CGTN: More stable, prosperous and sustainable: China, Thailand chart new directions of bilateral relations

BEIJING, Nov. 20, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — “China and Thailand are as close as one family,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said when meeting with Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Saturday in Bangkok, Thailand.

On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the China-Thailand Comprehensive Strategic Cooperative Partnership, Xi said the traditional friendship between the two countries has continued to flourish, their comprehensive strategic cooperation has deepened and bilateral relations have entered a new stage of development.

Standing at a new historical starting point, China is willing to add new meaning to the friendship, open up a new era of bilateral ties and bring more benefits to their people, Xi said.

A more stable, prosperous and sustainable China-Thailand community with a shared future, will chart the future directions of the relations, Xi said, as the two countries prepare for the 50th anniversary of the establishment of China-Thailand diplomatic relations in 2025.

More stable

Enhancing political mutual trust and support helps to build a more stable China-Thailand community with a shared future.

On major issues of principle concerning national sovereignty, unification and territorial integrity, the two countries reaffirmed commitment to further enhancing mutual trust, understanding and support, according to a joint statement issued on Saturday.

The Chinese side respects the national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Thailand. The Thai side firmly upholds the One China Policy, and recognizes Taiwan as an inalienable part of China and the Government of the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal government representing the whole of China, and supports China’s “One Country, Two Systems” principle.

Sharing broad common interests in many aspects in maintaining regional and global peace and stability, China and Thailand will explore cooperation under the framework of the Global Security Initiative and maintain close communication and coordination in addressing the impacts of traditional and non-traditional security challenges such as terrorism, climate change, and cyber-security, the statement said.

More prosperous

When meeting with Prayut, Xi said the two sides need to seek greater synergy between their development strategies and jointly advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation to deliver new results.

The two sides need to strengthen cooperation in traditional fields such as investment, trade, tourism, infrastructure and industrial parks, and at the same time cultivate new growth areas and drive progress in new fields of cooperation such as digital economy, new energy vehicles and technological innovation, Xi noted.

“We need to speed up China-Thailand-Laos tripartite railway cooperation, advance the China-Thailand-Laos Connectivity Development Corridor Outlook, strengthen the physical connectivity of infrastructure as a key focus,” Xi said, adding that the two countries should enhance institutional connectivity in logistics and customs clearance and expand the export of high-quality Thai agricultural and sideline products to China.

China is ready to work together with Thailand and other parties to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) for its high-quality implementation, so that the world’s largest free trade area arrangement will unleash even more benefits, Xi said.

More sustainable

Enriching the people-to-people and cultural aspect of the China-Thailand community with a shared future is what makes the bilateral relations more sustainable.

“We need to strengthen cooperation in education, health care, poverty alleviation and other areas concerning people’s livelihood, share experience in poverty alleviation and development through various ways, deepen and substantiate poverty alleviation cooperation between the two countries, and do more practical things for the welfare of the people and their communities,” said Xi.

Xi said the two countries should also strengthen youth exchanges, bring the two peoples’ hearts even closer, and further boost their affinity.

Recognizing the importance of expanding cooperation in areas which are supportive to future development, such as digital economy, clean energy, and supply chain security, both sides agreed they will expand investment in high-tech industries such as green economy and artificial intelligence to achieve high-quality development.

The Thai side looked forward to welcoming tourists from China upon relaxation of travel measures in China and expressed appreciation to the Chinese side for authorizing the gradual return of Thai students to China to continue their study, said the statement.

Both sides will cooperate on the revitalization of high-quality tourism and enhance cooperation in the fields of education, culture, media and information and between sister cities in accordance with the principles of equality, mutual benefit and sustainability, said the statement.

CGTN: Peng Liyuan: Music connects people of China and Thailand, deepens friendship

BEIJING, Nov. 20, 2022 Chinese and Thai people, though speaking different languages, can communicate with each other through music, as music knows no borders, said Peng Liyuan, wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Peng made the remarks during a visit to Princess Galyani Vadhana Institute of Music in Thailand on Saturday morning, accompanied by Naraporn Chan-o-cha, wife of Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

Upon her arrival, Peng was warmly welcomed by Naraporn, Thailand’s Minister of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation Anek Laothamatas, Chairman of Princess Galyani Vadhana Institute of Music Board of Council Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn, and President of the institute Choowit Yurayong, among others.

