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China-Thailand cooperation under ‘B&R’ initiative

Author  :  ZHENG CHENGHONG and ZHANG JUNRONG     Source  :    Chinese Social Sciences Today     2018-07-06

From June 22 to 23, the first CASSNRCT Joint Think-Tank Forum hosted by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) and the National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT) was held in Beijing. The theme is “China-Thailand Social Development and Social Policy in the New Era–Cooperation between China and Thailand under the ‘Belt and Road’ (B&R) initiative”.

CASS vice president Gao Peiyong said that China and Thailand have a friendship that has withstood the test of time. Over the years, the number of exchanges have grown steadily in trade, technology, education, culture, health, justice and military affairs. China is Thailand’s largest trading partner and Thailand is China’s third-largest trading partner of the ASEAN countries. The “B&R” initiative has provided a new opportunity for the two countries’ development.

General Surasit Thanadtang, director of the Thai-Chinese Strategic Research Center under the NRCT, said that the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1975 opened up a new era of friendly relations between the two countries. Our high-level exchanges are frequent and people-topeople bonds are deep.

Despite changes in the domestic and international situation, bilateral relations have maintained momentum and delivered tangible benefits to the peoples of both countries, Thanadtang said. In particular, he emphasized that since NRCT and CASS established a cooperation mechanism in social sciences research, scholars from both sides have become increasingly close with strengthened academic relations. This forum is a milestone in the NRCT-CASS cooperation.

Zhang Yi, director of the National Institute of Social Development under CASS, said that the changes in China’s social structure since reform and opening up can be summarized through three dimensions: population, social strata, and urban-rural structures. In the past 40 years, due to family-planning policies and socioeconomic development, China’s birth rates have declined, and the population is aging. This transition took only around two decades. Based on such change, China’s population policy has been modified accordingly.

Editor: Yu Hui

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