15 Oct 2020
On 14 - 15 October 2020, H.E. Mr. Wang Yi, State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, paid an official visit to Thailand as guest of H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand. The visit was the first by a foreign minister of a foreign country to visit Thailand since the outbreak of the COVID-19 situation in the Kingdom. During this visit, State Councilor Wang Yi paid a courtesy call on H.E. Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.), Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand at the Government House and had a bilateral meeting with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as attended a luncheon hosted in his honour by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand.
On this occasion, both sides reaffirmed the close Comprehensive Strategic Cooperative Partnership between Thailand and China based on mutual trust, mutual respect and mutual benefit and congratulated each other on the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries this year. Both sides reaffirmed the importance of closer cooperation in the face of global challenges, including the impact from the COVID-19 pandemic. In this regard, they expressed the readiness to revitalize bilateral exchanges and activities through, for example, expediting the conclusion of “fast track” arrangement to facilitate essential short-term travels for business persons and specialists, which could lead towards the gradual opening up of the tourism sector, considering the establishment of a “green lane” to facilitate cross-border transport of goods, as well as facilitating travels for Thai students to return to China to continue their studies and discussing resumption of commercial flights between Thailand and China by their respective airlines.
Both sides also agreed to enhance cooperation in research and development of the COVID-19 vaccine. The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs received reassurance from the State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of China that China would place Thailand in the priority list of countries to have access and acquisition of the COVID-19 vaccine, once available, as needed by the Thai side as well as enable transfer of technology in the production of the vaccine. Details are to be discussed between the agencies concerned of respective countries. The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs expressed appreciation to China in declaring the vaccine as a “global public good”, which would be affordable and accessibile to all, and support China’s initiative on Health Silk Road to promote health security in the region.
The two sides reaffirmed the readiness to collaborate closely together in the socio-economic recoveries of both countries as well as the region from the impact of the COVID-19 situation and to expedite the implementation of the outcomes of the telephone conversation between Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and President Xi Jinping on 14 July 2020 into tangible results, including the cooperation in science, technology, and innovation (STI), trade and investment facilitation, poverty eradication and sustainable use of Mekong-Lancang River. They discussed promoting connectivities through the Thailand-China High-speed Railway Project and between the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) and Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) to support the Belt and Road Initiatives (BRI) of China. They also discussed investment in the EEC, which will be developed as a production and logistical hub linking the Pacific and Indian Oceans through the proposed “Thai Bridge” across the Gulf of Thailand, currently under study. Moreover, the State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of China viewed that the progress of the project linking three airports in Thailand and the Smart Cities in the EEC would serve as a good model of regional cooperation.
The two Ministers have also exchanged views in regional and international issues of mutual interest, including geo-political landscape, the South China Sea, as well as support for multilateralism and international system with the United Nations at the core. They reaffirmed their determination to strengthen cooperation in sub-regional, regional and multilateral frameworks with a view to building an environment conducive to the promotion of peace, prosperity and sustainable development for all. Both sides also welcomed the progress on ASEAN-China Relations in the event of the 30th Anniversary of its establishment in 2021.
During this visit, Deputy Prime Minister Don Pramudwinai and State Councilor Wang Yi signed the Exchange of Notes between the Government of the Kingdom of Thailand and the Government of the People’s Republic of China on the acquisition of land and premises in each other’s territory to construct buildings or to be used for office and residential use of their respective consulates, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.