Thai and Chinese officials are coming together to celebrate the Chinese New Year by marking 46 years of diplomatic relations with each other. The ceremony in Bangkok was led by Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports and China’s Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China to Thailand.
The ceremony also included other high-ranking government officials who took part in celebrating the “Year of the Ox” while wishing happiness, health and prosperity for both countries. Thailand has been organising such Chinese New Year festivities, however, this year their anniversary of diplomatic relations fell on the new year holiday.
However, this year, Covid-19 has shown its face once again as the impact of the virus has been apparent in normally vibrant tourist areas like Phuket. Now, Phuket is noticeably quieter with much less decorations adorning the streets and visitors to the Chinese temples.
Many Thai-Chinese residents blamed the financial burden that the Covid pandemic brought on for not allowing them to travel back home to celebrate the holiday with their families. A noticeable decrease in red attire was also attributed to people not wanting to spend money on the customary and auspicious red clothing. Phuket officials say even domestic tourism was down from last year as their hopes of seeing a boost from such tourism over the holiday was dashed.
Meanwhile, China has caused waves internationally as its government has yanked the BBC World News from airing after an investigative story revealed alleged harsh treatment, including torture of China’s Muslim Uighur minority groups in camps. China responded to the move, which was heavily criticised by the international community, by saying the story and witness accounts were false. The government says the BBC violated reporting guidelines which included minimising harm to the country.
China also responded to placing such minorities in camps by saying they were in vocational training centres, a statement that the US, Britain and Australian governments refute.
SOURCE: The Pattaya News
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