Bangkok stands by mainland's Taiwan policy

Beijing and Bangkok yesterday signed a blueprint for relations in the next 100 years, promising to work together to promote peace and economic development under the principle of 'one China'.

Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan signed the Plan of Action for the 21st century with his Thai counterpart, Surin Pitsuwan, during a three-day visit to Thailand.

Under the agreement, Thailand, which established diplomatic links with Beijing in 1975, endorsed the 'one China' policy which states that Taiwan was an integral part of Chinese territory, Xinhua reported.

'The good co-operation between the two sides not only serves the fundamental interests of Thailand and China, but also contributes to peace and development in Asia and the rest of the world,' the accord says.

It provides for closer co-operation to eliminate trade barriers between judicial systems, on military and security issues as well as other areas.

The two sides will maintain close contact and exchanges between their leaders and encourage frequent visits and exchanges at all levels.

The two sides had also decided to maintain the mechanism of annual consultations between senior officials of their foreign ministries, through which they would exchange views on political issues of bilateral and multilateral concern, Xinhua said.

'The two sides recognise the need to closely co-ordinate with each other in respect to macro-economic policy, especially the area of finance, through close consultations and technical co-operation,' the document says.

The plan also places on record mutual satisfaction over Thailand's role in enhancing links between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and China.

Mr Tang's visit is aimed at preparing the way for an exchange of visits between President Jiang Zemin and Thai Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai later this year.