Both Modi and Prayut Have Big Plans for Closer India-Thailand Ties

Both Modi and Prayut Have Big Plans for Closer India-Thailand Ties
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Thail Prime Minister and junta chief Prayuth Chan-ocha before their meeting, New Delhi, June 17, 2016 (AP photo by Saurabh Das)

Last month, the head of the Thai junta, Prayut Chan-o-cha, visited India for the first time since he seized power in a military coup in May 2014. Though India and Thailand have long been diplomatic partners, the visit saw an uptick in their cooperation as they prepare to commemorate the 70th anniversary of their relationship next year.

India and Thailand have long made a commitment to enhancing their bilateral ties, recognizing the value of the relationship both for its own sake as well as part of their regional strategies, whether India’s current “Look East” policy or its corollary, Thailand’s “Look West” policy in the 1990s. Both sides share things in common, from their Hindu-Buddhist historical and cultural heritage to a maritime space in the Andaman Sea. They see each other as a major economic market and an important partner in security issues, ranging from maritime security to counterterrorism.

That commitment has strengthened in recent years under Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his counterpart, Prayut, due to the their respective priorities. For Modi, closer ties with Thailand can help boost India’s outreach to Southeast Asia and draw more investment into India, which he has made a key goal. For Prayut, closer relations with India help Thailand diversify its range of partners as part of a broader post-coup omnidirectional foreign policy, against the backdrop of democracy and human rights concerns from the West, as well as economic difficulties at home.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.