President Xi Jinping (center) and his wife, Peng Liyuan, meet with Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua and Queen Suthida Bajrasudhabimalalakshana at the Grand Palace in Bangkok on Friday. (XINHUA)
China, Thailand to further enhance mutual trust and understanding
China and Thailand have agreed to build a community with a shared future for enhanced stability, prosperity and sustainability to chart the future development of their relations.
President Xi Jinping and Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha made the announcement on Saturday during their talks in Bangkok before Xi concluded his three-day stay in the Thai capital, where he attended the 29th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting and visited Thailand.
The two leaders also witnessed the signing of a joint action plan on the countries' strategic cooperation from 2022 to 2026, a plan to cooperate on the joint building of the Belt and Road as well as other agreements on bilateral cooperation in investment, e-commerce and technological innovation.
A joint statement was issued after the leaders' meeting, saying "China and Thailand are as close as one family", and that both countries are committed to further enhancing mutual trust, understanding and support on major issues concerning national sovereignty, unification and territorial integrity.
The statement highlighted both countries' commitment to realize the China-Thailand-Laos Connectivity Development Corridor Outlook, which connects the China-Laos railway system with Thailand's railway system. The project will improve logistics networks to promote trade and investment as well as subregional development.
Both countries place importance on promoting synergies between Thailand's Eastern Economic Corridor and China's Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area as well as the Yangtze River Delta, particularly in industrial cooperation in industries with high potential, including electric vehicles, the statement said.
They also pledged to cooperate in the post-COVID-19 social and economic recovery, alleviating the impacts from global economic downturns and disruption of supply chains, and securing energy and food security through expansion of bilateral trade volume and facilitation of trade, including agricultural products and in other fields, it added.
During their talks, Xi hailed the development of the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership over the past decade, and underlined the need for both countries to strengthen cooperation in traditional fields including investment, trade, tourism, infrastructure and industrial parks.
In the meantime, he said, efforts should be made to foster new growth drivers and advance the partnership in new fields of cooperation, such as the digital economy, new energy vehicles and technological innovation, to make fresh progress.
China is willing to work with other parties, including Thailand, on the high-quality implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership to make the world's largest free-trade area unleash greater dividends, Xi said.
He said that China stands ready to work with Thailand to strengthen coordination in international affairs to make active efforts to promote long-lasting world peace and development.
He also expressed China's readiness to strengthen unity and cooperation with ASEAN countries, including Thailand, to create new drivers for the growth of the China-ASEAN comprehensive strategic partnership.
Prayut said that Thailand is willing to intensify high-level exchanges with China, and continue to trust and respect in promoting bilateral ties. It also welcomes more Chinese investment.
He said that China is leading the post-pandemic recovery in the region, demonstrating the responsibility of a major country and promoting stability, security and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.
Thailand stands ready to work with China to implement the RCEP, and supports the China-proposed Global Development Initiative and Global Security Initiative as well as its greater role in regional and international affairs, said the Thai prime minister.
On Friday night, Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan, met with Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua and Queen Suthida Bajrasudhabimalalakshana at the Grand Palace in Bangkok.
Xi underscored the long-standing support and attention the king and the Royal Household of Thailand have given to China-Thailand friendship and their special and important role in carrying forward the friendship and advancing the relations between the two countries, and expressed his appreciation for that.
The king said that Thailand and China are one family, and Thailand stands ready to forge a closer bond of friendship and cooperation with China.