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.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    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.