Sino-Thai cooperation improves

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao met here Monday with his Thai counterpart Thaksin Shinawatra on bilateral ties and regional cooperation.

The meeting came one day after Wen arrived to attend the 9th China-ASEAN and ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations)Plus China, Japan and Republic of Korea Summit and the first East Asia Summit.

During the meeting, Wen said that with the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Thailand falling this year, the political ties between the two countries are developing very well.

With a rapid growth of bilateral trade and investment, China successfully conducted a series of activities such as concerts and tourism programs along with exchange of visits by a hundred youths of the two countries, thus deepening the understanding and friendship between the two peoples, he noted.

The Chinese premier pointed out that the Sino-Thai ties are an important component of China's external relations, and the Chinese side attaches great importance to the development of the Sino-Thai relations.

The two countries have mapped out plans for their strategic cooperation in the five years to come, he said, expressing his hope that the two sides would finish the drafting of the documents on their strategic cooperation at an earlier date.

The Chinese premier also called for an active exploration into the feasibility of establishing a Sino-Thai free trade zone, so as to push for the integration of the bilateral trade and regional economy, and raise the level of the trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.

Earlier Monday, Wen delivered a major speech to the East Asia Summit Leaders Dialogue, which was titled "China's Peaceful Development: An Opportunity for East Asia." Xinhua reports. V.Y.

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