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Sino-Thai relations to get lift

Experts hail rich, multifaceted cultural exchanges between both countries

By YANG WANLI in Chachoengsao, Thailand | China Daily Global | Updated: 2024-04-18 09:30

Chinese tourists in traditional Thai dress pose for a photograph at Wat Arun in Bangkok, Thailand, on Jan 24. BLOOMBERG/GETTY IMAGES

China and Thailand enjoy deep cultural connections and the bond will be further strengthened and developed as the two nations enter a new stage of their long-standing friendship, said experts.

"Historically, the cultural exchange between China and Thailand has been rich and multifaceted," said Bhokin Bhalakula, the former speaker of the Thai Parliament.

"Our mission, set against the backdrop of ancient camaraderie and a modern dynamic between Thailand and China, is guided by a multifaceted strategy to enrich and expand our cultural dialogue."

Bhokin was addressing a two-day Thai-Chinese Cultural Forum organized by the newly established Thai Chinese Culture Promotion and Development Association. He was designated as the association chairman at its inauguration ceremony on Monday.

"The establishment of the association marks a new chapter in our shared history. It is a step forward in promoting cultural exchanges and forging lasting bonds that transcend geographical and cultural boundaries," said Bhokin.

He highlighted several major tasks that will be conducted in the near future, including organizing cultural exchange events, fostering collaboration in cultural and creative industries, engaging youngsters in cultural exchanges, and utilizing new media for cultural dialogue.

"Culture is a crucial part of mutual understanding," said Fu Zengyou, former dean of the Confucius Institute at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, at the forum in Chachoengsao, central Thailand.

"Her Royal Highness Princess of Thailand, Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, set a great example of Sino-Thai friendship," said Fu. "As the first Thai royal family member to visit China, the princess conducted her 51st visit to China this month and pushed the two countries' friendship further forward."

At the invitation of the Chinese government, Princess Sirindhorn visited China from April 4 to 10.

Over the past decades, the Thai royal has traveled to almost all provinces, municipalities, and autonomous regions in China. She has also published several books on her trips to China, including Treading the Dragon Land and Forward A-Far the Sand Streams.

Solid foundation laid

Princess Sirindhorn's love for Chinese culture and contributions — such as translating Chinese literature into Thai and promoting Mandarin in all schools in Thailand — has laid a solid foundation for boosting exchanges between people in the two countries, Fu said.

The two nations joining hands to build a China-Thailand community with a shared future shows that the "civilizations of the two countries are developing toward a deeper integration", Fu added.

According to Fu, the long-standing cultural exchanges between the two are like the Lancang-Mekong River, which is always running forward and never stops.

Deputy Chairman of the Chinese Cultural Promotion Association Chen Gang said cultures are rich and diverse with different countries and regions having their own unique culture and ways of expression.

"People in the world should communicate with each other, learn from each other, and make progress. That's the charm of culture itself," Chen noted.

He said the essence of Chinese culture lies in its broadness and inclusiveness, which not only attracts foreign cultures but also lays a solid foundation for exchange and collaboration between different cultures.

"Now we are joining hands to enhance the mutual understanding and friendship between people from China and Thailand as well as the world at large," Chen said.

"We will carry forward the spirit of Chinese culture, continuing to make contributions to the common interests of humankind," he added.

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