Thanks to the efforts of Peng and Naraporn, the music institute signed an academic memorandum of understanding with China’s Nanjing University of the Arts in March 2019. Since then, the two schools have been deepening cooperation through personnel exchanges, joint research and training in the field of music.

Peng and Naraporn visited the showroom of the institute, listened carefully to its development history and international cooperation, and showed appreciation for the establishment and development of the institute’s cooperation with Nanjing University of the Arts.

They took photos together and watched a music performance jointly given by Chinese and Thai students from the two schools online and offline.

Peng applauded the lovely show by the students, who performed the classic songs of the two countries.

She said through the performance, she felt the deep friendship between the two countries, which is “as close as one family.”

Peng spoke highly of Princess Galyani’s initiative of establishing this arts institute to cultivate high-level professional music talents in Thailand, and lauded Naraporn’s efforts to promote the cooperation between the institute and Chinese colleges and universities.

Upon departure, Peng presented Chinese Guzheng (plucked zithers) and books and audio-visual products about Chinese culture and music as gifts to Princess Galyani Vadhana Institute of Music. She also expressed hope that more youngsters in Thailand would learn about Chinese musical instruments and promote the cultural exchanges between the two countries.

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Duk: Two abductees found dead

A woman and a boy abducted during last Thursday’s road ambush by gunmen in Duk County in Jonglei state have been found dead, a local official said.

John Chatim Ruei, the commissioner of Duk County, told Radio Tamazuj that the dead bodies and another unconscious boy were found on Saturday by local youth dispatched to Thursday’s crime scene.

“The bodies of a woman and a boy aged 12 were found with stab wounds, and another boy aged 13 was found unconscious with the two bodies,” Chatim said. “The three are among 10 children and two women abducted while coming to Duk Padiet from Uror County.”

The county commissioner pointed out that local youth were still pursuing the abductors in a bid to recover the rest of the abductees.

Source: Radio Tamazuj

Eastern Sudan issue stalls Trilateral Mechanism dialogue

Talks being facilitated by the AU-IGAD-UNITAMS Trilateral Mechanism between the Forces for Freedom and Change-Central Council (FFC-CC) alliance and the ruling military are being pushed towards a settlement despite disagreement over the Mechanism’s involvement in eastern Sudan issues.

The Trilateral Mechanism said that it is seeking a settlement “acceptable to a sufficient number of Sudanese,” and not the absolute majority, to guarantee its sustainability.

On Thursday, at the end of his visit to Kassala in eastern Sudan, African Union (AU) Ambassador and spokesperson for the Trilateral Mechanism, Mohamed?Belaiche, called on the Sudanese to accept the current settlement. “The main guarantor will be the Sudanese themselves,” he said, explaining that the role of the Trilateral Mechanism in negotiations is only to support and facilitate.

During Bechele’s visit to Kassala, accompanied by a Mechanism delegation, they dealt with the current political process and the road map to address the issues of eastern Sudan. The delegation listened to the demands of various civil society and governmental bodies in Kassala related to development, power and wealth sharing, and the current negotiations between the military junta and the FFC-CC.

Eastern Sudan

The negotiations include a review of the Juba Peace Agreement, including its Eastern Sudan Track Protocol, widely contested in the region itself. The High Council of Beja Nazirs and Independent Chieftains, chaired by Nazir Sayed Tirik, have previously demanded the cancellation of the Eastern Sudan Track, as agreed on in the 2020 Juba Peace Agreement and the formation of a ‘government of technocrats’ as stipulated in the Constitutional Document.

Following Beleche’s visit, Tirik condemned the proposal for the Trilateral Mechanism to participate in the dialogue over a new settlement in order “to solve the eastern Sudan crisis,” in a press statement on Friday.

He explained that they have already rejected any bilateral agreement or creation of a single document out of the dialogue, suggesting merging the initiatives presented in the region.

Political activist Hamrour Hussein welcomed the Mechanism’s visit to Kassala. He told Radio Dabanga that the visit aims to ensure that eastern Sudan issues do not impede the transition to civilian rule in Sudan.

He explained that the conflicts in eastern Sudan between the various tribes and political components continue to hamper political transformation in the region and have led to the current stalemate. He said that affiliates of the defunct regime are still in control in Kassala.

