Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin announced on Monday that he has invited China’s President Xi Jinping to visit Thailand next year, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Thai-Sino diplomatic relations.
Following a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who concluded a four-day visit on Monday, Mr. Srettha discussed enhancing Thai-Chinese cooperation, including a mutual visa exemption agreement for their citizens.
Mr. Srettha highlighted the visa exemption agreement as a step forward in strengthening the friendly relations and trust between Thailand and China.
“As both countries are set to celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations next year, I have extended an invitation to Mr. Xi to make an official visit to Thailand”, Mr. Srettha stated.
He anticipates growth in travel and tourism between the countries, expecting a return to pre-Covid flight levels and encouraging Thais to explore China’s rich culture, as suggested by Mr. Wang.
Starting March 1, a visa-exemption agreement will take effect, allowing individuals with valid regular Thai passports and Chinese citizens holding public affairs passports or regular passports to enter, exit, or transit the other country for up to 30 days without a visa.
Mr. Srettha spoke of Thailand’s support for dialogue between China and the US to reduce tensions, praising the recent high-level meeting in Bangkok as historic and significant.
During the meeting, they discussed building electric vehicle factories, developing the Thai-Chinese high-speed rail system, and agricultural trade cooperation.
Regarding the anticipated increase in trade between Thailand and China, the prime minister expressed optimism about growth, although he did not specify figures.
Chai Wacharonke, the government spokesman, summarized the meeting between Mr. Srettha and the Chinese foreign minister on Monday.
Mr. Srettha expressed satisfaction with the successful visa-free program and its potential to enhance trade and interpersonal connections, according to the spokesman.
The prime minister committed to deepening bilateral relations and strengthening strategic partnerships, urging close coordination for the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties.
Mr. Chai relayed that Mr. Wang appreciated Mr. Srettha’s first regional visit to China and expressed confidence in Thailand’s role in promoting global stability and peace.
Mr. Wang highlighted the Thai-Chinese comprehensive strategic partnership, predicting it would contribute to regional peace and development, and mentioned China’s support to Thailand in human resource development and technology transfer.
Before implementing the visa exemptions, the Thai minister assured additional safety measures for foreign tourists.
China recognized the strategic value of Thailand’s Land Bridge megaproject, intending to discuss it with interested Chinese companies. Thailand proposed a roadshow to showcase the project, linking it to China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
Both countries agreed to intensify efforts against transnational crime, including scams, online gambling, human trafficking, and narcotics. China pledged support to Thailand as the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation chair.
The prime minister celebrated the signing of two agreements to boost Thai agricultural product imports to China and welcomed Chinese investment in Thailand.
The agreements were signed by Capt Thamanat Prompow, Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, and Chinese Ambassador Han Zhiqiang.