China-Asean ties

CNC report from Thailand
Added On July 28, 2013

The recent China-ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting has delivered positive results which will bring closer cooperation between the two sides and benefit the Southeast Asia.

Sihasak Phuangketkeow, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, makes the comments in an exclusive interview with CNC.

Sihasak also serves as the leader of Thailand of the ASEAN Senior Official Meeting.

Speaking to CNC, the senior Thai diplomat has highlighted the achievement  of the meeting, which was held on the sidelines of the 46th ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Brunei last month.

Sihasak said there's still ample room to further promote ties between China and ASEAN nations.

"We also wanted to work together in the areas of connectivity, especially in transportation. We think it's important in the sense that it will help to promote economic cooperation among ASEAN and between ASEAN and China, especially the southern part of China. With connectivity we will have more trade and lessen the development gap within ASEAN... So that's another important area of cooperation. We also talked about the expanding our cultural exchanges, and we have declared next year as the year of ASEAN -China cultural exchange year, so we hope to see more exchanges between China and Thailand."

In addition, Sihasak said both sides pledged in the meeting to work together to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea.

Thailand will host the High-Level Forum on the 10th anniversary of China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership in Bangkok in early August.

The forum is intended for the two sides sides to take stock of past progress and set course for future relations.

"So we will be covering the entire range of issues in strategic partnership, trade, investment, cultural, education cooperation also regional issues. But I think most importantly, we will be focusing on the future and how we can strengthen and advance our partnership with China. Certainly, because we are attaching to this forum, we welcome the attendance of Foreign Minister Wang Yi. He has been in office for only a few months but he will be visiting Thailand for the second time. So I think it's an indication of the importance that Wang Yi attaches to China's relationship with Thailand and China's partnership with ASEAN."

The forum will be followed by China-ASEAN Commemorative Foreign Ministers' Meeting, also to be held in August, and the ASEAN Summit which is scheduled for October.

The senior Thai diplomat says the meetings will help forge a vision for the future of the China-ASEAN strategic partnership.