Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping (R) meets with Thai Deputy Prime Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong as they attend the 9th China-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Expo in Nanning, capital of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Sept. 20, 2012. (Xinhua/Xie Huanchi)
NANNING, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- China and Thailand on Thursday pledged to further enhance their relations, as well as boost relations between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
The pledge came out of a meeting between Vice President Xi Jinping and Thai Deputy Prime Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong on the sidelines of the ninth China-ASEAN Expo being held in Nanning, capital of south China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, from Sept. 21 to 25.
Speaking highly of the development of China-Thailand relations since their establishment 37 years ago, Xi said the two countries should cherish and continue to push forward the relationship.
He said Thailand has been a reliable friend and important cooperative partner of China. China is ready to maintain high-level exchanges with Thailand, continue to expand cooperation and promote progress regarding their relations, he said.
Kittiratt said the expo has provided a valuable platform for economic and trade cooperation between ASEAN countries and China. He said his aim in attending the expo is to promote cooperation between Thailand and China in economics, trade, tourism and culture, as well as to deepen their strategic partnership.
Xi also thanked Thailand for its support and coordination during an investigation and trial related to the murder of 13 Chinese sailors on the Mekong River, as well as called for a steady advance of judicial cooperation among China, Thailand, Laos and Myanmar in order to jointly maintain security along the Mekong River.
Kittiratt echoed Xi, saying Thailand has attached high importance to the case. He said the Thai side will speed up relevant work and bring justice to the Chinese victims.
Xi said Thailand, which is responsible for coordinating China and ASEAN, bears an important responsibility. He said he hopes the two countries will conduct close coordination to ensure the smooth development of China-ASEAN relations, as well as ensure that an upcoming series of meetings between east Asian leaders to be held in November will be held in a united, friendly and cooperative atmosphere.
Kittiratt said Thailand will strengthen coordination and cooperation with China while coordinating the two sides and make greater efforts for the development of China-ASEAN relations.
The expo is held annually by the Ministry of Commerce, ASEAN member countries and the ASEAN secretariat.