Gen. Surasit Thanadtang, the director of the Thai-Chinese Strategic Research Center, National Research Council of Thailand, speaks during an interview by Xinhua in Thailand, April 17, 2019. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) offers new development methods to other countries as it was put forward by China based on China's experience of development in the past 40 years, Gen. Surasit Thanadtang told Xinhua. (Xinhua/Yang Zhou)
by Surasak Tumcharoen, Yang Zhou, Guo Xinhui
BANGKOK, April 20 (Xinhua) -- The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) offers new development methods to other countries as it was put forward by China based on China's experience of development in the past 40 years, a Thai expert told Xinhua recently.
Gen. Surasit Thanadtang, the director of the Thai-Chinese Strategic Research Center, National Research Council of Thailand, told Xinhua in an interview on Wednesday that the BRI, especially its five cooperation priorities, namely policy coordination, facilities connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration, and relationship of culture and people, points out a new, or alternative development method for countries participating in BRI cooperation.
"Since the 1900s, the world followed the Western method of development, modernization is defined by Western standards, while now the BRI, based on China's development experience, shows us another way," Surasit said.
The director of the research center described the BRI as a stage for countries participating in BRI cooperation to communicate and to exchange.
"I really like the BRI principle of extensive consultation, joint development and shared benefits, only by this principle can relevant parties reach a consensus and jointly develop any major project and benefit from it accordingly," he said, adding that the principle is very practical.
Surasit also described the BRI as a fruit of Eastern Civilization, which emphasizes "virtue" and conveys China's experience of dealing with poverty, social disparity and education to the other countries.
For Thailand's case, Surasit said the BRI is supprotive and compatible to the Sufficiency Economy initiated by the late His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej and 20-year National Strategy.
The BRI looks to promote new aspects of development in transport, economic, trade and investment areas for participating countries. Since Thailand has implemented the Sufficiency Economy, the Belt and Road Initiative has come along in support of it over the last five years, Gen. Surasit told Xinhua.
He added that BRI has also offered to support and share development projects toward regional connectivity and people-to-people connectivity which will be compatible with Thailand's 20-year National Strategy put forward by current Thai government.
Meanwhile, Gen. Surasit said the China-Thailand high-speed rail project will be beneficial to Thailand in terms of technology transfers as well as conveniences which it will provide to travelers and the enhancement in transport and logistic sector of this country.
He said he has expected BRI projects to be sustainable and beneficial to Thailand and the world and that's why his research center has joined hands with Renmin University of China in setting up the Thailand-China Research Center of the Belt and Road Initiative in Thailand late last year.
People-to-people exchanges are crucial, and we should have more exchanges between the youth, he noted, adding he also appreciates the concept of community of shared future for mankind put forward by China.
Surasit, who is going to attend the 2nd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation to be held in Beijing later this month, said he expected the BRI to inspire people around the world to work together to make our world a better place.