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Will Thailands Elections Change The Thai-Chinese Relationship?3 min read

According to Chang Xiang a researcher at the Thai-Chinese Strategic Research Center at the National Research Council of Thailand, China’s investment in Thailand will not be affected much by the result of the general election.

This is because the Thai constitution protects the Twenty-Year National Strategy. The National Economic and Social Development Plan and government policies formulated by the Thai government must conform to the framework of the Twenty-Year National Strategy, which clearly supports the Thai 4.0 Strategy and the construction of the Eastern Economic corridor, a plan that Thailand has striven to connect with the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.

In addition, promoting stable economic development has become the consensus of the Thai society.

Thailand has experienced a long period of political turmoil since 2006

The political movement launched by the People’s Democratic Reform Commission in 2014 seriously impacted the Thai economy. Therefore, the country hopes that the primary task of the new government is to boost the economy.

However, it is noteworthy that the military group holds less than half of the seats in the House of Commons. If the military group does not compromise with Thaksin factions in the process of future cabinet formation, the new government will face double challenges from the House of Commons and the people’s will, and will lack the foundation for long-term governance.

Under the new Thai government, the relationship between China and Thailand will further deepen on the basis of maintaining stability.

In particular, Thailand will play an important role in promoting the construction of the Belt and Road and building the China- ASEAN community, which can be seen from the following three points:

“Sino-Thai is Family”

First of all, China and Thailand have built a good friendship over a long period of time. “Sino-Thai is Family” is deeply embodied in all aspects of cultural exchanges between the two countries. This year marks the “Year of Media Exchange between China and ASEAN”.

Frequent exchanges of media and think tanks between Thai Chinese will further promote the common feelings between the two countries and make contributions to the development of Sino-Thai relationship.

Second, the achievements of policy communication between the Chinese and Thai governments have gradually emerged. In 2018, China and Thailand signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly promote cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Joint Action Plan for Strategic Cooperation for the next five years.

At the same time, Thailand is one of the countries along the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, as well as a staunch supporter of the BRI.

Prime Minister Prayut has been invited to attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing in April. We believe that the high-level exchange visits will further strengthen the policy communication between China and Thailand.

A new era of deepening cooperation

Lastly, the relations between China and Thailand will enter a new era of deepening cooperation. The two countries have established profound understanding and accumulated rich experience in cooperation through the BRI. In the coming period, China and Thailand should deeply explore the potential of bilateral cooperation, strengthen the consensus in the field of national and social development, promote interaction between the two countries in international and regional issues, and jointly promote the construction of the China-ASEAN community.

Chang Xiang is a researcher at the Thai-Chinese Strategic Research Center at the National Research Council of Thailand. The article reflects the author’s views, and not necessarily those of Thailand Business News

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