BEIJING, July 19 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao on Tuesday met with Lao Defense Minister Chansamone Chanyalath, expressing China's appreciation for Laos' support on the South China Sea issue.
"China appreciates Laos' firm support on the South China Sea issue," Li told Chansamone during their meeting in Beijing.
China holds that the issue can only be solved through dialogue and negotiation, said Li, adding that this position was "consistent and unwavering."
Stressing that the two countries share common development opportunities through cooperation, Li said he hoped China and Laos could deepen mutually beneficial cooperation to advance their comprehensive strategic partnership.
Chansamone said Laos greatly valued cooperation with China.
Laos has always understood and supported China's stance on the South China Sea issue, backing the peaceful settlement of disputes through negotiation between the countries directly concerned, he said.