Srettha and Xi agree to boost Thai-China economic, tourism and security ties


Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin and China’s Xi Jinping agreed to strengthen relations between their countries across four dimensions during a successful meeting in Beijing on Thursday, the Thai government has announced.

Economic, tourism, security, and multilateral collaboration between Thailand and China will be boosted over the next year, said Prime Minister's Office spokesman Chai Watcharong, summarising the outcome of Thursday’s meeting.

Srettha also invited Xi to visit Thailand.

The spokesman detailed the four key results of the meeting between Srettha and Xi as follows:

1. Economic cooperation: Both sides acknowledged that economic challenges globally, including the slowdown and geopolitical tensions, had impacted the economies of both their countries. They expressed willingness to cooperate to enhance readiness in responding to these challenges. Thailand also highlighted the importance of Chinese investors and welcomed their contributions to various sectors, especially in targeted industries like electric vehicles (EVs), batteries, semiconductors, clean energy, and industries related to Thailand's BCG economic model. China has been Thailand's top foreign investor over the past year. Xi told Srettha that Chinese investors were interested in Thai megaprojects.

Meanwhile, a proposed land bridge project to link the Gulf of Thailand with the Andaman Sea would spur Chinese investment in Thailand’s EV manufacturing hub and inject over 1 trillion baht into the Thai economy, Srettha said.

2. Tourism cooperation: Srettha stressed that tourism policy offers the potential of rapid benefits for Thailand. The government has already implemented temporary visa exemption for Chinese nationals to promote tourism and facilitate travel between the two countries.

Srettha meanwhile expressed his condolences over the October 3 shooting at Siam Paragon mall in which a Chinese tourist was among three people killed.

In a separate meeting with Chinese Prime Minister Li Qiang, Srettha said Thailand was considering permanent visa-free entry for Chinese travellers.

3. Security collaboration: Both countries affirmed their cooperation in combating transnational crimes affecting business activities in Thailand's neighbouring countries. They agreed to work together to address cybercrime, call centre scams, human trafficking, and drug trafficking. The leaders also discussed enhancing safety measures for foreign tourists and proposed mutual exemptions from security checks.

4. Multilateral cooperation: Thailand and China discussed supporting each other in international forums, including the Mekong-Lancang Cooperation (MLC), Asean-China cooperation, and collaboration within the United Nations to promote regional and global development.

Both leaders reiterated that China and Thailand were not just neighbours, but akin to siblings, with close economic, cultural, and diplomatic ties. They also looked forward to celebrating 50 years of diplomatic relations in 2025.