Regime talks up China ties on visit to Beijing for 'Belt and Road' forum
Thailand and China have established their closest diplomatic ties ever during the five years of the current administration, said a Thai government spokesman on the day Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha held bilateral meetings with the Chinese leaders in Beijing.
Gen Prayut met Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Li Keqiang in separate meetings during his visit.
The Thai leader also met deputy prime minister Han Zheng during a state-hosted luncheon on Friday.
These meetings took place during the 2nd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) in Beijing. The two-day forum wrapped up yesterday.
"Both sides were satisfied with the fact that over the past five years, Thailand and China have had their closest relations ever," deputy government spokesman Werachon Sukondhapatipak, told the media in the press wrap-up about the meetings between Thai and Chinese leaders.
"Gen Prayut gave an assurance that Thailand will take care of Chinese investors and tourists," said Lt Gen Werachon.
Both nations pledged to help drive up the value of trade between them to US$140 billion by 2021, double the current $73.6 billion.
The two sides also signed a Memorandum of Cooperation on the Nong Khai-Vientiane railway along with Laos on Friday.
Prime Minister Prayut yesterday attended the BRF Leader's Roundtable where he signed a joint communique.
According to the communique, the leaders are committed to facilitating connectivity, cooperating on infrastructure development and promoting sustainable development.
The joint communique also calls for leaders to ensure that agreements are put into practice and encourage exchanges on a people-to-people level, according to Lt Gen Werachon.
Prime Minister Prayut expressed appreciation for Mr Xi's Belt and Road initiative (BRI), a development-heavy and capital-intensive initiative which he praised as a means to promote peace and stability throughout not only the region but also the world.
Gen Prayut was impressed by the rapid development of the BRI, which has also won a lot of support, the spokesman said.
Sustainable economic growth needs basic infrastructure to meet people's needs and foster connectivity, the premier noted.
Gen Prayut stressed that Thailand attaches great importance to Asean's connectivity with the region and the world, and that domestic infrastructure development is now under way to facilitate this and link various countries.
Gen Prayut said the BRI will offer the growth potential for countries taking part.