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Chinese Government's Joint Working Group Worked on Thai Side to Speed up Addressing Capsizing Incident in Phuket

On the afternoon of July 11, Mr. Chen Xiongfeng, head of the Chinese government’s joint working group and Deputy Director-General of the Department of Consular Affairs of the Chinese Foreign Ministry made an urgent appointment with Governor Norraphat Plodthong of Phuket, and continued to work on the Thai side in terms of incident investigation and disposal of follow-up matters. The Thai side was asked to pay heed to the Chinese families’ concerns about the development of the investigation, and give responses and release the information in a timely fashion. Deputy Director-General Chen Xiongfeng asked the Thai side to continue with their search for the victims and make proper arrangements for follow-up matters. In particular, the Thai side should take into full account the sorrow and the difficulties faced by the families of the Chinese victims, and try the best to address the families’ concerns and meet their expectations in the respect of oensions and compensation, so that they can truly feel the goodwill and sincerity of the Thai side.

The Governor of Phuket said that the Thai side attaches great importance to the disposal of the incident and fully understands the feelings of the wounded and the families of the victims. Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha also said that the Thai side should treat the injured and the families of the victims like family, and provide all assistance and convenience in dealing with the incident. At present, the Thai side is trying their best to expand the search area in a bid to find all the bodies of the victims. Thailand will also speed up with the identification of the bodies, and work out a practical scheme of pensions as soon as possible. The Governor also promised to report to his superiors about China’s concerns.

On the evening of July 10 and on the morning of July 11, Deputy Director-General Chen Xiongfeng and Consul-General Zhou Haicheng of the Chinese Consulate General in Songkhla attended the chanting and blessing ceremonies held by Governor Norraphat on behalf of the government of Thailand for the Chinese victims. Consul-General Li Chunlin of the Chinese Embassy in Thailand, and Deputy Consul-General Jin Yilin of the Chinese Consulate General in Songkhla also attended the ceremonies. The Governor of Phuket said that the Thai side would arrange for the highest Buddhist rituals for all the Chinese victims, so that the departed could rest in peace and their families could be relieved.

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