Home to nearly 10 million overseas Chinese, Thailand is one of the major gathering places for overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia. On the noon of 12 October local time, Premier Li Keqiang of the State Council attended the welcome banquet held by all sectors of overseas Chinese in Thailand at the Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Bangkok and delivered a speech.
The drums were sonorous, and the music was cheerful. When Li Keqiang arrived, local Chinese performed the lion dance with strong Chinese tradition, and officials of overseas Chinese in Thailand from all walks of life, warmly welcomed Li Keqiang, who cordially shook hands and took group pictures with them.
When Li Keqiang stepped into the hall, representatives of overseas Chinese present gave him a standing ovation, and the familiar and touching music “Ode to the Motherland” sounded at the meeting place.
At the beginning of the banquet, all participants stood up, and the National Anthem of the People’s Republic of China and Thailand National Anthem were played. The executive of the Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce made an impassionate speech, warmly welcoming Li Keqiang, on behalf of all sectors of overseas Chinese in Thailand, lauding that Li Keqiang’s visit composed a beautiful chapter in Thailand-China friendship, and saying that overseas Chinese are proud of China’s development.
Amid warm applause, Li Keqiang delivered a speech. On behalf of the Chinese government, he first extended sincere greetings and best wishes to the overseas Chinese in Thailand. He said that he felt the warmth of China-Thailand friendship, and the strong local accent and sentiment, when he set foot on the land of Thailand. Today we are relatives who meet each other and visit each other, and I feel especially happy and warm.
Li Keqiang said that over the years, the overseas Chinese have inherited traditional Chinese culture, worked hard in unity, helped each other, and are the one who dares to win. They have lived in harmony with the local people, made their splendid undertakings today, become an important part of the Thai economy, and some of them have become leaders of their respective industries. Li Keqiang said that he hoped their undertakings continue to thrive, and become the king of kings, which is good to not only the development of Thailand, but also to China-Thailand mutual benefits and win-win results.
Li Keqiang pointed out that China-Thailand friendship is further cemented and has broad prospects for cooperation. During my visit, the two governments reached a series of cooperation agreements, which will further consolidate the basis of China-Thailand friendship, and will also bring more room for cooperation between enterprises from both countries, and more business opportunities for Chinese merchants in Thailand.
Li Keqiang said affectionately that Thailand is now home to everyone, and China is always the root of everyone. We hope that everyone loves both their current home and the land where their ancestors lived, and does their bit and offers help for friendly cooperation between China and Thailand.
The Prime Minister’s speech caused strong resonance from the overseas Chinese present, and warm applause sounded from time to time at the meeting place. Overseas Chinese prepared for and performed shows on their own, such as Brotherhood of China-Thailand, Long Live the Motherland, and Only Folk Songs to Worship Relatives. More than 1,300 representatives of various Thai Chinese communities attended the meeting.