GOVERNMENT spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri stepped in to explain that Chinese President Xi Jinping did not shake hands with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha because he is avoiding doing so as part of strict Chinese Covid measures, Sanook.com said this afternoon (Nov. 18).
Chinese officials had added that Xi is also avoiding handing over gifts and is skipping small meetings at the Apec summit for this very reason.
The Thai online world is astir on this missed handshake with a video clip circulating showing Prayut extending his hand to Xi who walked ahead.
However the Chinese leader did shake hands with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida when they held a meeting on the sidelines of the Apec summit yesterday (Nov. 17).
“President Xi pointed out that the economies of the two countries are highly interdependent. China and Japan need to increase dialogue and cooperation in areas such as the digital economy, green development, financial sector, healthcare and caring for the elderly and maintaining a smooth supply chain and industrial stability,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.
Xi also told Kishida that the two countries should treat each other with sincerity and view each other as partners not threat despite there being differences on political and historical matters.
Top: Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha extends his hand to Chinese President Xi Jinping who did not reciprocate. The Thai headline says, “Only avoiding Covid.”
Below: Chinese President Xi Jinping shaking hands with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at their meeting yesterday. The Thai headline says, “Shake my hand instead.” Photos: Sanook.com