The Chinese people of my grandparents’ generation arrived in Southeast Asia only with bedding and luggage to make a living. The Chinese people today are so much different. With their RMB and friendly heart, they have arrived for traveling, communication and business purposes. People-to-people exchanges and education have greatly promoted trade and investment. Trade and investment between China and Thailand have now come on the top, with a bilateral trade volume of over $100 billion, and the volume is expected to expand several times next year. The bilateral trade and cooperation in fruit stood out in particular. Chinese people likes Thai fruits, such as durian. Thailand should also purchase chemical products, machinery, and electronic products from China.
The Chinese railway, running through Thailand and eventually to Singapore will promote prosperity and development of the region. Because the high-speed rail can facilitate easier, more convenient and, more importantly, faster communication between the Chinese people and the people of Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and other Southeast Asian countries.
Going forward, the cooperation between the two countries will focus on science and technology. Bilateral cooperation in innovation will enable the two countries to develop efficiently and vigorously, and make the people’s lives more prosperous. China has attained significant achievements in this regard. China has managed to build itself into a moderately prosperous society and reached the level of moderate affluence. Everyone has stayed away from hunger and been guaranteed a living standard. They have been offered access to education and healthcare and ways of transportation such as high-speed railways and flights. The cooperation between China and Thailand in this regard has attained a great leap forward in terms of frequency, quantity and quality.
The number of collaborations for large-scale events has increased, and the number of Chinese tourists in Thailand has grown significantly every year. Every Thai person is ready to welcome tourists from China.
The challenges in the current international economic landscape include energy crises, trade wars, natural disasters, changes in geopolitical conditions and so on.
Uncertainties and conflicts over energy issues have a huge impact on economic interactions and daily lives of people in the international community. The Ukrainian crisis was triggered as some superpowers were eager to exert influence over other countries. This was a conflict between the United States, Europe or the NATO and Russia. The conflict then led to international sanctions and an energy crisis.
The second challenge is the trade war, which represents unfair and wrongful obstruction to international trade. This has triggered the “chip war” and “electronic technology war”. The trade conflicts have brought the electronics industry to a standstill and halted the operations of factories in many emerging industries, hitting hard the people’s well-being.
In addition, there are superpowers interfering in the affairs of the South China Sea and Taiwan, making the international situation even more challenging. Such actions have affected securities markets and regional stability. These are issues that should be resolved through consultations. China has long made it clear that it will not invade other countries or seek benefits from other nations. China upholds the legitimacy and correctness of its actions, both over the issue of the South China Sea or the Taiwan question. Taiwan is part of China, and the one-China principle must be upheld.
Natural disasters are another important issue. Today’s natural disasters include earthquakes, storms, and rain-fed floods. We should work together to solve these problems and bolster disaster relief.
Upholding peace will reduce conflicts and increase economic cooperation. Tourism and trade will increase for instance. Fewer conflicts and trade frictions, and bringing an end to trade wars will promote fairness and equality in trade. I think we will welcome a more peaceful world if countries treat each other sincerely do not seek selfish gains, and refrain from posing obstacles to each other.