China, Thailand agree to create fast tracks for cooperation

BANGKOK: China and Thailand have agreed to create “fast tracks” and “green lanes” to facilitate the flow of people and goods, China’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Thursday, as the two countries seek to revive their economies from the global coronavirus pandemic.
The announcement came after Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s meeting with Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha in Bangkok.
Thailand is the last stop of Wang’s five-day visit to Southeast Asian countries.
The two sides discussed cooperation in various fields in the post-pandemic era, and vowed strengthening ties.
Wang also held separate talks with Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai, and the two signed cooperation documents.
China-Thailand relations have shown resilience and huge potential during the COVID-19 pandemic, Wang said, adding that China is ready to work with Thailand to enhance anti-epidemic collaboration, conduct cooperation on vaccine and medicine research and development. The countries should advance the joint construction of the Belt and Road and speed up the building of the China-Thailand high-speed railway for an early connection to the China-Laos Railway in order to improve regional interconnectivity, Wang continued.
Speaking of bilateral cooperation, Wang said China is ready to promote the connection between Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor initiative with south China’s Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and encourage Chinese enterprises to take part in the related projects. Regarding regional cooperation, Wang said China is willing to work with Thailand under the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) framework to close the deal of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) within this year.
He also said the two countries should implement the results achieved at the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) Leaders’ Meeting, push forward the synergy of the LMC and the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor, and make the LMC and the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) Master Plan to complement each other.
For his part, Don said this year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The two sides have overcome adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, maintained communication and exchanges and further deepened cooperation in all fields.
While appreciating China’s commitment to make its COVID-19 vaccine a global public good when available, Don said his country hopes to strengthen cooperation with China on vaccine development and open the “fast lane” to facilitate personnel exchanges at an early date.
Thailand is steadily pacing up the construction of the Thailand-China high-speed rail and supports the connection between the China-Laos Railway and the Thailand-China high-speed rail. Thailand hopes that China will continue to support the construction of the country’s Eastern Economic Corridor and enhance the cooperation in the fields of innovation and sustainable development, the Thai foreign minister said. Thailand is ready to step up coordination with China in regional and international affairs and advance the development of ties between ASEAN and China to strengthen international solidarity to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and revive the global economy, he added.
–The Daily Mail-CGTN exchange item