Ambassador Han Zhiqiang, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China in the Kingdom of Thailand, recently had an online interview with World Affairs Press Co., Ltd. along with an official introduction of Mr.Wang Yi’s visit to Thailand, Minister of Foreign Affairs, as well as the success of China-Thailand relations and cooperation. The interviews are as follows:
1. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wang Yi, officially visited Thailand on 4-5 July, would you please recommend the specific circumstances that benefits from this visit and what are the results?
Answer: This is the second visit to Thailand by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr.Wang Yi, in nearly two years. It is an important exchange between the Thai and Chinese leaders. Mr. Wang Yi has also visited several countries in Southeast Asian. An important step is the tight schedule of this visit. Mr. Wang Yi was in Bangkok for 20 hours. During these 20 hours, he met Prime Minister Prayut, held large and small talks with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs. Moreover, both parties also witnessed in the exchange of memorandums of understanding on cybersecurity cooperation between the two countries. The visit was a success.
Firstly, both parties particularly agreed to jointly build a Thai-Chinese community with a common future. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Thai-Chinese Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. In such an important year, both parties jointly plan to develop bilateral relations in the future, to present new goals and visions of great significance towards the era of “China and Thailand as One Family” to create a more stable, prosperous and sustainable future for Thai-Chinese relations.
Secondly, the two sides agreed to jointly promote the China-Laos-Thai railway to complete ahead of the schedule. This will be the main railway line that passes the Indochina Peninsula heading to the South to the “Eastern Economic Corridor” of Thailand. To the North to Yunnan County of China via Laos, connecting to the “New Land-Sea Corridor” to Europe. The integrity of this major route will play a key role in the flow of people and transportation among China, Laos and Thailand to be more smoothly, to promote economic development and trade, and to achieve mutual prosperity in order to bring many benefits to the people of the three countries.
Thirdly, the two parties agreed to jointly secure the network. The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Security and Cybersecurity Cooperation between China and Thailand will help to promote cooperation between the two countries in the field of cybersecurity which leads to stable and healthy economic development of both countries, and to support digital security around the world. Both parties also agreed to decisively crack down on all forms of telecom fraud and protect the safety of the people’s assets of both countries
The two parties also exchanged views on practical cooperation between the two countries in other areas as well as on international and regional issues of common concern, and have reached a broad consensus.
The visit of Congressman, Wang Yi, is a great importance in promoting friendship, expanding cooperation and planning for the future. It is a great promotion of bilateral relations to constantly show a new atmosphere.
2. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Thai-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Can you summarize the success of cooperation between the two countries in the terms of economy, trade and investment?
Answer: The current international situation is turbulent but the Thai-China relationship continued to progress. Both parties have overcome the effects of the epidemic, trade, and investment, including infrastructure construction and other fields. It has shown strong resilience and high potential.
Last year, the trade volume between the two countries exceeded 100 billion US dollars, to 131.2 billion US dollars, an increase of 33% year-on-year. This year, Thai-China trade has maintained good growth, reaching 42.6 billion US dollars, from January to April, there was an increase of 7.7% year-on-year.
In recent years Chinese investment in Thailand is growing rapidly. Ranked in the top three of Thailand’s foreign investment, Chinese companies are actively investing in Thailand such as e-commerce, communications, tires, solar cells. electric vehicles and other industries. Well-known Chinese companies come to Thailand to invest and set up factories. Thailand has a Rayong Industrial Estate jointly built by Chinese and Thai companies. This industrial estate attracted more than 170 Chinese companies to settle with an investment of more than 4 billion US dollars. It is China’s largest manufacturing cluster in ASEAN countries. In addition, Borthong Industrial Estate is still under construction and development. Meanwhile Thai companies’ investment in China is maintained at a good level. Thailand’s CP Group, Tencel Group Investment business and other operations in China developed new things. We will continue to support more influential and reputable companies in the two countries to enhance investment cooperation. We will focus on creating new highlights of cooperation in the digital economy and green economy as well as the traditional industries.
3. Thailand will host an informal meeting of the APEC leaders in November this year. According to Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, said when meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Thailand that China will fully support Thailand in hosting this year’s APEC. What role do you think China and Thailand will play in supporting the development of APEC together?
Answer: APEC is the most important economic cooperation organization in the Asia-Pacific region. It is now at an important juncture in development. Under the current situation, the solidarity in the fight against the epidemic and promoting economic recovery is a common voice among all Asia-Pacific members.
China actively supports Thailand as the host of APEC conference this year, the topic of “Openness, Connectivity and Balance”, promoting positive progress in various areas of APEC cooperation. The conference focus on Asia-Pacific, development and the creation of the Asia-Pacific Free Trade Area to prevent the emergence of “Indo-Pacific” replace the negative issues of Asia-Pacific and political issues, to clearly understand the correct direction of APEC cooperation. To provide a strong momentum and positive force in development of APEC and give Asia a voice to improve global governance and promote a stable global economic recovery. Contribute to the wisdom of Asia
4. What has China done to help Thailand fight the epidemic?
Answer: In the face of the sudden outbreak of Covid, China and Thailand are in the same boat in fighting the epidemic. In early 2020, when the Covid-19 outbreak occurred in China, Thailand was the first country in the world to reach out the help to China. The King of Thailand has written a letter to President Xi Jinping to express his condolences, to sincerely help and show concern for China. After the epidemic in Thailand became more severe, China has provided Thailand’s first vaccine aid when domestic vaccines are still in short supply. China’s vaccine is the first that Thailand has received. About 70% of the Thai population was vaccinated at the end of last year. And the vaccine protection insurance has already been established. The number that China supports Thailand is almost half of total vaccines. Many of my Thai friends here say that the epidemic crisis has seen mutual well-being and disaster between China and Thailand. After the spread of the plague, friendly feeling of “China and Thailand are one family” has been strengthened. Moreover, the Thai-China relationship in mutual destiny and mutually beneficial cooperation is strengthened.
Source: Chinese Embassy in the Kingdom of Thailand