Vice-President Xi hails ties with Thailand
Updated: 2011-12-23 07:15
By Qin Zhongwei (China Daily)
BEIJING - China-Thailand ties have brought benefits to the people of the two countries and made an important contribution to regional peace and development, Vice-President Xi Jinping said during his visit to Thailand on Thursday.
Xi met Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Thursday. The two leaders witnessed the signing of agreements on Memorandums of Understanding on the development of a high-speed railway between Bangkok and Chiang Mai, the development of a railway system connecting Association of Southeast Asian Nations member countries and flood and drought prevention measures, according to Thai media.
Vice-President Xi Jinping, accompanied by Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, reviews an honor guard in Bangkok on Thursday. Xi is on a three-day visit to the Southeast Asian nation. [Photo/Agencies]
Thailand is the second and last stop of Xi's ongoing Asia tour, which also took him to Vietnam.
Xi is scheduled to meet Thai Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and heads of the Privy Council and the National Assembly of Thailand on Friday, and he will also visit a local middle school in a region hit by the recent flooding.
China donated $1 million and supplies worth a total of 80.6 million yuan ($12.7 million) after the country was hit by its worst floods in 50 years, according to the Chinese embassy in Thailand.
The "healthy and stable" nature of China-Thailand ties is reflected in flourishing bilateral trade, according to Vice-Minister of Commerce Chen Jian.
China has become Thailand's largest export market and its second-largest source of imports.
Thailand also serves as an important partner for China among members of ASEAN, according to Chen.
In the first 11 months of 2011, bilateral trade reached $59.44 billion, up 24.4 percent year-on-year, said Chen, who is also a member of Xi's delegation.
As Asia continues to enjoy rapid economic development and ASEAN speeds up its integration process, this offers the two countries increased opportunities, said Guan Mu, Chinese ambassador to Thailand.
Xi's trip, the first by a Chinese vice-president to Thailand in 11 years, is also the first visit by a top Chinese leader to the Southeast Asian country since the new Thai government took office in August.
Xinhua contributed to this story.