News / Asia

Thailand, China Set Aggressive Targets to Increase Trade

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (L) walks with Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra during a welcoming ceremony at the Government House in Bangkok, November 21, 2012.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (L) walks with Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra during a welcoming ceremony at the Government House in Bangkok, November 21, 2012.
Ron Corben
Thailand and China have agreed to further boost economic ties during a high-level visit by Chinese Premier Wen Jiaboa to Bangkok. Analysts say the visit, following soon after that of U.S. President Barack Obama, highlights increased interest in Southeast Asia’s positive economic outlook.

Talks between Wen and Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Wednesday were intended to build on a major trading agreement between China and Thailand, announced in April this year.

Under the pact set out for five years, the governments agree to ambitious targets to expand trade and investment, as well as tourism, aiming to raise bilateral trade up to 15 percent a year.

Wen focuses on Thailand

In an address to reporters, Wen said China sees Thailand as an important trading partner. He said both nations agreed to implement the five-year plan on development and trade with a strengthening of cooperation and mutual investment in agriculture, and projects linked to traffic management, water resources and infrastructure.

Yingluck also supported the calls for greater cooperation in the agricultural sector. She said the Chinese government is interested in buying agricultural produce, especially rice.

During the talks, China agreed to purchase more rice from Thailand, both at a state and private-sector level.  

Reports this week said Thailand had hoped to sell up to 5 million metric tons of rice to China in a bid to reduce rice stocks that the government has accumulated under a controversial rice pledging program that sets government buying rates above the international market.

US emphasizes Asia-Pacific

China’s purchases of Thai rice have fallen by more than 50 percent this year, since the program was introduced. At the meeting Thursday, China agreed to buy 260,000 tons of rice.

The agreement Thursday follows just days after Obama visited during a trip to promote Washington’s increased focus on trade and diplomacy in the Asia-Pacific.

The United States renewed a long-standing security pact with Thailand and a U.S.-sponsored Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), largely a free trade area between the U.S. and Asia-Pacific countries.

Competing interests

Somphob Manarangsan, a professor of economics, said the recent visits of the senior leaders from both countries stand in contrast, as China has strong economic ties to the region, while the United States’ key strength has been in security areas, but weaker in economic ties.

“You can see that when President Obama came to this area [the U.S.] try to sell the idea of the TPP - that means to have this improvement of the economic cooperation by the USA with countries of this area," said Manarangsan. "But Mr. Wen Jiabao - they try to use some cultural factor, education, social, like the opening up of the Chinese cultural centers here in Thailand using the soft power to deal more and more with this area.”

Somphob said that although countries like Thailand so far have been able to strike a balance between Beijing and Washington, that may become harder in the near future as trade, business and investments increase.

You May Like

This US Epidemic Keeps Getting Worse

One in 4 Americans suffers from this condition More

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
November 21, 2012 12:35 PM
China is playing very smart and successfully.

A super power is rising!
In Response

by: Joel Bayan from: New jersey
November 24, 2012 9:25 AM
The difference is the US focuses more on security than economic. There is no transparency or oversight for corruption with China and Thailand, hence follow the money! China's leaders pocket millions of yuan and the Thai politicians get their baht. Quite a deal at the expense of the people! China has a large population, larger country in size and with that comes problems that will be larger than they can handle. I wouldn't call them a "super power rising", but I would say that their problems will rise quicker than their powers!

As the good professor points out that... "Somphob Manarangsan, a professor of economics, said the recent visits of the senior leaders from both countries stand in contrast, as China has strong economic ties to the region, while the United States’ key strength has been in security areas, but weaker in economic ties."

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs