China and Thailand Tighten Bilateral Relations: Thais Shift towards China-centered World Economy
by Lady Michelle-Jennifer Santos, Founder & Publisher and Xinhua
September 20, 2012 (TSR) – China and Thailand on Thursday agreed to boost their relations, as well as enhance relations between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) according to Chinese state agency, Xinhua.
Vice President Xi Jinping and Thai Deputy Prime Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong met on the sidelines of the ninth China-ASEAN Expo being held in Nanning, capital of south China’s Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, from Sept. 21 to 25.
Speaking highly of the development of China-Thailand relations since their establishment 37 years ago, the Chinese Vice President said the two countries should cherish and continue to push forward the relationship.
Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping (R) meets with Thai Deputy Prime Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong as they attend the 9th China-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Expo in Nanning, capital of south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Sept. 20, 2012. (Photo: Xinhua/Xie Huanchi)
Vice President Xi said Thailand has been a reliable friend and important cooperative partner of China.
“China is ready to maintain high-level exchanges with Thailand, continue to expand cooperation and promote progress regarding their relations”, he affirmed.
Kittiratt said the expo has provided a valuable platform for economic and trade cooperation between ASEAN countries and China. He said his attendance aims to promote cooperation between Thailand and China in economics, trade, tourism and culture, as well as to deepen their strategic partnership.
Xi also thanked Thailand for its support and coordination during an investigation and trial related to the murder of 13 Chinese sailors on the Mekong River, as well as called for a steady advance of judicial cooperation among China, Thailand, Laos and Myanmar in order to jointly maintain security along the Mekong River.
Kittiratt agreed with Xi, saying Thailand has attached high importance to the case. He added the Thai side will speed up relevant work and bring justice to the Chinese victims.
Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping (3rd R) meets with Thai Deputy Prime Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong (2nd L) as they attend the 9th China-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Expo in Nanning, capital of south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Sept. 20, 2012. (Photo: Xinhua/Xie Huanchi)
“Thailand, which is responsible for coordinating China and ASEAN, bears an important responsibility,” according to Xi. He also said he hopes the two countries will conduct close coordination to ensure the smooth development of China-ASEAN relations, as well as ensure that an upcoming series of meetings between east Asian leaders to be held in November will be held in a united, friendly and cooperative atmosphere.
Kittiratt echoed the same sentiment and said, “Thailand will strengthen coordination and cooperation with China while coordinating the two sides and make greater efforts for the development of China-ASEAN relations”.
The expo is held annually by the Ministry of Commerce, ASEAN member countries and the ASEAN secretariat.
CHINA CONSULTS THAILAND ON FOREIGN POLICY
China and Thailand established a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership to a higher level this year and both sides are satisfied at the development of their bilateral ties.
China’s Assistant Foreign Minister Le Yucheng held foreign policy consultation with Sihasak Phuangketkew, Permanent Secretary of Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He also met with Thailand’s Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul and former foreign minister Surakiart Sathirathai also on Wednesday, the latest meeting, on bilateral relations and other issues of mutual concern.
China is committed to deepening mutual trust and cooperation with Thailand in various aspects, as well as China’s ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and East Asia Cooperation (EAC) according to Le.
“China and ASEAN should cooperate in broader areas and at higher levels, giving top priority to economic development and social progress”, he said. He also called on Thailand’s assistance, coordinator between China and ASEAN, to step up efforts to promote China-ASEAN ties.
With regards to China’s commitment to promoting East Asia Cooperation (EAC), Le said that China respects and supports ASEAN’s role as the driving force of EAC. Moreover, EAC should develop gradually and by consensus, taking the comfort zone and interest of all sides into consideration so that it can be built on a solid and sustainable foundation, he added.
“We should focus on the main trend and broad prospect, preventing EAC from being obstructed by certain issues and the interest of certain countries,” Le said.
THAILAND TO FOCUS ON CHINA AND LOOKS TOWARD DIRECT CURRENCY TRADE
On August 26, Thailand Trade Representative president Olarn Chaipravat attended a seminar on Thai-Chinese strategic research co-hosted by the National Research Council of Thailand, Huaqiao University and the Thai- Chinese Culture & Economy Association.
Addressed the seminar, he said Thailand is bound to export high quality products to China for Chinese people who make increased earnings in the next decade.
“Thailand will deal in trade with China which has become the world’s economic superpower by exporting high quality goods to that country, including the top-quality rice named Hom Mali ( jasmine-fragrant), rubber, tapioca, palm oil, sugarcane and fruits.
“The Chinese will get richer, so they can afford to buy high quality goods,” he said.
Olarn, an adviser to Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, predicted that China’s economic growth will be 7.5 percent annually in the next decade, with employment of the Chinese in agricultural, industrial and service sectors speculated to rise 5 percent in a year.
Given increased incomes, those people will be looking for high quality products from exporting countries, including Thailand.
He also emphasized that Thailand should stop making massive volumes of export goods for Western Europe or the United States and instead concentrate on quality products for China, the ASEAN community, the Middle East and Africa.
“Thailand no longer needs foreign currencies from the sales of massive products exported to the Western world. We must stop doing at any cost what we did in the past in dealing with the old West. Now we should look to the China-centered world economy”, he said.
“The Thais should begin to read China Daily and watch CCTV rather than CNN and Bloomberg for a change,” he said.
Side Quip: Thais should also read The Santos Republic. Oh yes, you do!