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.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.