NAY PYI TAW, Dec 17 - Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao said on Tuesday that the holding of China-ASEAN Cultural Exchange Year-2014 was to enhance the spiritual link between peoples in the region, increase traditional friendship and push China-ASEAN relations to a higher stage.
Li made the remarks at the closing ceremony of the China-ASEAN Cultural Exchange Year-2014 in Nay Pyi Taw Tuesday night.
He recalled that during this year, China and ASEAN countries jointly organized a variety of over 100 activities including cultural show, film week, car rally which were welcomed by peoples of respective countries.
China was able to made positive progress in jointly building cultural centers with Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia, he said.
He voiced support for ASEAN's Community Building, expressing China's wishes to jointly build the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, deepen the implementation of "2+7 Cooperation Framework" and create a closer China-ASEAN common destiny.
China is the first dialogue partner to have established strategic partnership with ASEAN and also ASEAN's top trading partner as well.
China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (FTA) also represents the biggest FTA among developing countries, he noted.
According to Li, trade between China and ASEAN amounted to 346. 5 billion U.S. dollars in the first three quarters of 2014, up 7.5 percent correspondingly.
In face of international financial crisis, major natural disaster and communicable disease outbreak, China and ASEAN have mutually helped each other and overcome many difficulties, Li said, concluding that China-ASEAN cooperation has become an example for regional cooperation.
He believed that the China-ASEAN cultural exchange year would contribute to regional peace, stability and prosperity.
BANGKOK, Dec 17 - National football squad (Harimau Malaya) Head Coach, Dollah Salleh hopes to repeat his Midas touch when they take on Thailand in the 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup final first-leg at the Rajamangala National Stadium, here, tomorrow.
BANGKOK, Dec 16 -- The lower price of imported oil should cut Thailand's logistics costs by 3-4 per cent as well as prices of some products and strengthen the public's purchasing power, according to Isara Vongkusolkit, chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce.
BANGKOK, Dec 16 -- Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha urges stock traders not to believe rumours, while the authorities are keeping close watch on possible stock manipulators.
SEOUL, Dec 16 - South Koreans use smartphones more than three hours a day on average, research showed Tuesday, with the younger generation becoming more dependent on the mobile device.
The survey from the beginning of this year to September showed daily smartphone usage at 3 hours and 39 minutes, more than double the 1 hour and 31 minutes in 2012. The survey was carried out by Digieco, a research center run by South Korea's mobile carrier KT Corp.
Those in their 20s spent the longest time of 4 hours and 41 minutes on handsets, followed by teenagers at 3 hours and 59 minutes and those in their 30s at 3 hours and 40 minutes. People in their 50s spent 2 hours and 31 minutes on the device.
Eighty-five percent of the time was spent using applications, such as social networking services. The remaining 15 percent was spent on browsing the Internet.
"While people's daily routines have become much more comfortable because of smartphones, the trend also has brought about changes in lifestyles as people spend less time on their thoughts, taking breaks, and reading books, magazines and newspapers," Digieco said.
The rise of smartphones has also brought changes in the technology industry, edging out former popular devices, such as game consoles, portable media players and MP3 players.
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 16 - The Home Ministry is studying a proposal by five companies to build a wall along the Malaysian border to curb smuggling activities.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the study would also take into account the suitability of the surrounding and earth surface at the border areas in the peninsula, as well as Sabah and Sarawak.
"Secondly, we have to look at the cost," he told reporters after opening the Conference of Police Commissioner/Police Chief/Commander and Commandant here today.
Since last year, there have been several proposals, including from the Kelantan police, for the government to build a wall along the Malaysia-Thai border to address smuggling.
On another development, Ahmad said the ministry was working with the police, the Anti-Smuggling Unit, the Customs Department and the Immigration Department to improve the standard operating procedures in monitoring of border areas.
They include taking several actions, like replacing the scanner machines at the entry points, he added.
He said the ministry had been allocated the fund to buy "'High-Definition' closed-circuit cameras, some of which had been installed at the entry points to the country.
Meanwhile, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the police had requested for fund from the Finance Ministry to have additional CCTVs to be installed at hotspot locations in the country.
BANGKOK, Dec 15 -- Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha considers the Ebola virus disease as a health challenge but says that Thailand has resources to cope with it.
PHATTHALUNG, Dec 16 - Flooding in several southern Thai provinces improved Tuesday as rains stopped and the waters began to recede.
However, local residents are advised to prepare for another round of possible flooding as the Meteorological Department has warned of more rain, high winds and waves there, especially in Surat Thani province.
BANGKOK, Dec 15 -- Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha said the Thai economy has generally improved but its recovery was not at a satisfactory pace.
BANGKOK, Dec 15 -- Finance Minister Sommai Phasee said the plunge in the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) index happened in tandem with the declining indices of stock markets worldwde.