Chinese foreign minister begins four-day visit to Thailand

Photo courtesy of Thai PBS World

Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will sign a Thailand-China visa exemption agreement during his much-anticipated four-day official visit to Thailand.

Wang Yi and his Thai counterpart, Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara, are prepared to co-sign the Agreement on Mutual Visa Exemption. This deal will reshape the travel landscape for ordinary passport holders and passport-wielding public figures starting March 1.

Starting his visit as an esteemed guest of Thailand’s Foreign Affairs ministry from January 26 to 29, Wang Yi aims to forge an unbreakable bond between the two nations. The agenda reads like a blockbuster script, featuring trade, investment, security, culture, and tourism collaborations, along with deep dives into regional and international hot topics.

Wang Yi’s visit becomes the stage for Thailand to reaffirm its commitment to the One China policy, setting the scene for a grand discussion on mutual interests and international principles. Thai PBS World reported that establishing a Thailand-China Community with a Shared Future promises enhanced stability, prosperity, and sustainability.

Thailand and China gear up to celebrate the golden jubilee of their diplomatic ties in 2025. Wang Yi will visit Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin and, alongside Parnpree, will co-chair the inaugural Meeting of the Consultation Mechanism.

In related news, the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA) predicted a 10% surge in outbound visitors from Thailand to China, due to the new mutual visa exemption policy between the two countries. However, the ATTA President, Sisdivachr Cheewarattanaporn, doubts the government’s projected figure of 8.2 million inbound visitors from China.

The visa-free arrangement, aimed at enhancing bilateral relations and boosting tourism industries in both nations, is expected to prompt airlines to increase their seating capacity.

The scheme, set to come into effect from March 1, was announced by PM Srettha.

Drawing comparisons, Sisdivachr referred to the success of the visa exemption offered by Japan to Thai passport holders ten years ago. The policy led to a significant increase in Thai tourists to Japan, reaching a peak of one million in 2019.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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