What were major factors influencing Thai foreign policy towards neighbouring countries during the Cold War? Was the anti-communist ideology a catalyst in the country’s foreign policy formation? How independent was Thai foreign policy during the Cold War?
In the spring of 2000 in Bangkok, when Thailand was the Asean chair, Thai foreign minister Dr Surin Pitsuwan said in private to the author that North Korea must be brought into the Asean circle, especially the Asean Regional Forum (ARF), the only region-side security platform, so that Pyongyang’s voice could be heard.
Twenty years after the financial collapse of the Thai economy following the government’s decision to float the baht due to lack of foreign currency to support its currency peg to the US, Museum Siam looks back at the past through the exhibition “Tom Yum Kung Studies: Lessons (Un)Learned” which continues until July 2.
Thailand will soon announce officially the purchase of three Yuan Class S26T Chinese-made submarines worth Bt13.5 billion each after a year of negotiations and study. The procurement of such a mammoth amount of military hardware has both symbolic and strategic significance.
The capital with the world’s longest name is gradually transforming into Geneva of Asia. Is it for real? It is an inspiration of the current military government that the City of Angel will soon become the city of international organizations and conventions filling with civil servants, campaigners and advocators.
On February 14 when Admiral Harry B. Harris of US Pacific Command launches the 36th Cobra Gold joint exercise at Uta-pao airbase, it would send a strong signal to the international community that the US remains engaged strategically in the region as before, especially with its long standing friend and ally of nearly 200 years.
As one of the founding countries of Asean five decades ago, Thailand has a responsibility to ensure that the group is running well and moving towards full implementation of the Asean Community (AC), which is now entering its second year.
At a briefing in Yangon last Monday, Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi expressed appreciation for Thailand’s efforts and understanding of the situation in Rakhine State. She also thanked her eastern neighbour for its ongoing assistance there.
Speculation has been wild and crazy about the incoming US administration’s policy and overall take-it-or-leave-it attitude towards Asean. The reason is quite simple. Asean has been one of the most successful foreign policy areas under outgoing President Barack Obama, thanks to the solid foundation laid by the second George W Bush administration.
The incoming administration under president-elect Donald Trump will provide a rare opportunity for Thailand to open a fresh dialogue with the US. Both sides need it to generate new and realistic narratives about their time-tested relations, which have persisted since 1832.
To understand how seriously Japan guards its territorial waters, one has to visit Okinawa, the centre of the US security network. Japanese and American officials at their separate airbases are on alert around the clock. They have made clear their cooperation under the Japan-US defence treaty, which is the security backbone for the island nation and the Asia-Pacific.