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

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened 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.
Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitcheni
X
September 22, 2014 11:42 AM
With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid