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Thailand Hands Over Coordinatorship of ASEAN-China Relations to Singapore

by Duangkamol Buranasomphop



At the end of the ASEAN-China Post Ministerial Conference, held in Kuala Lumpur on 5 August 2015, Thailand handed over coordinatorship of ASEAN-China relations to Singapore.

Representing Thailand at the conference, Deputy Prime minister and Foreign Minister General Tanasak Patimapragorn held a joint press briefing with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Both co-chaired the ASEAN-China Post Ministerial Conference.

General Tanasak told the press conference that throughout the past three years, Thailand as the Country Coordinator for ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations had strived to be an honest broker. "We have made earnest efforts to ensure progress in all dimensions of this important partnership, including deepening mutual understanding on the basis of good neighbourliness.

"We have every confidence that Singapore will successfully bring ASEAN-China relations to an even higher plane. Thailand is ready to cooperate fully with Singapore. One factor which contributed to the success of our being coordinator over the past three years is the close and cordial bilateral relations between Thailand and China.”

General Tanasak also said, "We had extensive discussions on ASEAN-China cooperation. We agreed to build on what we have achieved through the successful implementation of the Plan of Action (2011-2015). In this regard, we look forward to the adoption of the draft ASEAN-China Plan of Action for 2016 to 2020, at the 18th ASEAN-China Summit in November this year.

"We had a constructive exchange of views on the future direction of our cooperation. We discussed security, trade, investment, tourism, connectivity, educational, cultural and people-to-people exchanges, as well as addressing emerging challenges.

"We welcomed China’s constructive initiatives, particularly the 10-point proposal to advance the ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations and cooperation. These proposals will be given serious consideration. As next year marks the 25th Anniversary of the ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations, ASEAN welcomes China’s offer to host a commemorative summit to celebrate this important milestone.

"On security issues, both ASEAN and China reiterated our commitment to the full and effective implementation of the Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea or DOC. At the same time, to accelerate the consultations on a Code of Conduct or COC. We also agreed upon the Early Harvest Measures which include setting up of hotlines and tabletop exercises on search and rescue. ASEAN also attaches importance to freedom of navigation and overflight, as well as the peaceful resolution of disputes on the basis of international law.

"ASEAN and China have now agreed upon the Second List of Commonalities. Both sides have agreed to enter a "new phase" of consultations on the COC which would include discussions of a structure for the COC as well as other areas of cooperation. This would pave the way for the early conclusion of the COC.”

General Tanasak said that the year 2015 marks the 40th Anniversary of Thailand-China diplomatic relations. On this auspicious occasion, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha will attend the 12th China-ASEAN EXPO in Nanning on 18-20 September 2015. Thailand is honored to be the Country of Honor at the EXPO.

General Tanasak also accepted the invitation extended to him by Mr. Wang Yi to visit China. He will participate in activities to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of Thai-Chinese bilateral relations in Beijing on 9 October and to attend the Mekong-Lancang Ministerial Meeting in Jinghong on 11 October.


Content: thailand.prd.go.th
Picture: asean-investor.com

Duangkamol Buranasomphop

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