BANGKOK, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- As the major economic powerhouse in Asia, China's optimized COVID-19 strategy would foster its cooperation and exchanges with Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries, creating fresh economic opportunities in the region, said Pinij Jarusombat, Thailand's former deputy prime minister.
"As a Thai, I am very happy to hear the news," said Pinij when commenting on China's optimization of the COVID-19 response and the resumption of cross-border travel.
"Many of us have waited for so long to visit our friends in China and looking forward to taking the China-Laos Railway all the way to China," he told Xinhua in a recent interview.
"The Thai government and business sectors are getting ready to welcome Chinese tourists. It is also more convenient now for investors from both countries to communicate. Many Thai companies are eager to meet their Chinese counterparts to promote cooperation," he said.
Commenting on China's COVID-19 response since the beginning of the pandemic, Pinij said that given its vast territory and large population, China's decisive and swift approach has contained the outbreak, limiting COVID-19's impact on China to the greatest extent.
"The Chinese government has put the people's interests first -- nothing being more precious than people's lives, and has tried its best to take care of the Chinese people," he said.
He also noted that China has significantly contributed to the global effort against the pandemic by carrying forward the international humanitarian spirit.
"Since the very beginning of the pandemic, China has been helping other countries by providing vaccines, medical equipment and even Chinese traditional therapy. Thailand is one of the beneficiaries," he said.
As China is one of major economies in the Asia-Pacific and the world, China's optimized COVID-19 strategy would facilitate the recovery of the global economy, he noted.
Pinij, who is also the chairman of the Thai-Chinese Cultural and Relationship Council, has been playing an active role in promoting economic ties between Thailand and China. He is looking forward to greater cooperation between the two countries.