Re: “Thailand will pay a heavy price for over-reliance on China”, The Nation, Nov 7
Too late to change now. Once the water has been let out of the dam, you can’t get it back in.
Thailand is ALREADY paying a heavy price for its reliance on China. Or did you miss the tourist numbers and the associated pleading for more visitors?
“…But that backing does not come for free. While Beijing may initially offer grants for development, most BRI projects lever a heavy burden of debt on to the host country. China often sets interest on its loans at above the market rate offered by other development lenders such as the World Bank and IMF.
“Countries including Sri Lanka and Pakistan are already groaning under the load and have expressed worries over whether they can repay Beijing.
“Sri Lanka has even handed over a major port in lieu of money owed...”
Is there anyone out there who can say that they know what secret deals the junta has already made with China? Seriously, it isn’t like the junta is famed for its transparency, is it? How much of Thailand has already been handed over, in one form or another? It will take decades for Thailand to recover from this Junta; I hope it was worth it (hint; it wasn’t).
Sad, sad days for beloved Thailand.
It looks like Myanmar isn’t falling for this even though it urgently needs infrastructure projects. They stopped a giant hydro-dam project in Myitsone and radically scaled back Chinese plans for a deep sea port and economic zone in Kyaukpyu. This last will still permit the Chinese to import Middle Eastern oil through the Kunming pipeline.
Meanwhile Thailand wants a high-speed train network mostly paid for, constructed and run by the Chinese, which most Thais won’t be able to afford and has no provisions for freight traffic.
With most elite here in Thailand, their Chinese heritage naturally leans toward China ... with traditional suspicions of westerners... as is common in much of Southeast Asia.
Many Thai-Chinese are confident that China will achieve major power status globally within the next 20-50 years... and IMO, are happy that Thailand is leaning towards them.