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Chinese President Xi Meets Thai PM Prayuth

  • Reuters

Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha (C) attends a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, December 22, 2014.

Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha (C) attends a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, December 22, 2014.

Chinese President Xi Jinping met the visiting Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha in Beijing December 23.

Xi and Prayuth shook hands in Beijing's Great Hall of the People before sitting down for bilateral talks, along with the delegations from China and Thailand.

Prayuth also met Chinese Premier Li Keqiang a day earlier, which was followed by a signing ceremony where they renewed a currency swap agreement worth 70 billion yuan ($11.25 billion) and enhanced technology cooperation in water resources and irrigation, and cooperation between Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) and the People's Bank of China.

The current currency swap agreement between the two countries was due to expire December 22.

Under the renewed pact, the central banks of the two countries will exchange millions of dollars’ worth of each other's currencies to help finance trade and investment deals.

Li visited Thailand December 19, becoming the most high-profile foreign leader to visit the country since a May coup, signaling, Bangkok said, its return to normal and a boost for trade in a region where the United States and China vie for influence.

Led by Prayuth, the army seized control on May 22 after months of protests against the government of populist Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. It said the coup was necessary to restore stability after 30 people were killed in sporadic violence.

During Li's visit, China agreed to build a rail network in Thailand and buy two million tons of its rice.

China also offered more than $3 billion in loans and aid to neighboring countries including Thailand to improve infrastructure and production, and to fight poverty.

Prayuth was expected to leave China on Tuesday.

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