[Marxism] Laos happy over growing India-China ties

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Tue Aug 7 20:26:09 MDT 2007


(So far, I haven't been able to figure out why Washington went after
Vang Pao, though he's also also not wasting time in any jail to date.
He's more or less a Laotion version of Luis Posada Carriles.)
=======================================================================

THE HINDU
August 8, 2007

Laos happy over growing India-China ties
P. S. Suryanarayana

MANILA: Expressing "delight" over the strengthening relations between
India and China, Deputy Prime Minister of Lao People?s Democratic
Republic, Thongloun Sisoulith, has described his country?s ties with
the United States as "relatively good."

Speaking to The Hindu on the sidelines of the just-concluded series
of multilateral meetings organised by the Association of South East
Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Manila, Mr. Thongloun said: "Laos has
long-lasting friendship wit h both India and China. With regard to
the rise of these two important countries, Lao PDR would see it in a
very positive way, as the two countries will help strengthen our
region."

Contribution to peace

Noting that Laos was happy to "witness" the growth of India-China
ties "from strength to strength", he said the ASEAN too recognised
their "contribution" to peace and stability in East Asia.

Asked about the implications of the recent arrest of Vang Pao by the
United States to thwart his alleged attempt to topple the Laotian
Government, Mr. Thongloun said: "We see this as an internal political
affair of the U.S., as Mr. Vang Pao is a [naturalised] U.S. national.
If the U.S. sees Mr. Vang Pao as a threat to the U.S. itself or a
threat to other countries, the arrest depends on them."

Noting that Mr. Vang Pao and his group were of "no value to our
country" and had "nothing to do with Laos," Mr. Thongloun, who is
also the Foreign Minister, said "the activities undertaken by this
group are not a serious threat to our country."

These activities might have related to illicit trade in arms and
drugs, he said. Mr. Vang Pao is a leader of the Laotian minority of
Hmong community, and he was a U.S.-backed "anti-Communist military
general" during the Vietnam War era. Regardless of his arrest now by
the U.S. itself, Vientiane?s relationship with Washington "still
remains the same, at a relatively good level," Mr. Thongloun
maintained.

The two countries "have always maintained coordination, especially in
the implementation of important projects in drug control."

Tracing an overview of the ties between India and Laos, Mr. Thongloun
said: "The Lao PDR appreciates the assistance rendered by the
Government of India, particularly in providing us with credit and
soft loans to be utilised in various development projects. Many of
them are under implementation, and, of course, there would be more
projects in the future.

Another important area is to enhance investment from India.

And, apart from the information technology sector, we would very much
welcome investments by India in hydro-electric power plant
construction as well as in the agricultural sector, in particular
agro-processing."

Mentioning a $350-million investment commitment by the Birla Group,
Mr. Thongloun said another project, which could be considered a
flagship, was the construction of electricity transmission lines from
the central part of Laos to the southern part and, maybe, further to
Cambodia."

Vientiane and New Delhi were now discussing the possible involvement
of India in the construction of the Asian highway projects that would
link the east-west and north-south economic corridors of Laos, Mr.
Thongloun said.

http://www.hindu.com/2007/08/08/stories/2007080862391600.htm





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