News

Thai PM's Visit to China a Sign of Beijing's Rising Influence

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, right, shows the way to Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra as during a welcome ceremony for her at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, April 17, 2012.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, right, shows the way to Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra as during a welcome ceremony for her at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, April 17, 2012.

Thailand and China want to boost annual bilateral trade to $100 billion by 2015, a goal set during this week's vist to Beijing by Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

Shinawatra and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao held talks on boosting cooperation in finance, tourism, agriculture, and transportation. A planned regional high-speed railway network that could link southern China to Laos, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore was also discussed.

Yingluck's visit consolidates China’s place at the forefront of ties in South East Asia, said Chulalongkorn University political scientist Thitinan Ponsudhirak. The talks also help strengthen ties developed during the term in office of Yingluck’s brother, former leader, Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted over corruption allegations in a 2006 coup.

“China has substantial influence in Myanmar [Burma], Laos, Cambodia, and to a smaller extent Vietnam but Thailand is a crucial country," Thitinan said. "It has leaned towards China over the last decade or so especially after the military coup and the polarization in Thailand.  But both sides Thaksin and his enemies have leaned on China.”

Several Thai business leaders joined the prime minister on the trip. The Thai Board of Investment announced five companies in the automotive, machinery, food flavoring, and real estate are considering investments worth more than $2 billion in Thailand.  Thai businesses, through partnership agreements with Chinese companies, were also looking to invest up to $2.4 billion.

The trip also highlights China's role as a key driver of economic growth in the region, Thitinan said.

“Increasingly China has become the main locomotive for East Asian economic growth so it is not just a symbolic political strategic dimension but also some very substantial trade and investment interest as well.”

Thailand was the first of the 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) to sign a long term cooperative framework agreement with China over a decade ago.

Carl Thayer, a political analyst at Australia’s University of New South Wales, points out that upgrading to a comprehensive, strategic-cooperative partnership also strengthens their bilateral relations.

"That kind of awarding of a title established a hierarchy and, at least, lets us know China’s views of Thailand," Thayer said. "Therefore, the bottom-line being relatively trouble-free on issues that really count to China.”

Besides the increased economic links, the two agreed to increase joint patrols on the China, Thailand, Lao and Burma borders on the Mekong River.

In October last year 13 Chinese crewmen were killed on the Mekong River, in an attack blamed on drug trafficking gangs.  The bloodshed led to a temporary halt in river trade that has largely returned to levels seen prior to the killings.

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jonathan Huang
April 22, 2012 5:49 PM
I suggest those who doesnt know China go to China, see with your own eyes.
I spend 1-2 month every year in China and my family is still in China. I see the change in China in past 30 years. That's why I am grateful for CCP. Too bad I dont have Chinese passport and cant stay too long, but very soon I might get a Chinese green card. Working in Canada also can contribute to my country any way.

by: SEAN
April 22, 2012 4:31 AM
US is the enemy of many countries. It is arbitrary take advantage of other countries. China help other countires to develop the economics.

by: Xing
April 21, 2012 7:11 PM
@Cả Thộn: Do we force you to buy and use Chinese goods? You think our goods are bad, but still want to buy it. It means you are cheap people.

by: Cả Thộn
April 21, 2012 4:57 PM
Thai people prepare to buy and use no-quality Chinese products even they are so cheap, very cheap and very bad. Vietnamese already had some experience.

by: kingkarn
April 19, 2012 9:37 PM
Thailand has all the good opportunities in the global arena if their leaders are in harmony with global and local.However Thailand first woman PM Yingluck Shinawat has began to show this steadily.Wishing Thailand and the people of Thailand a happy new year.

by: Jonathan Huang
April 19, 2012 6:26 PM
the difference between China and US is , US bullies its allies such as Canada and Mexico, US is greedy and takes advantages on the trade with Canada and Mexico, but China really boost economics within all allies. almost all trade partners benefit from trading with China. NK is different, we try to help but it doesnt appreciate.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outragei
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 04, 2015 11:36 AM
The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outrage

The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Russians Observe 11th Anniversary of Beslan School Attack

This week, Russians have been observing the 11th anniversary of the attack by Islamic militants on a school in Russia's North Caucasus region that killed more than 330 hostages, including 186 children. The three-day siege and massacre that started on September 1, 2004 took place in Beslan, a town in the republic of North Ossetia, and is one of the bloodiest terrorist acts ever in Russia. VOA's Mike Richman reports.
Video

Video Native Americans Debate: Father Serra, Saint or Sinner?

Pope Francis will canonize an 18th century missionary to Spanish California during a papal visit to the United States this month.  But some Native Americans have criticized the elevation to sainthood of the missionary priest, Junipero Serra. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video China Announces Troop Cuts at WWII Parade

Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday announced plans to cut the world’s largest military force by 300,000 troops. The announcement was made during a massive military parade to commemorate victory over Japan in World War II. The event was shunned by most Western leaders and for some is raising fresh concerns about China’s military ambitions. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.

VOA Blogs