles--being good neighbors, friends, comrades and partners with the same visions--to build a strong community with a shared future.

In March 2021, I attended the groundbreaking ceremony of the China-aided Laos Rural Poverty Alleviation Facility Construction Project in Vientiane. The project covers 30 villages in Vientiane and Luang Prabang provinces. It was one of the eight major aid projects announced by President Xi during his visit to Laos. It focuses on improving education, sanitation and water and electricity supply in poor rural areas. This is a good project to help the Lao government improve people's livelihoods and promote poverty alleviation. It is also another testimony to the deep friendship Laos and China share.

Rural development and poverty alleviation are the strategic priorities of the Lao government. Laos and China have achieved remarkable results in addressing poverty problems through bilateral and multilateral platforms such as top-level design, pilot demonstrations, and regional cooperation mechanisms. Laos actively promotes China's poverty alleviation model and experience, learning from China's ways to improve villagers' production skills, and create long-term benefits.

In November 2017, President Xi said during his visit to Laos that the agricultural sector can become a key area of cooperation between the two sides. China can not only help Laos play its natural advantages, but also help more people get rid of poverty. In April 2019, "vigorously strengthen pragmatic cooperation in areas such as people's livelihood and poverty reduction, and promote early elimination of underdevelopment of Laos" was included in the Action Plan of the LPRP and CPC on building a China-Laos community with a shared future. Laos is willing to learn from China in all areas of poverty reduction and continue to strengthen cooperation in this regard.

Cooperation will surely help make greater contributions to sustainable development of Laos and its people. More than anyone, we are sincerely pleased with China's development achievements and its efforts to build a shared future for mankind.

The author is head of the President's Office of the Lao People's Democratic Republic and former minister of Industry and Commerce and chairwoman of Laos-China Cooperation Committee. The author contributed this article to China Watch, a think tank powered by China Daily. The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.