China and Thailand bolster diplomatic ties, visa exemption for Chinese tourists

Picture courtesy of Bangkok Post.

China and Thailand, marking 48 years of diplomatic rapport, continue to strengthen their cooperative ties, as highlighted by Han Zhiqiang, the Chinese Ambassador to Thailand, in a recent interview.

Han acknowledged the friendly neighbourly relations, shared bloodlines and mutual benefits that the two nations have enjoyed over the years.

China has remained Thailand’s largest trading partner for a decade, contributing significantly to its agricultural exports and tourism, while also being a major source of foreign investment.

The newly installed Thai government, led by Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, expressed keen interest in furthering these relations with China. The two countries’ foreign ministries are actively preparing for a visit by Prime Minister Srettha to China.

Amid this, a visa exemption policy for Chinese tourists has been announced by the Thai government, a move welcomed by China, anticipating better and safer services for its tourists.

China expressed its eagerness to work with Thailand to implement the outcomes of President Xi Jinping’s historic visit in 2022, hinting at a deepened strategic cooperation and a shared focus on the digital economy, green economy, and scientific and technological innovation.

ASEAN ties

In terms of China’s relationship with ASEAN, Han stated that China has always given priority to ASEAN in its neighbourhood diplomacy. China’s ties with ASEAN have strengthened to the extent that they have become each other’s largest trading partners for three years in a row.

China further expressed its willingness to strengthen its strategic synergy with ASEAN, promoting mutually beneficial cooperation.

Highlighting the progress of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Han mentioned that the initiative has mobilised nearly US$1 trillion in investment, lifting almost 40 million people out of poverty. Thailand, as a crucial point of the BRI, stands as an important participant and beneficiary.

When asked about the containment strategies by Western countries against China in the Indo-Pacific region, Han affirmed China’s commitment to peaceful development and win-win cooperation. He criticised the divisive tactics employed by some countries, stating that they disrupt global industrial and supply chains and jeopardise world peace and stability.

Discussing China’s economic situation, Han acknowledged the challenges faced by China’s economy due to a sluggish world economy recovery. However, he remained confident about China’s resilience, potential, and vitality, asserting that China’s economy continues to recover steadily and maintains a long-term positive trend.

China’s contribution to the world’s annual economic growth has averaged more than 30% over the past decade, making it a vital player in the global economy.

Han Zhiqiang concluded by expressing China’s willingness and ability to share its economic development dividends with other nations, especially neighbouring countries such as Thailand, Bangkok Post reported.

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Atima Homtientong

Atima is a dedicated news writer living in Bangkok. With a degree from Mahidol University, she focuses on reporting key issues and happenings around the country. In her off time, Atima enjoys writing and producing music.