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Chengdu media arrive in sister city of Chiang Mai

Updated: 2015-08-17 10:28
(China Daily)

A media group from Chengdu arrived in Chiang Mai, Thailand, on Sunday after first visiting Bangalore, India. The reporters interviewed officials at the Thai-Sichuan-Chongqing Chamber of Commerce branch in Chiang Mai, as well as from the Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce and Chiang Mai University.

Chengdu and Chiang Mai signed a sister-city agreement on March 30. Chengdu is an important part of the opening-up of west China and Chiang Mai is a regional center in the north of Thailand. The two cities are of important significance in the “Belt and Road Initiative” proposed by China to promote infrastructure construction and common development.

This year is the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Thailand, and the 10th anniversary of Thailand’s consulate general in Chengdu.

The provincial governor of Chiang Mai, Suriya Prasatbuntitya, said Chengdu is an economic and cultural center of the west of China and Chiang Mai and Chengdu have good exchanges and cooperation in culture and education. He said the transport connection between the two places is convenient, and the giant panda from Chengdu can become an ambassador for the two places to forge even closer relations.

Phuket and Chiang Mai are popular tourist destinations for Chengdu residents, who regard the two locales as their must-visit destinations.

Chiang Mai has picturesque landscapes, many places of historical interest and a pleasant climate. Chengdu was named one of three best tourist cities in China by the World Tourism Organization, and is famous for its spicy Sichuan food, unique culture and beautiful views. Last year, 47,600 tourists from Thailand visited Chengdu.

Since January, China Eastern Airlines has run three flights between Chengdu and Chiang Mai every week, and AirAsia is also negotiating with Chengdu to open direct flights between the cities.

Since Thailand upgraded its consular office in Chengdu to a consulate general in May 2006, Chengdu and Chiang Mai have made substantial achievements in their cooperation in education, culture, tourism and commerce, and in sister-city construction.

Educational ties

Chengdu has 53 higher education institutes, including the renowned Sichuan University, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China and Southwestern University of Finance and Economics.

Chengdu University has established friendly relations with more than 10 universities in Thailand, including the Prince of Songkla University, Mahidol University, Chulalongkorn University, Ramkhamhaeng University, Chiang Mai University and Suan Dusit Rajabhat University.

Chengdu University opened the first Thai language program in Sichuan in 2008, and has enrolled more than 500 students since then. The university also had the first Thai language and culture center in the province established in 2010 in cooperation with Chiang Mai University. The Thai government has built 10 such centers around the globe to promote the Thai culture and language.

Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand became an honorary professor of Thai language at Chengdu University in 2011. In 2013, the university set up a research center on Thailand.

In 2013, Chengdu University sent 99 students to Chiang Mai to teach the Chinese language for five months as interns. This is the first time universities in Sichuan have such a large-scale Chinese teaching program abroad.

In 2014, Chengdu University sent another 87 students to do one-year internships teaching Chinese-language. This year, the university will send about 100 students to Chiang Mai as it third batch of Chinese-language interns.

Chengdu has held a Youth Music Week for sister cities for seven consecutive years. Young artists from Chiang Mai have taken part in all such events and their dancing and musical performances have impressed the Chengdu audiences.

By December, Chengdu had 23 projects with investment from Thailand worth $66.96 million. Thai food restaurants are particularly popular in Chengdu. In 2013, commerce chambers from both sides signed a friendly cooperation agreement.

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