BANGKOK, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) -- China has a big say in how the Asia-Pacific region moves forward and can lead certainly by making an example to the rest of the region, especially in terms of sustainable development, a Thai official has said.
China takes the lead in, for instance, the electric vehicle market in this region, a strong statement of being serious about reducing carbon dioxide, Cherdchai Chaivaivid, director-general of the Department of International Economic Affairs of the Foreign Ministry of Thailand, told Xinhua in an interview.
It is something that Thailand is very excited about working closely with China in the coming years, said Cherdchai.
The 29th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting will soon be held in the Thai capital of Bangkok with the theme of "Open, Connect and Balance" and a focus on the economic recovery in the region and beyond.
It is a theme about a new kind of economic integration that is sustainable and inclusive and supports the recovery and growth of the Asia Pacific, Cherdchai said.
Years of participation in APEC-related meetings have given Cherdchai a deep understanding of China's prominent role in the cooperation mechanism. In his view, China, with the size of its economy, plays a pivotal role in the economic growth of the Asia-Pacific region and furthering regional economic integration.
Calling APEC China 2014 a good turning point, he said APEC has started to talk more about the green economy and the circular economy ever since then, while Thailand, as this year's host, has also set the bio-circular-green economy as one of its priorities.
The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted economies to realize that going for trade and profit maximization might not be the sole answer to developing the region, he said, noting the significance of making more balance between humans and nature, and between businesses and the environment.
Cherdchai believes that with the long-standing relationship between China and Thailand, there is a lot of space for both countries to work together.
The work that the two countries have done in sub-region cooperation, such as the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation, the Greater Mekong Subregion Economic Cooperation Program, and APEC, is a testimony to not just the close cooperation between the two countries, but also the impact of how a good relationship between China and Thailand can make a difference in this part of the region, he said.
He said a jump forward has been made in terms of regional connectivity with the progress achieved in linking the rail system between Laos and southern China.
"On Thailand's part, we are working towards making sure that there will be no missing links between China and the southern part of the Mekong sub-region, which is southern Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore," said Cherdchai.
He said he looks forward to the close work between China, Thailand, and other economies around the region to ensure businesses will be more responsible, greener, and more inclusive to generate wealth, prosperity, and development for local communities as well.