President Xi Jinping meets with visiting Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Jan 6, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua] China will continue to extend support to Laos in its fight against COVID-19 and is actively considering aiding the nation with vaccines, President Xi Jinping said on Thursday. Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remark in a phone conversation with Thongloun Sisoulith, the new general secretary of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party Central Committee. The phone call came on the heels of a congratulatory message sent by Xi to Thongloun, the Lao prime minister, who was elected general secretary of the LPRP Central Committee at the 11th National Congress of the LPRP last week. On behalf of the Party, government and people of China, Xi again congratulated Thongloun on his election to the position, saying that he believes that the LPRP and Laos, under the leadership of the new LPRP Central Committee, will unite and strive to attain the targets set at the congress. As friendly neighboring nations, China and Laos adhere to the leadership of the Communist Party and socialism, which is the essential feature of bilateral relations, he said. With the bilateral relationship at its historic best and the world facing major changes unseen in a century, coupled with the fallout from the pandemic, Xi said Beijing stands ready to work with Vientiane toward closer high-level exchanges, closer strategic communication and deeper exchanges on party and state governance. The two sides must move forward steadily with major projects such as the China-Laos Economic Corridor and the China-Laos Railway and enable the joint building of the Belt and Road to secure more outcomes, he said. It is important to deepen exchanges and cooperation in areas such as culture, youth and tourism and keep enriching the content of the China-Laos community with a shared future, he added. Thongloun said Laos appreciates the precious support and help China has offered in its COVID-19 response, and the country will continue to implement the action plan for the bilateral community with a shared future and bolster cooperation with China in areas such as the Belt and Road. The two leaders jointly announced the launching of the China-Laos Friendship Year, in which the two nations will host celebrations to promote bilateral friendship.