Laos Party Congress
The 7th Congress of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party was held in Vientiane, the capital city of Lao People's Democratic Republic, recently. Eleven new members were elected to the 53-member Central Committee. All the governors of the 16 provinces of Laos were elected to the Central Committee. They have the responsibility of carrying out the decisions of the Party and government for local investment and economic activities. More than 64 percent of the Central Committee had joined the Party before 1975, the year the Lao People's Revolutionary Party won power following the defeat of American aggression against Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. A reporter said after the Congress that the new members of the Central Committee "have been active and enthusiastic in the renovation cause, are good models for the cadres, party members and the people in the cause of national safeguarding [independence] and development over the past 25 years." One resolution adopted by the Congress aims to make Laos an opium-free nation by 2005. The Communist Party of Australia sent a message of greeting to the Laos Party Congress which said in part: "We have watched with interest and hope, the steady growth of your economy and your ability to resist and defeat the various military incursions which have occurred and the continuing interference by imperialism into the internal affairs of Laos. "The anti-imperialist stand of your Party and Government, together with your allies in the region, is of vital importance to the whole SE Asian region." Jiang Zemin, the Chairman of the Communist Party of China and President of the PRC, said in a message of congratulation sent to the re-elected President of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party, Khamtay Siphandone, that he is very glad to witness the new achievements and victories gained by the Lao people during their renovation, opening-up and state-construction course. Speaking of the traditional friendship between the two Parties and the two countries, Jiang Zemin said he hoped Laos would achieve national prosperity and well-being for the people.