Experts in Thailand’s foreign policies shared their opinions that the “quiet diplomacy” Thailand has exercised since Prayut Chan-O-Cha’s administration for nine years is “irrelevant” to continue practicing today and advised Sretthas’s government to review their plans.
In a recent interview published by ThaiPBS World, Sihasak Phuangketkeow, former permanent secretary at the foreign ministry said that “Thailand has faded from the radar of international diplomacy over the past several years, because of a passive foreign policy which lacks direction.”
The passive diplomacy the country has used led to consequences like its response when the military junta took over Myanmar and how it has set its position since. The action resulted in Thailand receiving criticism from western governments and international human rights organizations.
Thailand was viewed by “western governments as bending towards China,” said former foreign minister Kantathi Suphamongkhon. It was one of the 35 countries which refused to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at the UN general assembly in October last year.
Kantathi said that “even though ‘quiet diplomacy’ is common in some countries, the Thai government must assess whether the policy is working. If not, it must be changed.”
“Foreign policies are supposed to enable Thailand to cope with the challenges of global volatilities, uncertainties, complexities and ambiguities (VUCA),” said Former foreign minister Dr. Surakiart Sathirathai.
The matter concerns everyone, he added, because “foreign policy is an important tool in driving economic benefits for the country and its people.”
Former vice chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Kiat Sittheeamorn highlighted that Thailand’s current government run by prime minister Srettha Thavisin “does not seem to have a clear foreign policy, besides saying that it attaches importance to the use of foreign policy when exploring trade and economic opportunities.”
With all due respect, the opinions shared by the four experts radically suggested the similar conclusion that Thailand’s approach in forming foreign policies amid this current geopolitical rivalries and complexities “must be reviewed.”
Source: ThaiPBS World