Visiting Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra planted pine trees in Beijing on Thursday to represent the friendship between China and Thailand, and continue the sound relations between the two countries.
Yingluck and Li Haifeng, director general of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council, planted the trees in the Forest for Friendship between China and Thailand. Yingluck was accompanied by her husband and son, who helped plant one of the trees.
Yingluck prayed in front the trees and said she hoped that "the friendship between Thailand and China can last for a long time".
The pine forest, a symbol for friendship, was first planted by Thai Princess Sirindhorn in 2001, when she visited the Reignwood Pine Valley in Changping district in Beijing, a resort run by a Thai-Chinese entrepreneur.
Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra - Yingluck's elder brother - and other Thai officials have also planted trees in the forest.
Yingluck took pictures of the pines planted by Prince Sirindhorn and her brother Thaksin.
"The activity showed Yingluck's special charisma and affinity as a female nation chief," said Zhang Xuegang, an expert on Thai studies with the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.
The pine trees are a symbol of Yingluck's goodwill toward Sino-Thai relations, Zhang added.
After planting the trees, the prime minister rode a high-speed train to Tianjin on the Beijing-Tianjin Intercity Railway. Yingluck on Tuesday signed a cooperation agreement with China during a meeting with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao that included rail construction, and met with business representatives from Chinese railway construction companies.
According to Thai Tourism Minister of Commerce Boonsong Teriyapirom, China Railway Group has expressed interest in the Bangkok-Chiang Mai high-speed rail project, one of the four major high-speed rail projects on the Thai government's agenda.
Zhang Gaoli, Party chief of the Tianjin Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China, held talks with Yingluck and called for more cooperation between Tianjin and Thailand.
"Tianjin has great potential for development," Yingluck was quoted as saying when meeting with the secretary.
Thailand will further promote pragmatic cooperation with the port city and push the ties between the two countries to a higher level, she added.
The prime minister also visited the Tianjin Planning Exhibition Hall, before leaving for Japan.