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BANGKOK 18 April 2019 23:18
webfact

Parties urged to address ongoing foreign issues

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Parties urged to address ongoing foreign issues

By SUPALAK GANJANAKHUNDEE 
THE NATION

 

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Thai voters cast their ballots during advance voting of the general election at a polling station in Bangkok, Thailand, 17 March 2019. // EPA-EFE PHOTO

 

Few parties breaking the norm when it comes to foreign policy, say experts.

 

Though few political parties have talked about foreign policy as they campaign for votes, experts are saying it’s time for them to break the tradition and address critical matters such as the US-China tariff war, the US Indo-Pacific strategy and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

 

Future Forward’s Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit has said his party, if elected, would not use China, despite its economic success, as a model to shape Thailand’s future, because its success comes at the expense of people’s rights. 

 

“The junta is following the China model because it serves the status quo,” the billionaire politician told The Nation in an interview last year while preparing to assemble his party. 

 

Challenging the nationalists

 

The former student activist appears to be the only politician daring to challenge nationalists in proposing that Thailand should welcome Muslim Rohingya refugees from Myanmar. The view has brought him considerable criticism. 

 

His party’s foreign policy, as set out in its official manifesto, addresses the role of Asean as well as the basic principles of democracy and human rights. It is breaking from the norm by presenting a foreign-affairs platform, unheard of in previous political campaigns. 

 

Former diplomat Kobsak Chutikul said he found it “very disappointing” to see so few parties raising foreign affairs in a year when Thailand is chairing Asean and is at a strategic crossroads with China and the US bolstering their presence in the region. 

 

Authoritarian rule under the military junta has cut off, suppressed and delayed public debate about key foreign issues, he said. 

 

Most parties are sticking to the mantra of promoting good relations with other countries, balancing power, and enhancing trade, investment and tourism, Kobsak said. 

 

“But Thais, especially the younger generation, deserve something concrete and clear as to how our country will position itself in the world,” he said. 

The Pheu Thai Party, which led the government under Yingluck Shinwatra, has proffered proactive foreign policies designed to build a role for Thais in the international community. 

 

It would prefer that Thailand utilise the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy, rather than Asean, as a mechanism to connect with other Southeast Asian countries. The strategy was devised in 2003, during Thaksin Shinawatra’s tenure, as a cooperative framework for Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. 

 

The Democrat Party is promising sustainable development goals, foreign investment in creative industries and turning Thailand into a regional hub for aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul.

 

The pro-junta Phalang Pracharat Party vows to continue the junta’s foreign policy over the past five years. If it wins this Sunday, said Thammasat University scholar Dulyapak Preecharushh, Thai foreign policy would remain neither attractive nor proactive.

 

With a 20-year national strategy mapped out by the junta, the foreign platform will not evolve enough to deal with the challenge of balancing China against the the United States, he said. 

 

“If the opponents of Phalang Pracharat win, we will see more elements, such as global peace and democracy, in foreign policy,” said Dulyapak, a keen observer of geo-politics. 

 

However, he said, no matter which party wins, Thailand will not be able to avoid issues related to Asean or the wider region. 

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/politics/30366262

 

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-- © Copyright The Nation 2019-03-22

 

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4 hours ago, webfact said:

“But Thais, especially the younger generation, deserve something concrete and clear as to how our country will position itself in the world,” he said. 

Great joke! 😂 Thais don't know or care anything about the outside world. A high percentage of them never leave the village.

 

Even the Thai HiSos take Mama noodles with them on their shopping trips to Singapore, Hong Kong and Europe. 

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5 hours ago, webfact said:

experts are saying it’s time for them to break the tradition and address critical matters such as the US-China tariff war, the US Indo-Pacific strategy and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

Perhaps, and not unsurprisingly, they are not aware of issues outside of the countries border. (maybe even outside of their village)

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8 hours ago, webfact said:

“The junta is following the China model because it serves the status quo,” the billionaire politician told The Nation in an interview last year while preparing to assemble his party

Oh please.  China at least has something that looks like an education system and pursuit of happiness.   Thailand's mains focus seems to be fixating about tourists.  

 

Thailand needs foreign entrepreneurs like China did, like most of Asia did.  

 

The word "freedom" always seems to be lacking in Thai political discussions. 

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On 3/16/2019 at 11:56 AM, JackThompson said:

Yes, if you can prove the income to the satisfaction of immigration.

 

On 3/16/2019 at 1:45 PM, dcnx said:

Vietnam. 1 year multi entry visa for around $400. 

 

Forget Thailand. Go somewhere where you’re welcome.

Currently, I have a 1 year multiple entry obtained in USA.

 

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4 hours ago, Fex Bluse said:

 

 

Even the Thai HiSos take Mama noodles with them on their shopping trips to Singapore, Hong Kong and Europe. 

Sort of like the Ozzies bringing  Vegamite, the Brits with their Cheddar.

 

I travel with vacuum packed Mickey Ds

 

Ooops...Vegamite 

@Lacessit

  • Haha 1

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Jack, I plan to have my to have my monthly retirement pension deposited directly to my BKK account.

Opened an account with them already.  Not sure if payer of my pension will make deposit to a foreign 

bank, but I will make the request.

 

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, Nyezhov said:

Sort of like the Ozzies bringing  Vegamite, the Brits with their Cheddar.

 

I travel with vacuum packed Mickey Ds

 

Ooops...Vegamite 

@Lacessit

Do many Brit and Ozzie tourists bring cheese and vegemite with them on their 2 week trips to Thailand?

 

I've never seen any Westerner short-term tourist do this. 

 

Residents living in Thailand, of course is quite different. 

 

I'd only expect Thais, maybe Chinese (same thing), North Koreans and maybe North Sentinelese to carry staple foods with them when on very short trips out of their countries. 

 

😁

Edited by Fex Bluse
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4 minutes ago, Fex Bluse said:

Do many Brit and Ozzies tourists bring cheese and vegemite with them in their 2 week trips to Thailand?

 

I've never seen any Westerner short-term tourist do this. 

Well I have, I was out looking for some *censored substance* last week and found like 4 jars in some luggage. Got some gold, a vape, and a dildo too. Of course, I dont know that the owners of the bags are in fact Ozzies, but the luggage tags were from there.

 

Im heading to the airport to go shopping at the British Airways baggage carousel, let you know how much cheddar I get. The Brits are skint though, cheap cameras, fake gold....

  • Haha 2

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