Beja Nazirs

The Beja nazirs, headed by Tirik, have?opposed the Eastern Sudan Track?since it was first agreed upon during the peace negotiations between the Sudanese government and the Sudan Revolutionary Front rebel alliance in the South Sudan capital of Juba in February 2020. The track was negotiated by the Beja Congress in Opposition and the United Popular Front for Liberation and Justice. The Beja Nazirs Council was not involved in the talks.

The Beja leaders’ council reacted at the time by calling for an inclusive eastern Sudan conference to decide on the future of the region. Members of the council organised two large protest events last year, in?Sinkat in Red Sea state?and in?Telkok in Kassala, where they threatened they would?demand the right to self-determination?for eastern Sudan if the government would not comply with their demands.

In September, the? Beja Nazirs Council?announced larger protest actions?to put more pressure on the Sudanese government?to cancel the Eastern Sudan Track protocol.

In a visit of a?high-level government delegation?from Khartoum, chaired by Sovereignty Council member Lt Gen Shamseldin Kabashi, at the end of that month, it was agreed to continue negotiations soon. The delegation proposed to hold “a comprehensive conference on eastern Sudan, the results of which would be binding for the government and the rest of the parties”. In response, the blockades of the pipelines and one port were lifted. The other ports, the railways, and the main roads remained blocked.

Source: Radio Dabanga

Ethiopian PM, Sudanese senior official discuss bilateral relations

Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, on Monday discussed bilateral relations with Ibrahim Gabir a member of Sudan’s military-led Transitional Sovereign Council who is touring the IGAD countries.

According to the Office of the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed and the visiting Sudanese delegation led by General Gabir discussed bilateral and issues of mutual concern.

The meeting comes one day after Sudanese and Ethiopian spy agencies signed an agreement to increase intelligence sharing on counter-terrorism and crime between the two countries.

Director of the National Intelligence and Security Services of Ethiopia (NISS) Temesgen Tiruneh Dinku on Sunday concluded a two-day visit to Khartoum where he held talks with his Sudanese counterpart Ahmed Ibrahim Mufadal Director of General Intelligence Service (GIS).

Sudan’s deputy military leader, Lt. Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (Hameti) also met the Ethiopian official on Sunday. The director of Ethiopian intelligence briefed General Daglo on the latest developments in his country following a peace agreement signed between the federal government and Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) aimed to end the two-year conflict.

Gabir further briefed Ahmed about a road map prepared by Sudan, the Chairman of IGAD, to activate the role of the east African bloc in the areas of security, economic integration, and expanding the cooperation with non-traditional partners, read, a statement released by the Sovereign Council in Khartoum.

Also, the Sudanese senior official informed the Ethiopian prime minister of the talks with the Forces for Freedom and Change to restore a civilian government.

In recent years, relations between Sudan and Ethiopia soured over an ongoing border dispute, as well as a fallout from the Horn country’s controversial mega-dam project.

Relations between the two neighbours were further strained in December 2020, one month after the outbreak of conflict in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region after Sudan deployed its forces along the disputed border with Ethiopia and took full control of the contested Al-Fashaqa area.

The land dispute stemming from Sudan taking control of up to 60 kilometres of land deep inside Ethiopia, has been worsening as Sudan alleges that the area was previously annexed by its neighbour.

Currently, both countries are trying to reestablish a cosy relationship amid existing disputes.

Leaders of the two countries have recently met on several occasions and discussed on a range of bilateral and regional issues of common concern.

Last October, the Sudanese Head of State and Chairman of the Transitional Sovereignty Council, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan paid a visit to the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa where he held talks with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Abiy and al-Burhan held the discussions on the sidelines of the Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa, which is took place in Bahir Dar city of the Amhara region.

Last week, the two leaders met on the sidelines of the UN climate change summit in Egypt last week and at an IGAD meeting held in Kenya on July 5, 2022.

In a speech to the House of People’s Representatives last week, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed cleared Sudan from involvement in the war in northern Ethiopia.

Abiy said that Sudan had no role in the Tigray conflict which resumed on 24 August that ended a six-months truce committed by both warring parties.

Previously, Addis Ababa has been accusing Khartoum of sheltering and aiding Tigray fighters, an allegation the latter denies.

Source: Sudan Tribune

Opposition parties criticise upcoming FFC agreement with Sudan junta

An upcoming framework agreement between the Forces for Freedom and Change-Central Council (FFC-CC) alliance and the military junta has been rejected by several political groups in the country, from pro-democracy grassroots movements and political opposition parties to members of the Sovereignty Council.

