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7427ea21079d1602eabf03.jpg (Photo : China Daily)

The further development of Sino-Thai relations, established on Friday after a meeting between Premier Li Keqiang and Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha in Bangkok before the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Economic Cooperation summit, received a further boost on Monday.

The tables were reversed, as Prayut landed in Beijing with his transportation minister for an official visit.

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Political business commenced immediately, as a one-hour meeting between the two Asian politicians was scheduled for Monday. In addition to the multi-billion-dollar railway line project and a doubling of China's Thai agricultural imports that were agreed upon last week, the two nations emerged with four major deals.

Firstly, a new clearing bank for the yuan currency will be set up in Thailand. Secondly, a currency exchange agreement between the countries will be extended. Thirdly, the Stock Exchange of Thailand and the Bank of China will further consolidate their ties. The final agreement involves the sharing of technical expertise in the areas of water resource management and irrigation. 

Li explained to reporters: "Regardless of any changes, bilateral friendship has taken root and the cooperation will move forward. . . . Sino-Thai cooperation has made substantial progress during my visit to Bangkok."

Prayut was also convivial, as well as eager, in his response. The military general expressed an openness toward Chinese investment and business, but is keen to commence the rail and agriculture deals as quickly as circumstances will allow.

The Thai Prime Minister will be joined by his transportation colleague on Tuesday during a tour of the China Railway Corp., which will construct the new China-Thai railway project, and a trip on the high-speed railway between Beijing and Tianjin.