Chinese premier Wen Jiabao will hold a joint press conference with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra during his official visit to Thailand.
Wen: Originally turned down invite
Mr Wen agreed to the press conference after United States President Barack Obama staged one with Ms Yingluck on Sunday, a Foreign Ministry source said.
Thailand invited Mr Wen to take part in a press conference to show it regards China as being on par with the US, the source said.
Mr Wen had originally turned down the invite as he is nearing the end of his premiership and did not wish to make a commitment to Thailand.
He will step down in March when the ruling Communist Party of China reshuffles its government.
However, Thailand considers the outgoing Chinese premier still plays an important role and he reconsidered following Mr Obama's visit to Bangkok, the source said.
"Mr Wen has given us the honour of making Thailand the last country he will visit [in his premiership]," the source said.
Mr Wen will arrive in Bangkok this evening after attending the 7th East Asian Summit in Phnom Penh.
He will make a 24-hour visit to Thailand.
Economist Sompop Manarangsan said the Chinese leader's visit shows that China places importance on Thailand.
Mr Sompop said he believes China would like to increase its role in the Greater Mekong sub-region as the US is also turning its attentions to the area.
"Thailand can be at the centre of the world's superpower countries, so we have to make them feel that Thailand does not take sides with any camp," the academic said.
Mr Wen will arrive at Don Mueang airport today at 5pm.
He is scheduled to go to the Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce upon his arrival. He will stay overnight at the Shangri-La Hotel.
Tomorrow at 9am, Mr Wen and Ms Yingluck will jointly chair the inauguration ceremony of the Chinese Cultural Centre on Thiam Ruam Mit Road.
The Chinese premier will then arrive at Government House at 10am for an official reception ceremony before bilateral talks with Ms Yingluck.
Both leaders will witness the signing ceremony of several Thai-Chinese cooperation documents, including an education engagement and prisoner exchange ratification.
At 4pm, Mr Wen will pay a courtesy call on Privy Council president and statesman Gen Prem Tinsulanonda at Privy Council House on Saran Rom Road.
At 5pm, His Majesty the King will grant Mr Wen an audience at Siriraj Hospital.
One hour later, the Chinese premier is scheduled to depart Don Mueang airport and return to China.
About the author
- Writer: Thanida Tansubhapol