Statements rolled in over the weekend following an announcement on Friday by the FFC-CC* that the agreement with the military will probably be signed soon after it had incorporated several suggestions by the military.

Resistance committees in Khartoum said in a statement on Sunday that any agreement that the FFC-CC makes with those responsible for the coup d’état on October 25 last year means that there will be no retributive justice done for the many victims of the military rulers.

The statement described the agreement as “a prevarication in order to remain in power and continue impunity. It is a lost hope on fair trials,” said the statement, explaining that it is “a full-fledged political settlement that reproduces the partnership with the military and the parties that were ousted after the fall of Al Bashir.”

The lack of importance given to justice and peace, removal of remnants of the former regime of Al Bashir, and security and military reform in the agreement was categorically rejected by the Khartoum resistance committees.

El Fateh Hussein, member of the Khartoum Southern Belt resistance committees, told Radio Dabanga last week that they consider negotiations with the junta “a violation of the demands of the street to achieve justice and retribution for the blood of the martyrs.”

He announced that they plan to escalate their street protests in December. “We will continue to escalate until the coup is overthrown and justice is achieved for the martyrs.” He declared their adherence to the Three No’s: “No Negotiation, No Partnership, No Bargaining.”

The mainstream Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party also rejected “any political settlement with the putschists led by Abdelfattah El Burhan.”

In a statement on Saturday, the party said: “There is no place for coup plotters or the armed forces in any transitional arrangement. What applied to the putschists of June 30, 1989, applies to them as well. Coup leaders can never be trusted.”

The party claimed that “local and external forces” have pushed for a quick political settlement, warning that the military will use the agreement to “split revolutionary forces and confuse people.” The statement called for unity in the FFC.

Peace agreement

Malik Agar, member of Sudan’s Sovereignty Council and head of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N Agar) in the Blue Nile region that signed the Juba Peace Agreement (JPA) with the government in October 2020, described the upcoming framework agreement as “a waning opportunity which will further complicate the political scene.”

Rejecting the framework agreement that FFC-CC intends to sign with the military in a post on his Facebook page, Agar stated that “any settlement which does not include the JPA will be rejected and resisted.”

The current framework agreement, which includes a review of the JPA, implies that the peace agreement will be cancelled, according to Agar.

Agar also said that the current settlement challenges Sudan’s pluralism. “It suggests that the state is owned by a certain group that distributes citizenship shares to the rest of the Sudanese. This is unacceptable.”

In a symposium in Teiba Press Hall in Khartoum on Saturday, Yasir Arman, former SPLM-N Agar leader and new member of the FFC-CC, said that the JPA needs to be reviewed in order to “accommodate new developments in the framework agreement.”

Arman stressed the necessity of renewing the JPA to gain broad support while preserving all gains for Darfur and the Two Areas (South Kordofan and Blue Nile region), and noted the need to seek “a unified agenda for eastern Sudan.”

“International parties will hold meetings on Friday, with the participation of the FFC, several rebel movements and transitional forces represented by the mainstream DUP, and the [Islamic] Popular Congress Party and Ansar El Sunna,” according to Arman.

Power sharing

Arman also said that power structures will be formed after the final agreement has been signed.

The framework agreement will lay the foundation for the formation of a civilian government, he explained. “Choosing the prime minister is within the prerogative of the forces of the revolution, provided that they participate in consultations over cabinet formation,” he said.

He said the issues of justice and peace, military and security reform, and the removal of remnants of the Al Bashir regime will be discussed with the forces of the revolution and the transitional forces and included in the final agreement.

FFC-CC member Jaafar Hasan confirmed that issues of justice and peace, military and security reform, and removal of remnants of the former regime are being postponed because they need more scrutiny. He further said that the debate on the issue of a single head of state or a new sovereignty council has not yet been resolved.

A conference on justice and transitional justice will be held soon, he claimed.?As for the issue of military reform, he warned that “those who talk about the dissolution of the Rapid Support Forces do not know the consequences of the matter,” indicating that the matter needs a vision and schedules according to a comprehensive process of security and military reform.?

At the start of November, Minister of Finance and JEM leader Jibril Ibrahim stressed the importance of forming a civilian government in Sudan as soon as possible to end “the vacuum that the country has experienced during a whole year since the military coup on October 25, 2021.”

Recently, Sudan has witnessed multiple demonstrations against military rule. Protesters also explicitly reject any political settlement with the junta.

Source: Radio Dabanga