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China confirms interest in rail project during Prawit's visit

Apr 10. 2015
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By THE NATION

BEIJING IS still interested in the Kingdom's "silk rail route" project linking China's southern areas with Asean after top-ranking officials of both countries met recently.

A source at Government House said there were agreements between China and Thailand on five areas of cooperation after Deputy Prime Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan along with Thai delegations met with Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli in Beijing. Prawit ended a three-day visit to China yesterday.

The five areas of Thai-Chinese cooperation are investment in infrastructure, economic development, agricultural purchases, tourism promotion, and establishment and development of special economic zones.

The source said Beijing foresaw that the silk rail route could become a valuable link and supported Chinese companies’ participation in its construction, as well as investing in SEZs in Thailand. But China wants Thailand to specify clear privileges and protection mechanisms for its investors.

“China still affirms its support for the Chinese-Thai railroad for the Nong Khai-Kaeng Khoi-Map Ta Phut-Bangkok route that will link with its rail routes outside Thailand,” said the source.

Moreover, China affirmed its purchase of 2 million tonnes of rice and 200,000 tonnes of para rubber from Thailand as agreed earlier. Meanwhile, Thailand has appriated China for having promoted Chinese tourists travelling to Thailand worth four million persons last year.

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