Chinese PM Pledges Support for Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor

Chinese PM Li Keqiang and Thai PM Prayuth Chan-ocha in Bangkok on Nov. 5, 2019.

BANGKOK (Xinhua) — China and Thailand on Tuesday pledged to expand cooperation in various areas and work together to facilitate trade and investment to boost regional connectivity and build a more open world economy.

In a joint press statement released during Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s official visit to the Southeast Asian country, the two sides also agreed on closer cooperation and coordination in various multilateral platforms to address growing protectionism.

China and Thailand agreed to respect each other’s development path, share experiences and best practices in national governance, and understand and support each other’s core interests and major concerns.

The two sides said they welcome closer engagements and support more frequent exchanges between the two countries’ government agencies, legislative bodies, political parties, armed forces and local authorities.

Chinese PM Li Keqiang and Thai PM Prayuth Chan-ocha in Bangkok on Nov. 5, 2019.

The two countries, which enjoy a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, highlighted in the statement the significance of economic and infrastructure cooperation in enhancing growth and prosperity of the two countries, the sub-region and the region as a whole.

According to the statement, the two sides agreed to build the China-Thailand railway into a successful example in bilateral cooperation within the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) framework, and vowed to speed up the implementation of the railway project connecting Thailand’s Nong Khai and Laos’ Vientiane, and increase railway connections among the three countries.

Meanwhile, they agreed to further facilitate bilateral trade and expand cooperation in agricultural trade and e-commerce, and pledged to strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation in such sectors as next-generation automobile, hi-tech medical equipment, new energy, energy-saving vehicles and rubber.

In the statement, the two sides agreed to boost bilateral cooperation between China’s Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), so as to increase connectivity between the two areas and beyond.

The two sides also pledged to strengthen financial cooperation, expand the use of their currencies in trade and investment, and enhance collaboration on cross-border supervision.

On tourism cooperation, they said they are satisfied with the growing numbers of tourists between the two countries. The leaders of the two countries, according to the statement, have agreed to push forward cooperation in the tourism sector and further increase two-way movement of people.

As for cooperation on innovation, both sides agreed that it is a highlight in the BRI cooperation.

The two sides vowed to push forward projects on communications technology, open innovation centers, high-tech industrial parks and technology transfer centers, and strengthen cooperation in digital economy, smart cities and other fields. They agreed to jointly build a Digital Silk Road.

In a bid to promote their economic and social prosperity and sustainable development, China and Thailand agreed to further expand cooperation in science, technology and innovation through joint research and development programs, researcher exchanges and technology transfer.

Chinese PM Li Keqiang and Thai PM Prayuth Chan-ocha in Bangkok on Nov. 5, 2019.

Additionally, the two sides agreed to explore cooperation in such fields as biology, green circular economy and cutting-edge technology.

On education and people-to-people exchanges, China and Thailand expressed satisfaction with cooperation within the framework of the current memorandum of understanding on education cooperation, and agreed to strengthen education cooperation at all levels and in all fields through such efforts as joint education, special exchanges, academic exchanges and distance learning.

The two countries also pledged to strive for concrete outcomes in bilateral cultural exchanges, and agreed to jointly organize cultural events next year to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic ties.

What’s more, China and Thailand, the statement said, agreed to increase cooperation and coordination in such platforms as the United Nations (UN), Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and the Asia-Europe Meeting, and safeguard the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.

China and Thailand also pledged to work together to safeguard the rules-based multilateral trade system, and jointly make economic globalization more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all.

The two sides said they are satisfied with the strong, stable and reciprocal relations between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

China and Thailand will make more efforts to maintain the vitality of the China-ASEAN strategic partnership and make the partnership a key pillar of peace, stability, prosperity and sustainable development in the region, the statement said.

Chinese PM Li Keqiang and Thai PM Prayuth Chan-ocha in Bangkok on Nov. 5, 2019.

The two countries also said they support relevant parties to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, calling for more practical cooperation in such field as marine environment protection to make the South China Sea a sea of peace, stability and prosperity.

As for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), both countries welcomed the conclusion of the text-based negotiations of the RCEP agreement by relevant parties and pledged to work together to resolve the outstanding issues so as to sign the agreement in 2020, according to the statement.

In his four-day stay in Thailand, the Chinese premier also attended the 22nd China-ASEAN (10+1) leaders’ meeting, the 22nd ASEAN-China, Japan and South Korea (10+3) leaders’ meeting, and the 14th East Asia Summit.