Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra arrived in Beijing Thursday for a three-day official visit to China, bringing an entourage that includes some 100 senior business executives in major industries.
During his stay in Beijing, Thaksin will hold talks with Premier Wen Jiabao, during which they are expected to sign several documents for bilateral cooperation, said sources with the Foreign Ministry.
Before he left Bangkok, Thaksin told the press that he hoped his talks with Chinese leaders would help improve the strategic partnership between the two countries and result in the formulation of concrete action plans to upgrade bilateral friendly relations to a higher level.
Economic and trade cooperation also topped Thaksin's agenda, according to the ministry sources.
Born to a well-off Chinese-Thai business family in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai, Thaksin said he would visit Meizhou City of Guangdong Province in south China, where his forefathers used to live during World War II.
"When Chinese people see a Thai leader and so many entrepreneurs come to China to pay homage to the place where their ancestors have ever lived, they will understand that Thais and Chinese are from one family, and they are relatives," said Thaksin in an interview with Xinhua prior to his China tour.
In this year's general elections in Thailand, Thaksin was reelected as prime minister with a crushing victory, and formed the first ever single-party government in Thai history. This is his third visit to China since he became prime minister in 2001.
(Xinhua News Agency July 1, 2005)