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China a 'significant' partner of Thailand: envoy
Publication Date : 11-10-2013
Thailand has affirmed its favourable ties with China and will continue to strengthen cooperation in traditional areas, including trade and infrastructure, while exploring new bilateral cooperation, its ambassador says.
Thai Ambassador to China Wiboon Khusakul made the remarks in an exclusive written interview with China Daily ahead of Premier Li Keqiang's visit to Thailand that begins on Friday to discuss ways to enhance the Beijing-Bangkok comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.
"The Thailand-China bilateral relationship is strong, active and comprehensive and one that is based on shared values, mutual respect and a good understanding of each other. ... We consider China a significant cooperative partner in the region," Wiboon said.
"Our partnership and cooperation have contributed not only to the prosperity of the peoples of Thailand and China, but also to peace, stability and prosperity in Asean and the region."
Since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1975, China and Thailand have worked cooperatively in various areas including political manners, economics, culture, education, health, security, and science and technology. The two countries have expanded cooperation in many fields. Key areas for further cooperation include the trade and economy, investment and infrastructure construction, as well as the construction of high-speed railways and water conservancy projects.
"Such projects are aimed at boosting regional connectivity, which is a high priority for both Thailand and China," the ambassador said.
President Xi Jinping met Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra ahead of the Apec Summit in Indonesia last week, and the two leaders vowed to adhere to the goal of increasing bilateral trade to US$100 billion by 2015.
They also reinforced their commitment to advancing comprehensive strategic cooperation and an enduring friendship.
"The most significant indicator of our close relations is the growing volume of trade between our two countries, which stood at nearly $70 billion in 2012, with the goal of reaching $100 billion in 2015," the ambassador said.
China-Thailand relations have been further strengthened by frequent exchanges of high-level visits, both by government officials and members of the Thai royal family.
Besides strengthening existing cooperation, China and Thailand are also exploring new possibilities in areas of clean energy, human resource development and education promotion, as well as in agricultural produce, including rice, cassava, rubber and assorted Thai fruits, according to the ambassador.
"Recently, Thailand and China have discussed and explored the possibility of China purchasing 1 million tons of Thai rice," he said, adding that Yingluck has presented Premier Li, via the Thai embassy in Beijing, with a bag of Thai Hom Mali fragrant rice and a new rice cooker, to showcase the quality of typical Thai rice.