THE THAI government website said today (Oct.. 20) that Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin had proposed to China during his visit there this week that negotiations be held on visa exemption for citizens of both countries, Sanook.com said.
Currently Chinese passport holders may enter Thailand without the necessity of applying for a visa with this running from Sept. 25, 2023 to Feb. 29, 2023. The temporary visa waiver scheme also applies to Kazakhstan.
However it is uncertain whether visa-free entry for Chinese visitors aimed at boosting tourism will be extended.
According to the Thai government website, Srettha sees that boosting tourism can bring quick benefits and that is why the temporary visa waiver for Chinese citizens was implemented.
“This will help promote tourism and greater exchange of people of the two countries,” the Thai government website stated. “It includes proposing that both sides negotiate an agreement on visa exemption between themselves.”
During his visit to China to attend the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) Srettha held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping yesterday and invited him to visit Thailand.
Srettha expressed hope that the two sides will deepen practical cooperation in various fields, jointly build the Thailand-China high-speed train project and advance the implementation of the China-Laos-Thailand Connectivity Development Corridor Outlook.
He also mentioned the mega land bridge project in the South and called for Chinese investment in this huge scheme.
As planned the land bridge will link Chumphon on the Gulf of Thailand coast with Ranong on the Andaman Sea coast with a road and rail system that will speed up transport of goods from the port on either side. This will shorten the distance for transporting cargo via the Straits of Malacca.
Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin shaking hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping before their talks yesterday. Photos: Thai Rath