In light of the recent distressing event at the Siam Paragon mall, where a shooting caused unease among foreign residents and tourists in Bangkok, the focus has greatly shifted towards strengthening international ties between Thailand and China. This move was initiated with profound discussions between Thailand Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin and China’s President Xi Jinping, amidst heartfelt expressions of sympathy for the tragic loss of a Chinese woman at the incident scene.
The 61 years old Thai Prime Minister had communicated with the Chinese Ambassador Han Zhiqiang regarding the unfortunate demise of the Chinese national. Putting forth an action plan that aims to stimulate the tourism industry and boost the economy, Prime Minister Srettha proposed to waive off the 30-day visa requirement for Chinese visitors. This short-term provision would be effective from September 25 to February 29 of the following year.
During a recent meeting held on October 18, the Thai PM expanded on this proposition during a dialogue with Prime Minister Li Qiang. The suggestion to convert this provisional arrangement into a long-term plan, thereby exempting the usual visa regulation was much appreciated by Li.
China, which is often perceived as an extended family of Thailand due to the vast number of Thai citizens of Chinese descent, has been a substantial contributor to the revenue of Thailand’s tourism industry. However, this has experienced a noticeable decline as the effects of Covid-19 continue to linger. Therefore, the Thai government is keen to invigorate the industry and bring back the almost 11 million Chinese holidaymakers seen in the pre-pandemic era. Bangkok Post has reported an anticipated increment of Chinese visitors to attain a count of around five million for the present year.
Detailed discussions on the Thailand-China Comprehensive Strategic Cooperative Partnership, which will extend from 2022 to 2026, were held during the meeting of these two country leaders. The mutual understanding involved plans for Srettha and Xi to embark on further journeys to China and Thailand, respectively, leading up to 2025. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the onset of Thai-Chinese political relations, as stated by Bangkok Post.
Following the official meeting, Prime Minister Srettha extended an invitation to President Xi for subsequent visits to Thailand, promising fruitful relations and opportunities. Keep yourself updated with more such fascinating news by following The Thaiger’s latest stories on our Facebook page HERE.