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Government accused of being too submissive to China

Government accused of being too submissive to China

THAILAND: The opposition zeroed in on the government’s economic “submissiveness” to China during the no-confidence debate yesterday (Feb 25).

politics
By Bangkok Post

Wednesday 26 February 2020, 09:45AM


China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai hold a press conference after their meeting as part of the 52nd Asean Foreign Ministers’ Meeting 2019 at the Centara Grand in Bangkok. Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai hold a press conference after their meeting as part of the 52nd Asean Foreign Ministers’ Meeting 2019 at the Centara Grand in Bangkok. Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul

Ekkapob Pianpiset, a Chiang Rai MP for the dissolved Future Forward Party, told Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha the government has been submissive to China when it comes to trade and investment.

He said some Chinese businesses have been allowed to dominate the lucrative fruit export sector, driving down prices. The price of longan, for example, has tumbled to 13 baht a kilo at farms, down almost threefold from its peak trading period last year.

Also, the property market was hit by an influx of investors from China buying condominiums and leasing them to tourists and posing direct competition to small- and medium-sized hotels, he said.

Mr Ekkapob added that the government had little negotiating power with China over the high-speed train project, which went ahead despite the Thai government’s hesitation.

Singha

The MP also said the government allegedly had to “implore” China, through informal exchanges, to release water into the Mekong River early this year to ease drought in Thai areas. The government, Mr Ekkapob said, should have opened formal and “dignified” diplomatic talks on the matter.

The accusation prompted Foreign Affairs Minister Don Pramudwinai to rebut the claim, saying the government was not in a pitiful state but had held the meetings with China as “two friends” to thrash out the Mekong River issue.

Also, Sarassanan Annopporn, a Pheu Thai MP for Khon Kaen, said the government has welcomed Alibaba, the Chinese multinational technology giant, with open arms and given it a free run to operate its e-commerce business and make huge profits at the expense of local online businesses.

“Large foreign businesses are after profits, first and foremost. There is no way they would come in with the aim to revitalise Thailand’s economy.”

Comment on this story

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Kurt | 28 February 2020 - 11:40:24

@ Gerry,  wrong thinking, sir.
Anyone living in Thailand may ask questions about education/skills/background of ministers. Why not? They suppose to serve the people. Right? And no need to pull in US in your comment. Based on nothing. Stick to facts and the thai political reality of this moment, in relation with China. Facts, G.

DeKaaskopp | 27 February 2020 - 21:48:01

Gerry, you should know that the expert on everything is omniscient. There is nothing he can't do or nothing he don't know about.

GerryT81 | 26 February 2020 - 21:40:05

K,given your mostly rather unintelligent comments ,I'm wondering in what position you are to question Mr.Don's education or skills. Seems to me your problem isn't Thailand's independence but the fact that they are not willing to become a marionette of a western country like the US for example.Wake up K,your dream will never come true.

Capricornball | 26 February 2020 - 19:16:58

No surprise that Foreign Affairs Minister Don Pramudwinai would respond like a bull-headed teenager when confronted with accusations regarding their kowtowing to Chinese officials. Is also a good example of how unfortunate it is for Thailand that the Future Forward Party got Shanghied.

Kurt | 26 February 2020 - 12:42:14

What is foreign minister Don's education, his skills at foreign level policies. What foreign world wide net work he has? Public knows nothing about him diplomatic/profession wise. Is he just one of the many generals who are running Thailand?

Kurt | 26 February 2020 - 10:22:25

Thailand did offer herself the last years with skin & hair to communist China. Really becoming a good satellite state. But, for what to put all eggs in 1 communist basket? Thai independence and 'democracy' is shrinking. Thailand is in a pitiful state.

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