China will collaborate with Thailand "with utmost sincerity" to build a safe railway that could bring convenience and benefits to peoples of both countries, Chinese ambassador Ning Fukui said on Wednesday.
The Thailand-China joint committee has so far held four rounds of talks to discuss details on jointly developing a medium-speed railway route that connects northeast Thailand's Nong Khai province, the capital of Bangkok and the eastern Rayong province, Ning told Xinhua in an interview.
The two sides have made progress in conducting a feasibility study, he said, adding the fifth joint meeting is scheduled for the end of this month.
Thailand's deputy government spokesperson Sansern Kaewkamnerd said earlier that construction of the dual-track line, which is expected to join the planned China-Laos railway, will start within this year.
Since the very beginning of the railway project, the Chinese side has expressed its willingness to strongly support Thailand in terms of funds, technologies and personnel training, the ambassador said.
China will transfer its skills as well as experience in railway operation and management to the Thai side "without reservation," he said ahead of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
"China will be dedicated to training Thai technicians and is also willing to consider engaging qualified local subcontractors and personnel resources in developing the railway route," Ning said.
The ambassador also dismissed accusations that China only shows interest in making profits from Thailand's railway development rather than in investment, saying they are "utterly groundless."
The two sides have not yet reached an agreement on financing of the railway pending completion of the feasibility study, he noted.
The study will specify the design, exact length, supporting facilities and total cost of the railway, based on which China and Thailand will determine their respective proportion of investment, according to Ning.
He reassured that over the years, China's railway technologies have proved to be mature, safe and reliable, and China will cooperate with Thailand with a high sense of responsibility.
In addition, the ambassador urged Chinese and Thai enterprises to beef up cooperation in various fields as there remains "room for improvement" in the two countries' economic and trade cooperation.
He proposed strengthening bilateral cooperation in equipment manufacturing wherein Thailand has demands while China has advantages, and in the environmental protection industry, such as solar and garbage power generation and small-scale hydropower projects.
Ning also called for enhanced cooperation in the development of remote-sensing technologies and communications satellites, among others.
"We encourage enterprises of both countries to use local currencies more often in bilateral trade settlements and investment, so as to reduce foreign exchange risks and transaction costs," he added.