China, Thailand to keep up development momentum

Bangkok, Oct 12 (IANS) Chinese Premier Li Keqiang Friday called on his country and Thailand to jointly maintain the healthy and rapid development momentum of bilateral ties.

Both the countries are good neighbours, relatives and partners, Li said during a meeting here with his Thai counterpart Yingluck Shinawatra, Xinhua reported.

The visiting Chinese leader said 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.

On deepening of 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.

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

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