Visiting Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping met here Thursday with Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to discuss the strengthening of relations between their two countries.
Xi said that China attaches great importance to friendly cooperation with Thailand and that his current three-day visit is aimed at cementing the traditional friendship and promoting pragmatic cooperation.
China and Thailand are good neighbors, partners, friends and relatives who enjoy a longstanding friendship, Xi said.
Since the forging of diplomatic ties between China and Thailand 36 years ago, Chinese-Thai relations have continued to develop in a healthy and stable manner, bringing real benefits to the two countries.
Among members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Thailand is the first country to sign a Plan of Action for the 21st Century with China, to establish strategic cooperative relations with China, and to sign a zero tariff agreement on the trade of vegetable and fruit.
Those facts have spoken volumes for the deep friendship between the two countries and peoples, Xi said.
Over the years, the two sides have gradually expanded cooperation in such areas as economy and trade, technology, defense and law enforcement, Xi said. The two countries also have maintained close coordination in regional and international affairs, the vice president said.
Xi said China highly appreciates Thai’s adherence to the one-China policy and its understanding and support for China’s position on the Taiwan and Tibet-related issues.
Xi put forward a four-point proposal on further development of China-Thailand relations.
First, the two nations need to elevate their strategic cooperation to a higher level.
The two sides should chart a course and map out key areas in their future cooperation, so as to bring more benefits to the two peoples and make greater contributions to long-term stability and common prosperity in the region.
Second, the two sides need to enhance high-level exchanges. Maintaining regular high-level exchanges has been a fine tradition between the two nations, which plays an indispensable role in advancing bilateral ties.
Third, they should deepen their practical cooperation to add fresh impetus to the growth of bilateral ties.
The two sides need to take advantage of mechanisms such as the joint commission on economy and trade and explore new ways to achieve an aggregated trade of 100 billion U.S. dollars by 2015.
They also should promote cooperation in such areas as railway, finance, disaster reduction and prevention, maritime and military affairs, and law enforcement, Xi said.
He said China stands ready to work with Thailand in a concerted effort to ensure the safety of vessels and sailors navigating the Mekong River.
Fourth, China and Thailand need to expand bilateral cultural exchanges.
The two sides should continue to deepen cooperation in areas of culture, language teaching, tourism and youth exchanges in a bid to promote mutual understanding and carry on the China-Thailand friendship from generation to generation.
Xi said that China is ready to maintain close coordination with Thailand and make joint efforts to facilitate substantial progress in East Asia cooperation so as to safeguard regional stability, promote economic development and achieve common prosperity.
Yingluck, on behalf of the Thai government, thanked China for the assistance granted during the severe floods that hit the country earlier this year.
She said Xi’s current visit will be a big boost to not only Thailand-China relations but also Thailand’s post-floods reconstruction. The visit showed that “Thailand and China are as intimate as relatives,” Yingluck said.
Yingluck agreed with Xi’s suggestions on developing bilateral relations and views on East Asia cooperation. She said her country treasures its traditional friendship with China and is willing to further push ahead with the strategic partnership.
The two countries’ cooperation in fields including infrastructure construction, the utilization and management of water resources, and clean, low-cost energy should be further strengthened, Yingluck said.
The prime minister also called for robust growth in bilateral trade, investment and tourism. Thailand will expand its cooperation with China to jointly maintain transportation safety on the Mekong River, she said.
The prime minister reiterated Thailand’s adherence to the one-China policy and support for China over issues concerning China’s Taiwan and Tibet.
After the talks, the two nations signed a number of documents on strengthening cooperation in economy and trade, financing, justice, disaster reduction and other areas. Xi and Yingluck also visited a show of speciality products from all of Thailand’s villages.