Vietnam and Laos are two neighboring countries, sharing the same Truong Son, or Annamite, Mountain Range and the Mekong River. The two countries have been maintaining their faithful and long-standing friendship in a relationship that is rich in history and immortalized in the literature of both countries. Vilay Keomany, a famous Lao poet, once wrote, “We are here/ You are there/ Sharing the same grandiose mountain range.”

File photo: Vietnamese volunteer soldiers and troops of the Laos People's Army celebrate the victory. 

The close relationship between the two nations was vigorously developed and promoted under the leadership of the Indochinese Communist Party, which was later broken into the Vietnamese Communist Party and the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party. The relationship was nurtured by President Ho Chi Minh of Vietnam and Presidents Kaysone Phomvihane and Souphanouvong of Laos. It was also nourished by the blood of many Vietnamese volunteer troops, Lao Pathet soldiers, and the Lao people, who supported the Vietnamese volunteer troops wholeheartedly when they were working and fighting in Laos.

Throughout upheavals in the history, under any circumstances, the special solidarity and relationship between Vietnam and Laos have always brightly shown, serving as the basis for the bilateral relations to thrive. This special relationship is second to none in international political life and relations. President Kaysone Phomvihane once said, “In the history of the world revolution, there have been shining examples of the proletariat international spirit. However, there has never been any long-lasting and comprehensive combat coalition as such.”

The fierce and arduous wars of resistance were full of sacrifices. Tens of thousands of Vietnamese volunteer soldiers crossed the Truong Son Mountain Range to Laos to perform international duties, fighting side by side with the Lao troops and people. Former Lao President Khamtay Siphandon held that, “In Laos, there are no places without the footprints of Vietnamese volunteer soldiers and advisors.” The support of the Vietnamese volunteer troops and advisors partly contributed to the feats-of-arms the Lao military and people, gradually reaching the final victory in 1975.

At the warm get-together with former Vietnamese soldiers and advisors in Laos on December 20, 2017 in Hanoi, Lao General Secretary and President Bounnhang Vorachith affirmed, “Many generations of Vietnamese people have come to help the Lao people to fight for national independence and freedom and build a new life of happiness. Among them, many sacrificed their lives for the Lao revolution, considering Laos as their second homeland. In all parts of Laos, the blood and bones of the Vietnamese soldiers were shed and mingled with those of the Lao officials, party members, soldiers, and people, for the salvation of Laos.”

Throughout the history of the alliance in combat, countless Vietnamese volunteer soldiers and advisors sacrificed their lives, among whom many still have not been found. Their remains have yet to be taken back to Vietnam. No words can depict those feats-of-arms and iron hearts, which will never fade in the hearts of the Lao people. That is also the affirmation General Secretary and President of Laos Bounnhang Vorachith made on July 18, 2017 at the 55th anniversary of the establishment of the Vietnam-Laos diplomatic relations and the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Vietnam-Laos Treaty of Amity and Cooperation.

Through fierce wars and challenges posed during the implementation of the renewal and international integration process, the Vietnam-Laos relationship has become an invaluable asset of the two nations. Despite time, the relationship will never change and will increasingly be strengthened, as President Kaysone Phomvihane said, “Unless the Mekong River and the Red River run dry or the Truong Son Mountain Range be razed to ground, the Vietnam-Laos special relationship will stay ever-unchanged.”

Translated by Huu Duong