Chinese diplomats, tourists assured Thailand is safe

June 12, 2009 by  
Filed under Local News & Event

BEIJING : Thailand has assured China of the safety of future Asean meetings and tourists visiting the Kingdom. The safety of its ministers, leaders and tourists is a prime concern for China after the riots over the Songkran holidays in April. Beijing has advised its citizens to avoid travel to Thailand and the spread of the type-A (H1N1) flu has further dampened the country’s tourism potential. Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya told his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi yesterday the meeting of Asean ministers and their dialogue partners, including China, next month and the leadership summit in October would go ahead as planned. Mr Kasit also promised there would be no political disruption to the meetings being held in Phuket.
The Asean summit with dialogue partners in Pattaya in April was cancelled at the last minute and the leaders evacuated after demonstrators loyal to former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra stormed the venue. Security measures have been mapped out to prevent a recurrence of that incident, said the foreign minister before wrapping up his two-day visit to China. Mr Kasit told the Chinese leaders political stability had returned to Thailand and told the Chinese media the country was safe for visitors from China. “I can guarantee the safety of Thailand,” he said. Attempts to woo Chinese tourists, promote Thai farm products in China and encourage Chinese to invest in Thailand will be key issues when Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva visits China later this month. His agenda includes talks with 500 Chinese business leaders. Thailand hopes to convince Beijing to promote Thai fruits and farm products, including rice, tapioca and para rubber, in China during the visit by the prime minister, Mr Kasit said. The foreign minister also held talks with Wang Jiarui, who is in charge of international affairs policy for the Chinese Communist Party. Last year about 800,000 Chinese tourists visited Thailand. In the wake of Thailand’s recent political instability and the onset of the global financial crisis, the number has dropped steeply. The government has tried to revitalise the tourism sector with measures such as waiving visa fees.


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