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Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva begins a two-day visit to China on Saturday. He will spend the weekend in Shanghai, where he will attend his country's National Pavilion Day at the World Expo.
He's also expected to announce Thailand's candidacy to host the event in 2020. But there will be other important issues on his agenda, too, as Tony Cheng reports from Bangkok.
The Prime Minister of Thailand meeting Chinese journalists ahead of his trip this weekend. And Mr. Abhisit was keen to express his desire to visit the Thai Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo.
But there are other issues that may well dominate behind the scenes. Plans for a multi-billion dollar high speed rail link between China and Singapore have been gathering pace. Half of the proposed route would go through Thailand, and it is anticipated Mr. Abhisit will sign a provisional agreement during this trip.
But Mr Abhisit's relations with China have not always been as smooth as his predecessors, and some say his western background is a hindrance rather than a help.
Professor Sompop Manarungsan, Panyapiwat Institute of Technology, said, "Mr. Abhsit is more acquainted to the western system. He was brought up in a western country, in England as you know, so in the oriental ways there is some misunderstanding, some gap."
And this is his other problem. After the scenes of riots and fighting on the streets of Bangkok that flashed across the world, Mr. Abhisit is trying to persuade tourists that Thailand is once again safe. But 5 bombings in the capital in the past month, are making that hard.
"A two-day visit is probably too short to make much of a difference, but Mr. Abhisit will be working hard to improve his relationship with China, as Thailand looks increasingly to the East, not the West. Tony Cheng, CCTV, Bangkok."