China has pledged continued support for Thailand and other ASEAN countries during the formation of the AEC in 2015, and reaffirmed strong bilateral ties between the two nations.
Speaking during a press conference on the National Day of the People’s Republic of China on October 1, Chinese Ambassador to Thailand Mr. Guan Mu said that China’s position regarding the AEC is to support ASEAN’s solidarity, harmony and strength through unity in the region as China plans to further tap potential growth from the single community in 2015.
He elaborated that Thailand is geographically positioned at the center of the region and will serve as a major base for Chinese investment. Thailand’s economic growth has also been consistent, despite the credit contraction in Europe and in the United States. The country is set to benefit from the AEC with at least 25% growth in trade.
China is one of Thailand’s key trading partners and is the country’s largest export market. Exports to China account for 17% of the natin’s total export value. Last year, the bilateral trade value was estimated at 7.4 billion US dollars.
During the conference, Mr Guan Mu noted that this year marks the 37th anniversary of Thai-Chinese relations which has been built in the spirit of mutual respect, trust and support.
He reaffirmed that Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s visit to China in April has upgraded bilateral relations to a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.
The partnership ties strengthened during the visit included cooperation in sectors such as renewable energy, marine life research, water management, education, trade and investment, and agriculture as well as in the development of a joint high-speed rail project.
The Ambassador stressed that Thailand’s strategic position facilitates transactions with China and neighboring countries, which, with the planned high-speed train networks, will push the country to become a transport hub, further boosting tourism for the kingdom.
In addition, the Chinese ambassador also commented on the ongoing Sino-Japanese territorial dispute over the South China Sea, saying that China generally opposes foreign intervention. He insisted that the dispute is not between China and ASEAN, and that the dialogue partnership between China and the regional grouping remains on friendly terms.
He concluded that China will adopt peaceful means in resolving the South China Sea dispute, without resorting to threats or use of force.