Tita Sanglee for the Diplomat

Thailand’s 2014 coup led to the erosion of relations with the U.S., but the balance of power is tilting back in Washington’s favor.

Thailand, like most other nations in Southeast Asia, strives to maintain an equilibrium between the United States and China in order to safeguard its sovereignty. Following the bloodless 2014 coup that brought Prayut Chan-o-cha into power, the American alliance with Thailand withered while Thailand’s relations with China blossomed. But now, as the 2022 Cobra Gold military exercise is approaching, it appears that the balance of power is tilting back in the Washington’s favor.

As I discussed in a previous article for The Diplomat, Sino-Thai relations in recent times have been far from smooth. A Nikkei Asia analysis released a few weeks ago underscores this observation, stating that Thailand’s indifference to China’s railway project has significantly hurt China’s Belt and Road rail ambitions. Diverging priorities, such as Thailand’s reopening plans versus China’s persistent “zero COVID” policy, has pulled the two Asian brothers further apart.

In contrast, U.S.-Thailand ties have improved considerably since the Trump administration, in large part thanks to Trump’s lack of interest in democracy promotion…

Click here to read the full article at The Diplomat.

Tita Sanglee

Tita Sanglee is a Diplomat columnist and independent analyst currently based in Thailand.