National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) chief Gen Prayuth Chan-Ocha has dispatched adviser Dr Somkid Jatusripitak to deliver a personal message of friendship and cooperation to Chinese President Xi Jinping, diplomiatic sources told The Nation.
Special envoy” Dr Somkid met Vice President Li Yuanchao, also a member of the Chinese Communist Party’s Politburo, at the Great Hall of the People on Monday to convey the top-level letter. He also held a separate meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
The two meetings confirmed stepped-up ties between the two countries that will see China’s active participation in Thailand’s infrastructure projects including high-speed train, water management and investments in various fields.
China also pledged to continue to purchase Thai rice, rubber and longan as well as other agricultural products.
“Dr Somkid confirmed to the Chinese leaders the NCPO leader’s determination to broaden and deepen relationships between the two countries,” the sources said.
The Chinese leaders confirmed to Dr Somkid that Beijing considers Thailand a “strategic partner” and will continue to strengthen relationships in all aspects.
The sources said Dr Somkid, who is an adviser to NCPO, held “substantial discussions” with both the vice president and foreign minister that covered a wide range of cooperation on both outstanding issues and new avenues of cooperation.
Both sides also agreed to reactive the Thai-China Joint Commission that had been set up between Dr Somkid when he was deputy prime minister and the then vice premier of China, Madame Wu Yi.
Apart from NCPO’s 11 areas of national revival, the two sides also discussed China’s interest in helping Thailand build a high-speed train system as well as pursuing water management projects.
Dr Somkid received confirmation from the Chinese leaders that Beijing respected the Thai people’s decision on the appropriate political course and the recent coup has not affected relationship between the two countries.
The Chinese leaders were quoted as telling the special envoy from Thailand: “China is ready to support what is good for Thailand and the Thai people and we will not interfere with domestic politics.”
Both sides agreed to follow up on the measures agreed upon between the two countries during the visit to Thailand by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang last October.