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Talks could 'bring peace' to S. China Sea: Thai PM

Publication Date : 19-04-2012


Positive results from negotiations on regulations regarding the conduct of parties in the South China Sea could bring more peace and stability to the region, visiting Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said yesterday in Beijing.

"China and relevant ASEAN countries are now studying the regulations of conduct in the South China Sea, which would achieve success in a sound atmosphere of mutual trust," Yingluck said.

"Regarding the disputes in the South China Sea, Thailand understands China's concerns over the issue," the prime minister said, adding that Thailand will further boost ties and deepen trust between China and relevant ASEAN countries.

Starting in July, Thailand will become the country coordinator of ASEAN-China relations.

Thailand will maintain close contact with China at all levels, and try its best to yield interest in all 11 ASEAN members at the same time, Yingluck said.

The prime minister made the remarks in a speech at the Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, a training base for Chinese potential leaders, on the second day of her first state visit to China.

Thailand has no maritime disputes with China, and the country would like to maintain peace in Southeast Asia regarding the South China Sea issue, said Luo Yongkun, an expert on Southeast Asian studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.

Thailand expects to benefit from the sound China-ASEAN ties, he added.

"It is not true that all members of ASEAN countries are now of one mind against China To solve the disputes in a peaceful way is the consensus of most ASEAN members," Luo said.

"Yingluck's speech at the Party school shows the deep trust between China and Thailand," Luo said. "The direct communication between Chinese potential leaders and the Thai leader guarantees the sustainable development of the positive Sino-Thai relations."

Yingluck signed a series of deals in areas including agriculture and transport with Premier Wen Jiabao on Tuesday, and elevated relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership.

With the boost in relations, China and Thailand have the responsibility "to seek more win-win opportunities for strategic cooperation, for instance, in areas including high-speed trains, resource recycling and water management", Yingluck said.

After the speech, Yingluck met representatives from Chinese enterprises in sectors including railway, banking, investment and energy.

Thai Tourism Minister of Commerce Boonsong Teriyapirom told China Daily that China Railway Group expressed interest in the Bangkok-Chiang Mai high-speed rail project.

The Bangkok-Chiang Mai high-speed rail project is one of the four major high-speed rail projects on the Thai government's agenda.

Yingluck told Chinese entrepreneurs that Thailand welcomes investment in sectors including water conservancy, infrastructure sectors, electronics and alternative energy from China.

China is Thailand's second-largest investment source. The prime minister added that Thailand has a $72 billion plan to boost its infrastructure.

Chinese Vice-Premier Wang Qishan said at the business luncheon on Wednesday that China has encouraged Chinese enterprises to get involved in key projects in Thailand, such as railway, water conservancy, infrastructure and alternative energy.

Yingluck will travel to Tianjin on Thursday afternoon to learn about water management.


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