BANGKOK, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Thursday attended a Chinese New Year celebration in Ratchaburi province and expressed his warm welcome to Chinese tourists.
In his opening speech, Prayut said that Thai-Chinese friendship goes back centuries and the Thai people have a tradition of celebrating the Chinese New Year. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations, Thailand and China have deepened cooperation in various fields for the benefit of both peoples.
China has recently optimized its COVID-19 policy, and the Thai people are ready and eager to see the return of Chinese tourists, he added.
He also sent a new year's greeting in Chinese at the end of his speech, wishing everyone prosperity and luck.
Yang Xin, charge d'affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Thailand, attended the event and presented Prayut with the "red envelope"- and "fortune bag"-styled mascots specially designed for this year's Spring Festival.
Features with various performances, from dragon and lion dances, Chinese instrumental music and Teochew opera, to painting, tea- and pastry-making, transformed the venue into a vibrant scenery and attracted masses of visitors.
The celebration in Ratchaburi will last until Jan. 23. This year, many places in Thailand, including Bangkok and Phuket, have scheduled to hold "Happy Chinese New Year" celebrations with rich content and unique features.