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Li urges China, Thailand to maintain development momentum of ties
2013/10/12

BANGKOK, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Friday called on his country and Thailand to jointly maintain the healthy and rapid development momentum of bilateral ties.

China and Thailand are good neighbors, relatives and partners, Li said during a meeting here with his Thai counterpart Yingluck Shinawatra, adding that in the spirit of mutual respect and trust, China-Thailand ties have played an exemplary and leading role in China's relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

He said the Chinese government attaches great importance to the development of bilateral ties with Thailand, and stands ready to expand high-level exchange of visits and pursue closer relations.

Beijing is also ready to work with Bangkok to implement the Joint Action Plan on China-Thailand Strategic Cooperation and a memorandum of understanding on sustainable development so as to benefit the peoples of both countries, Li said.

The Chinese premier urged to give full play to the mechanism of an economic and trade committee between the two countries, and strengthen cooperation on such areas as economy, trade, investment, agricultural trade and processing, and electricity.

On cooperation on infrastructure construction, he said China is willing to actively participate in the construction of high-speed railways in Thailand and promote regional inter-connectivity and people-to-people exchanges.

In order to deepen financial cooperation, Li encouraged the enterprises of the two countries to settle bilateral trade in RMB, and explore the increase in the size of bilateral currency swap, saying that China will consider the establishment of RMB clearing banks in Thailand.

Meanwhile, he called for closer people-to-people exchanges, starting talks on visa exemption for regular passport holders and closer cooperation on culture and education so as to promote the friendship between the peoples of the two countries.

The Chinese side also hopes the Thai side to protect safety of legitimate rights of Chinese citizens in Thailand, Li said.

On ties with ASEAN, the Chinese premier spoke highly of Thailand's positive role in promoting China-ASEAN relations, saying that China stands ready to strengthen coordination and cooperation with Thailand and promote the strategic partnership with ASEAN.

For her part, Yingluck said China is Thailand's friendly neighbor and her country agrees on Li's proposals on further development of bilateral relations, adding that Thailand is ready to take the opportunity of his visit to promote cooperation in all fields and upgrade bilateral ties.

Thailand also hails the new ASEAN-China cooperation initiatives proposed by Li, and will make active contributions to developing ASEAN-China relations, she said.

After the meeting, the two leaders jointly witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding on deepening railway cooperation between China and Thailand, as well as other cooperative documents in such areas as economy, trade, investment, technology, maritime affairs and energy.

Li arrived here earlier in the day for an official visit to Thailand, the second leg of his maiden trip to Southeast Asia since he took office in March.

Before that, he has just wrapped up a tightly-scheduled visit to Brunei, where he also attended a series of meetings with East Asian leaders.

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