Safety concerns for tourists spur diplomatic talks: Thailand-China relations under spotlight

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post.

Amid concerns for the safety of foreign residents and tourists in Bangkok following a recent shooting incident at Siam Paragon mall, ensuring a positive international relationship between Thailand and China has become a key focus of discussions between Thailand Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin and China President Xi Jinping.

PM Srettha also offered his sympathy regarding the tragedy which saw one Chinese woman lose her life at the crime scene. Chinese Ambassador Han Zhiqiang had been contacted by the 61 year old Thai PM regarding the death of the Chinese citizen mentioned.

The 30-day visa requirement for Chinese visitors to the country will be waived in the short term, from September 25 lasting until February 29 next year, as proposed by the Thai PM, to stimulate the tourism industry as well as to re-boost the economy.

On Wednesday, October 18, PM Srettha also attended an appointment with Prime Minister Li Qiang where the proposal to grant a provisional special arrangement to forgo the usual visa regulation had been further suggested to be made long-term.

Often portrayed as an extended family to Thailand with many Thai citizens of Chinese descent, China has always been a main source of revenue for the tourism industry. This has declined since Covid-19 and the Thai government is eager to regain the level of Chinese holidaymakers which made up close to 11 million pre-pandemic.

The anticipated number of visitors from China is around five million for the current year, as reported by Bangkok Post.

The Thailand-China Comprehensive Strategic Cooperative Partnership, which spans from 2022 to 2026, was also on the agenda during the meeting between the two country leaders.

Furthermore, arrangements for Srettha and Xi to make additional trips to China and Thailand respectively leading up to 2025 were also touched upon. The said year is going to be the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Thai-Chinese continued political relations, reported Bangkok Post

Following the official meeting with Xi which took place yesterday, PM Srettha also invited the Chinese president to pay a visit to Thailand for subsequent opportunities.

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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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