Thailand is pursuing multi-pronged diplomacy to strengthen ties with all major powers and promote the country’s international profile in preserving peace and stability as well as combating the COVID-19 pandemic in the region.
Tanee Saengrat, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said today that Thailand cooperates closely with many major countries such as the US, China, Japan, India, the EU, Russia and the UK. “Thailand has maintained a strategic balance with these powers in all respects,” he reiterated.
Tanee outlined the country’s policy in responding to criticisms that Thailand does not have a clear foreign policy. “We have close cooperation in fighting COVID-19,” he pointed out, citing examples of cooperation with dialogue partners and friends.
He reiterated that China has donated 1 million doses of Sinovac to Thailand and that there has been additional procurement of Sinopharm vaccines. Furthermore, Japan gave 1.05 million doses of AstraZeneca to Thailand in July. Washington also donated 1.5 million doses of Pfizer vaccine to Bangkok last month together with an additional donation of US $5million.
Thailand has also recently signed a vaccine exchange program with Bhutan involving 150,000 doses of AstraZeneca. Other countries such Germany, the UK and Switzerland have also provided assistance to increase the country’s capacity to limit the spread of coronavirus. Closer to home, Thailand is working closely with India, South Korea and Australia to promote all-round cooperation during the pandemic.
Regarding the Myanmar crisis, Tanee said that Thailand has continued to follow the situation in Myanmar closely and has already provided some humanitarian assistance to its people. Altogether, since February, Thailand has provided humanitarian aid worth approximately 25 million baht. The Thai Red Cross meanwhile, is active in channeling immediate humanitarian aid to the people of Myanmar across the border.
“Thailand wishes to see peace and stability in Myanmar. We have been working closely with the ASEAN special envoy to ensure the full implementation of what the ASEAN leaders have agreed on” he added.
He also revealed that Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Don Pramudwinai held an online discussion with the ASEAN special envoy, Erywan Yusof, on the overall ASEAN plan to provide humanitarian assistance to Myanmar. In connection with the effort, Thailand initiated an international conference to raise extra funds to help Myanmar, which was held on 18th August, when a total of US $8 million was committed. Thailand donated US $200,000 to the fund.
(NNT) – Article by Kavi Chongkittavorn