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New institute marks closeness of Thailand and China on vocational education

By YANG WANLI in BANGKOK | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-03-21 22:50

Thailand and China have jointly announced the establishment of the Institute of Chinese Language, Technical and Vocational Education and Training, to cultivate talent and boost cooperation between the two countries.

The institute, which aims to further enhance the two nations' vocational and language education exchange, and was announced on Tuesday, will be managed by the Vocational Education Commission of Thailand's Ministry of Education and the Center for Language Education and Cooperation (CLEC) under the Chinese Ministry of Education.

"The establishment of the institute marks a milestone of Sino-Thai friendship," said China's Ambassador to Thailand, Han Zhiqiang. "It will further promote exchanges between the two countries. China is looking forward to more cooperation with Thailand and we are happy to work together for building a community with a shared future for mankind."

Tanu Vongjinda, secretary-general of the Thai Vocational Education Commission, said more Thai people have become willing to learn Mandarin since the two countries began working closely under the Belt and Road Initiative.

He said China has great experience in innovation and green technology, which exactly meet the Thai government's 20-Year Strategy, a project also known as Thailand 4.0, which aims to achieve high-income status by 2036.

"We need more talents to support Thai Eastern Economic Corridor development plan, a core part of Thailand 4.0 , especially in fields such as automation and robotics, aviation and logistics and digital," he said. "The institute is expected to play an important role of speeding up Thailand's efforts towards (the project)."

China has been working closely with Thailand to give language and vocational support. So far, there are 116 schools in China's 20 provinces and four municipalities that have signed agreements with 90 Thai vocational schools for language and vocational training.

Apart from Mandarin teaching, the agreements also cover education on around 30 academic and professional fields, including aviation, railway, tourism and catering.

Hu Zhiping, the deputy head of China's CLEC, said Thailand and China enjoy a long-term friendship with the countries' mountains and rivers being connected, and its people being close to each other.

"The institute, which is also the first of its kind in the world, will further contribute to the mutual understandings of the two countries," he said.

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