Thailand, China deepen defence ties

Thailand, China deepen defence ties

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha (right) welcomes ACM Xu Qiliang, vice-chairman of China's Central Military Commission, at Government House on Friday. (Government House photo)
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha (right) welcomes ACM Xu Qiliang, vice-chairman of China's Central Military Commission, at Government House on Friday. (Government House photo)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Xu Qiliang, vice-chairman of China's Central Military Commission, agreed on Friday to foster defence relations between their armed forces.

The prime minister and ACM Xu explored ways in talks to strengthen ties from intelligence cooperation to arms development, government spokesman Yongyuth Mayalarp said.

Gen Prayut proposed the setting up of a hotline between Thai and Chinese armed forces leaders and pledged better safety measures for tourists from China and other countries visiting the country, he said.

ACM Xu supported the government's efforts to restore stability in Thailand, the spokesman added.

The powerful figure of the Chinese Communist Party was in Thailand on his second trip in six months as Beijing and Bangkok have built up relations after the coup last year.

Thailand is a top destination in Southeast Asia for tourists from China. About 4.6 million Chinese visitors arrived from there last year.

ACM Xu held talks with Defence Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwon before a meeting with the prime minister.

Defence Ministry spokesman Maj Gen Kongcheep Tuntrawanit said Thailand and China will work on an agreement to set the direction for cooperation in all levels of their armed forces.

China is a potential seller of submarines to Thailand as the Royal Thai Navy has renewed a bid for a submarine or two. Other candidates include South Korea, Germany, Sweden and Russia.


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