Top Stories : The Visit of H.E. Mr. Wang Yi, State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, to Thailand news3

Top Stories : The Visit of H.E. Mr. Wang Yi, State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, to Thailand

      On 15-16 February 2019, H.E. Mr. Wang Yi, State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, visited Thailand at the invitation of H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs. During the visit, State Councilor Wang Yi and Minister Don Pramudwinai held an informal strategic consultation in Chiang Mai, which was the two countries’ first high-level bilateral retreat, reflecting the close relations between Thailand and China.

      During the above-mentioned consultation, both Ministers exchanged in-depth and wide-ranging views in a candid manner, covering key bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest, as follows:

         (1) Both sides exchanged views on important international issues, such as relations between major powers, the United Nations Security Council reform, the China-U.S. trade disputes, and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. The Thai side reiterated the importance of maintaining global and regional stability and security, which are the basis for the development and well-being of countries in the region. Thailand supported the constructive role of major powers in the region and interaction and promotion of mutual trust among them. In this regard, the Thai side proposed the use of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) as the foundation for promoting international relations in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. The view was shared by the Chinese side since all the major players have already acceded to the Treaty.

         (2) On the South China Sea, Thailand welcomed China’s commitment to concluding the drafting of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) within 3 years, or earlier. Such commitment includes China’s reaffirmation with respect to the freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea. After the meeting, both sides issued a joint statement reflecting China’s commitment and emphasizing China’s continued efforts to working with all parties involved in promoting peace and security, to make South China Sea ultimately a sea of Peace, Stability and Sustainable Development.

         (3) Both sides agreed to jointly create partnerships with other countries to drive the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, on which Thailand has experience in applying the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

         (4) On regional and sub-regional cooperation, Thailand shared its vision as the Chair of ASEAN, which China expressed strong support for Thailand’ role and the ASEAN centrality. China was encouraged to synergize the "Belt and Road Initiative" with the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC 2025) and the ASEAN Vision 2025, to promote regional connectivity and sustainable development. Both sides also exchanged views on the situation in the Rakhine State.

         (5) Thailand reiterated its political will to promote linkages between the Ayeyawady- Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) and the Greater Bay Area (GBA), in which China welcomed Thailand’s participation. 
              Both sides also agreed to support the cooperation frameworks in the Mekong sub-region on the basis of win-win cooperation, such as the Mekong-Lancang Cooperation (MLC) and the Joint Committee on Coordination of Commercial Navigation on the Mekong-Lancang River (JCCCN), taking into account the development, pace, and readiness of the relevant parties, including the public.
               In addition, China noted the views from the various parties regarding the blasting of rocks and rapids in the Mekong River, which will affect the Thailand-Laos borderline and the livelihoods of the people along the river, and agreed to cooperate with the Thai side’s proposal to terminate the said project. 

         (6) On bilateral relations:
               Both sides welcomed the close and highly dynamic bilateral relations at all levels, and reiterated the commitment to ensuring tangible outcomes from their bilateral cooperation and various projects, such as the Thailand-China Railway Project; the trilateral cooperation (Thailand-China-Japan) in Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC); the realization of the bilateral trade goal of 140 billion USD in 2021; and the promotion of cooperation in technology and innovation in support of the country’s development.   
               Thailand expressed its readiness to participate in the 2nd International Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) in April 2019 in Beijing, and the 2nd China International Import Expo (CIIE) in November 2019 in Shanghai, while the Chinese side welcomed the opening of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (HKETO) to be officiated in Thailand soon.
               Furthermore, China also informed Thailand that the Chinese Prime Minister will pay an official visit to Thailand towards the end of the year to attend the ASEAN Summit and the Related Summits.

      The aforementioned strategic consultation between Thailand and China was a great success with concrete results that added to the positive dynamics of Thailand - China relations, helped to broaden opportunities for trilateral cooperation, and further strengthened Thailand’s status as the current Chair of ASEAN. It also served as a great opportunity for an exchange of views in a constructive and candid manner, thus enhancing mutual trust, which is an essential element for the enhancement of peace and security of the region as a whole.