BEIJING – Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha reported that he has assured foreign leaders attending the ongoing 22nd APEC Economic Leader’s Meeting in Beijing that the political situation in Thailand has improved.
Gen Prayut, who also heads the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), said that he had met leaders of all 21 APEC members at a dinner reception on Monday evening and they had expressed concern about the situation in Thailand.
Gen Prayut said he told the foreign leaders that his interim government was carrying out national reform and the process would not take a long time to complete.
“I thanked US President Barack Obama for his concern about Thailand and I told him my government would do its best (for national reform),” Gen Prayut said. “I told Russian President Vladimir Putin that order had been restored in Thailand.”
“I told all the leaders that Thailand was relatively peaceful now,” he said.
The Thai premier said he told all the foreign leaders that the atmosphere for tourism in Thailand had improved and invited people from their countries to visit.
Gen Prayut said the Japanese and Chinese leaders told him that they planned to lift travel advisories for their citizens planning to visit Thailand.
On bilateral meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, Gen Prayut said he and the Chinese leaders agreed to cooperate in boosting connectivity between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), including Thailand, through government-to-government dual-track railway projects and medium-speed rail projects.
“Thailand and China agree that the cooperation will be conducted through government-to-government deals. Initially, the two countries agree to carry out dual-track railway projects for the Bangkok-Nong Khai and the Bangkok-Map Ta Phut routes,” he said.
On meeting executives of Chinese state enterprises and the Chinese business community, Gen Prayut said he informed them about the rubber pricing problem and they expressed interest in setting up rubber processing factories in Thailand.
He said his government supported value-added processing to help boost income of local rubber farmers and said both sides could make a deal if the Chinese business representatives agreed to comply with regulations set up by the Thai government.