BANGKOK, Dec 23 – Thailand and China have agreed to strengthen bilateral ties at all dimensions and jointly develop their strategic partnerships while giving importance on the interactive between senior officials and at all levels.
Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Thursday welcomed visiting Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping on a three-day visit to Thailand at Government House and discussed the strengthening of relations between the two countries.
Both sides agreed to develop their cooperation in four fields having mutual benefit–the development of a transportation network including the Bangkok-Chiang Mai high speed train and other routes able to connect to other countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
To develop the entire water management system and to support research and development of clean and inexpensive energy.
The Thai premier said the country plans to build alternative power stations for subdistricts using solar energy and wind energy in which China has expertise.
The last field was the development of education and human resources particularly to support the opportunity to access the information technology.
The Thai government has the policy to distribute tablet computers to students and Ms Yingluck thanked Mr Xi for bringing tablet computers for students during his visit.
As for economic and investment cooperation, Thai premier has proposed to increase the trade volume between the two countries by 20 per cent annually after an average growth of trading has increased by 20 per cent during the past five years. Meanwhile, the Thai government has supported Chinese businesspeople to invest more in Thailand, particularly in environmentally friendly and renewable energy industries. Thailand has targeted to expand Sino-Thai investment by 15 per cent annually during the next five years.
Both sides also agreed to hold Sino-Thai economic joint commission meetings at the deputy prime ministerial level and China agreed to host the third such meeting to seek a new format for trade and to raise the volume of trade between the two countries to over US$100 billion by 2015.
In the field of tourism, the number of Chinese visitors to Thailand has increased 57 per cent during the past year, and Thailand has targeted increasing this by 20 per cent every year. China proposed raising the number of exchange students to 100 every year to develop human resources.
Mr Xi arrived in Thailand on Thursday on a three-day official visit to the kingdom as a guest of the Royal Thai Government.
The vice president is the highest level representative of the Chinese Government to visit Thailand after the formation of the new Thai government.
Ms Yingluck and Mr Xi earlier witnessed the signing of six Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) and agreements — the Handover Certificate of China’s flood assistance; the MoU on Thai-China Sustainable Development Cooperation; Agreement on Extradition; Action Plan on Cultural Cooperation; MoU on Maritime Cooperation; and Bilateral Swap Agreement.
The Chinese vice president is also scheduled to meet Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, the heads of the Privy Council and the National Assembly of Thailand during his stay Thursday through Saturday.
He will visit flood-affected areas at Rattanakosin Somboch Boworn Niwet School, Salaya, Buddhamonthon, Nakhon Pathom.