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Vice President Xi Jinping Holds Talks with Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra

On December 22, local time, visiting Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping held talks with Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

Xi first conveyed the cordial greetings from Premier Wen Jiabao. Xi said that China attaches great importance to friendly cooperation with Thailand and that his current three-day visit is aimed at cementing the traditional friendship, promoting pragmatic cooperation and pushing forward bilateral ties.

China and Thailand, with geographical proximity and cultural similarities, are good neighbors, partners, friends and relatives who enjoy a longstanding friendship, Xi said. Since the forging of diplomatic ties between China and Thailand 36 years ago, Chinese-Thai relations have continued to develop in a healthy and stable manner, bringing real benefits to the two countries and playing an important role in developing China-ASEAN relations. Among members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Thailand is the first country to sign a Plan of Action for the 21st Century with China, to establish strategic cooperative relations with China, and to sign a zero tariff agreement on the trade of vegetable and fruit under the framework of China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (FTA). Those facts fully indicate "Thailand and China are as intimate as relatives", Xi said. Over the years, the two sides have maintained mutual trust and frequent high-level exchanges and gradually expanded cooperation in such areas as economy and trade, science, technology, humanities, defense and law enforcement, Xi said. The two countries also have maintained close coordination in major regional and international affairs, the vice president said. Xi said China highly appreciates Thailand's adherence to the one-China policy and its understanding and support for China's position on the Taiwan and Tibet-related issues.

Xi put forward a four-point proposal on further development of China-Thailand relations.

First, the two nations need to elevate their strategic cooperation to a higher level. The two sides should chart a course and map out key areas in their future cooperation, so as to bring more benefits to the two peoples and make greater contributions to long-term stability and common prosperity in the region.

Second, the two sides need to enhance high-level exchanges. Maintaining regular high-level exchanges has been a fine tradition between the two nations, which plays an indispensable role in advancing bilateral ties. "We welcome the Thai leaders to visit China at mutually convenient time," he added.

Third, they should deepen their practical cooperation to add fresh impetus to the growth of bilateral ties. The two sides need to take advantage of mechanisms such as the joint commission on economy and trade at the vice premier's level and explore new ways to advance bilateral economic and trade cooperation. Both sides should strive to achieve an aggregated trade of 100 billion U.S. dollars by 2015. They also should promote cooperation in such areas as railway, finance, disaster reduction and prevention, maritime and military affairs, and law enforcement, Xi said. China is willing to actively participate in Thailand's post-disaster reconstruction and long-term planning for disaster management. He said China stands ready to work with Thailand in a concerted effort to safeguard shipping order and ensure the safety of vessels and sailors navigating the Mekong River.

Fourth, China and Thailand need to expand bilateral cultural exchanges. The two sides should continue to deepen cooperation in areas of culture, language teaching, tourism and youth exchanges and expand personnel exchanges in a bid to promote mutual understanding and carry on the China-Thailand friendship from generation to generation.

Xi said that currently East Asia cooperation has shown a good momentum of development, with various cooperation mechanisms developing well and pragmatic cooperation in various fields making new progress. All this has brought tangible benefits to the people of East Asian countries. China is ready to maintain close coordination with Thailand and make joint efforts to facilitate substantial progress in East Asia cooperation so as to safeguard regional stability, promote economic development and achieve common prosperity.

Yingluck, on behalf of the Thai government and people, thanked China for the precious assistance granted during the severe floods that hit the country earlier this year. She said Xi's current visit will be a big boost to not only Thailand-China relations but also Thailand's disaster relief and post-floods reconstruction. The visit showed that "Thailand and China are as intimate as relatives," Yingluck said. Yingluck agreed with Xi's suggestions on developing bilateral relations and views on East Asia cooperation. She said her country treasures its traditional friendship with China and is willing to further push ahead with the strategic partnership. The two countries' cooperation in fields including infrastructure construction, the utilization and management of water resources, and clean, low-cost energy as well as human resources and education should be further strengthened, Yingluck said. The prime minister also called for robust annual growth in bilateral trade, investment and tourism. Thailand will expand its cooperation with China to jointly maintain transportation safety on the Mekong River, she said. The prime minister reiterated Thailand's adherence to the one-China policy and support for China over issues concerning China's Taiwan and Tibet. Yingluck also asked Xi to convey her cordial greetings and good wishes to Premier Wen Jiabao.

Prior to the talks, Prime Minister Yingluck held a welcome ceremony for Xi at the square in front of the prime minister's office. After the ceremony, Prime Minister Yingluck accompanied Vice President Xi to the prime minister's office, where she introduced to Xi main members of the Thai cabinet and some foreign diplomatic envoys to Thailand.

Following the talks, the two sides attended the signing ceremony of a number of documents on strengthening cooperation in economy and trade, financing, justice, disaster reduction and other areas. Accompanied by Yingluck, Xi also visited a show of specialty products from all of Thailand's villages at the Thai prime minister's office and listened to the introduction. He praised it as a key livelihoods project of the Thai government and stressed its important role in pushing Thailand's villages to tap their advantages, increasing farmers' income and promoting development of local economy and tourism.

Wang Jiarui, Minister of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun, Vice Minister of the National Development and Reform Commission Zhu Zhixin and Chinese Ambassador to Thailand Guan Mu attended the above activities.

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