Thai envoys in China briefed on political situation


BANGKOK, July 12 —  Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs and acting Foreign Affairs Minister Sihasak Phuangketkeow on Saturday briefed the Thai ambassador and consul generals based in China about the current political situation in the kingdom.

Mr Sihasak, now on a two-day visit to China between July 11-12, told journalists that his visit would benefit Thailand as it would help strengthen relations between the two countries.

As Thailand is now in a transitional period, diplomats must help show that Thailand was still moving forward, both in economic and its foreign policy, he said.

This was to show that Thailand does not stay idle, no matter in its relations with neighbouring countries, ASEAN and the international arena.

The country has to move in an pro-active way, he said.

On Friday, Mr Sihasak held talks with Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Liu Zhenmin regarding several issues.

Mr Sihasak said China was interested in several mega projects in Thailand such as high-speed train service and water management, initiated by the now-defunct government.

He said he had explained to the Chinese minister that the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) which seized power in Thailand on May 22 was prepared to implement the projects but they must be carried out with “transparency and within the government’s budget.”

Mr Sihasak said he also requested the Chinese to invest in agricultural products in Thailand and also for the country to open its market wider for Thai agricultural products.

Thailand and China have agreed to strengthen their already strong bilateral relations at all levels, while preparations have been made to mark the 40th anniversary of Thai-Chinese diplomatic ties.