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Chinese premier urges further amity, practical cooperation with Thailand

BANGKOK, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang stressed further amity and practical cooperation with Thailand in a joint press conference here on Friday with Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

He and Yingluck have had extensive and effective talks, Li told reporters, and they jointly witnessed the signing of several important bilateral agreements.

"We agreed that China and Thailand share traditional friendship, practical foundation for cooperation, as well as broad prospects and huge potential in wide-ranging, deep-level, and all-around cooperation," Li said.

Noting that the development and prosperity of China and Thailand offer each other abundant opportunities, Li called on both sides to step up political mutual trust and push forward practical cooperation in such fields as economy and trade, transportation, energy, finance, technology, culture and defence.

Moreover, the two sides should also enhance cultural and people-to-people exchanges to consolidate the social basis of bilateral relations, Li added.

China and Thailand have been in talks for a memorandum of understanding on visa exemption for regular passport holders, a move believed to provide more convenience to people-to-people exchanges, Li said.

The Chinese premier said the two sides also exchanged views on international and regional issues of common concern.

China commends Thailand's positive role as the country coordinator for China-ASEAN relations, Li said.

The Chinese government is ready to work with Bangkok to push for new progress in their comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, Li said.

He also expressed hope that traditional familial affection between the two nations will be cemented by new bond and that bilateral cooperation will benefit people in the two countries and the region.

Yingluck, for her part, said Li's visit has yielded fruitful results, and has mapped out the long-term development of China-Thailand relations.

Thailand is ready to work with China to boost cooperation in trade, investment, connectivity, energy, agriculture and people-to-people exchanges, and strive to fulfill the target of increasing bilateral trade to 100 billion U.S. dollars by 2015, said Yingluck.

Thailand welcomes Chinese participation in the construction of its high-speed railway system, and supports China's proposal to establish an Asia infrastructure investment bank, she said.

Thailand is willing to make efforts with China to achieve further progress in relations between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, she added.

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

Before Bangkok, Li 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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