Thai Junta Using China to Leverage the West

Thai Junta Using China to Leverage the West
Commanding officer of the current Thai military junta Prayuth Jan-ocha, Jun. 17, 2010 (photo from the website of the Government of Thailand).

Last month, a Thai army delegation visited China for talks on their security ties, which include joint military training. In an email interview, Joshua Kurlantzick, senior fellow for Southeast Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations, discussed Thailand’s relations with China.

WPR: What was the status of ties between Thailand and China before the May military coup?

Josh Kurlantzick: The status of relations was quite good, probably better than between China and any other large country in Southeast Asia. Thailand has always, through its history, done an excellent job of balancing between major powers and still promoting Thai interests.

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