Foreign relations of Thailand
The foreign relations of Thailand are handled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand.
Thailand participates fully in international and regional organizations. It has developed close ties with other ASEAN members—Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Brunei, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Vietnam—whose foreign and economic ministers hold annual meetings. Regional cooperation is progressing in economic, trade, banking, political, and cultural matters. In 2003, Thailand served as APEC host. Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi, the former Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand, served as Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) from 2005 until 31 August 2013. In 2005 Thailand attended the inaugural East Asia Summit.
Since the military coup of May 2014, Thailand's global reputation has plunged, according to Professor Thitinan Pongsudhirak of Chulalongkorn University. He maintains that, "When the fourth anniversary of Thailand's coup comes to pass later this month [May 2018], Thailand's foreign relations will be one of the many costs to be counted from the military government....Instead of moving ahead in its relations with the outside world, Thailand has regressed to a standstill.
- 1 Disputes
- 2 Asia
- 3 Americas
- 4 Europe
- 5 Oceania
- 6 Thai diplomatic missions
- 7 International organization participation
- 8 See also
- 9 Further reading
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Parts of the border with Laos are undefined. A maritime boundary dispute with Vietnam was resolved, August 1997. Parts of border with Cambodia are disputed. Maritime boundary with Cambodia not clearly defined. Sporadic conflict with Myanmar over alignment of border.
Relations are considered close and cordial and have made strides to improve trade and investment between the two countries. Diplomatic relations were established on 5 October 1972 and Thailand opened its embassy in 1974 followed by Bangladesh setting up their own in Bangkok in the following year. The first visit between the two countries was President Ziaur Rahman's visit to Thailand in 1979 followed by Prime Minister Prem Tinsulanonda in 1983. Other Heads of States like Ershad visited in 1985, 1988 and 1990 and Thaksin Shinawatra in July and December 2002 and January 2004. Thailand is a key country in Bangladesh's "Look East" policy and relations have begun to increase and diversify into different areas.
They seek not to intervene in each other's internal matters as shown by their response to the events occurring in their own respective countries in 2006 such as the 2006 Thai coup d'état and 2006–2008 Bangladeshi political crisis. Both have considerable cooperation in summits organised by BIMSTEC and the ASEAN regional forum. Upper class and upper middle class Bangladeshis often go to Thailand for medical treatment and operations that the country's medical infrastructure cannot provide.
Parts of Cambodia's border with Thailand are indefinite, and the maritime boundary with Thailand is not clearly defined. On 5 November 2009 Thailand recalled its ambassador from Cambodia in protest of the Cambodian government's appointment of Thai ex-leader Thaksin Shinawatra as an economic adviser. Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva stated that this was "the first diplomatic retaliation measure" against the appointment. He also said that Cambodia was interfering in Thai internal affairs and as a result bi-lateral co-operation agreements would be reviewed. The Cambodian government has stated that it would refuse any extradition request from Thailand for Thaksin as it considered him to be a victim of political persecution.
In the months leading up to the Cambodian decision, troops from both nations had clashed over territory claimed by both countries immediately adjacent to Cambodia's Preah Vihear temple, leading to a deterioration in relations. At 20:30 on 5 November Cambodia announced that it was withdrawing its ambassador from Thailand as a retaliatory measure. Sok An, a member of the Council of Ministers and Deputy Prime Minister of Cambodia, said that the appointment of Thaksin is a decision internal to Cambodia and that it "conforms to international practice". The mutual withdrawal of ambassadors is the most severe diplomatic action to have occurred between the two countries.
For an evaluation of Sino-Siamese relations, see Siamese Inter-State Relations in the Late Nineteenth Century: From An Asian Regional Perspective.
Diplomatic relations between India and Thailand were established in 1947, soon after India gained independence. Thailand maintains three diplomatic posts in India: in Mumbai, in New Delhi, and in Calcutta. India maintains three enclaves in Thailand: in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and A Muang.
The end of the Cold War led to a significant enhancement in the substance and pace of bilateral interactions. Indian Look East policy from 1993 and Thailand's Look West policy since 1996 set the stage for a substantive consolidation of bilateral relations. The past few years since 2001 have witnessed growing warmth, increasing economic and commercial links, exchange of high-level visits on both sides, and the signing of a large number of Agreements leading to a further intensification of relations. Thailand and India are cooperating in various multilateral fora like India's dialogue partnership with ASEAN, the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and the East Asia Summit, the sub-regional grouping BIMSTEC involving Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, Nepal and Bhutan, and trilateral transport linkages with Thailand, Myanmar and India. India is a member of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) initiated by Thailand in 2002 and of the Mekong–Ganga Cooperation (MGC), a group of six countries.
Indonesia and Thailand are viewed as natural allies. The nations established diplomatic ties in 1950 and have enjoyed a cordial relationship since. Both countries have established embassies. Indonesia has its embassy in Bangkok and a consulate in Songkhla, while Thailand has its embassy in Jakarta. State visits have been conducted for years. Both nations are the founders of ASEAN and the members of Non-Aligned Movement and APEC. Indonesia is also appointed as observer in Cambodian–Thai border dispute.
Israel and Thailand have had official relations since June 1954. The Israeli embassy in Bangkok was established in 1958. Since 1996, Thailand has had an embassy in Tel Aviv. After the floods in 2011, Israel sent water management experts to Thailand. Princess Chulabhorn Mahidal is involved in advancing scientific cooperation between the two countries. The Thai ambassador to Israel is Jukr Boon-Long.
Japan has become a key trading partner and foreign investor for Thailand. Japan is Thailand's largest supplier, followed by the United States. Since 2005, the rapid ramp-up in export of automobiles of Japanese makes (esp. Toyota, Nissan, Isuzu) has helped to dramatically improve the trade balance, with over 1 million cars produced last year. As such, Thailand has joined the ranks of the world's top ten automobile exporting nations. In 2007, a Japan–Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement was signed, aiming at free trade between the two countries after a transition period of 10 years.
In some respects, Thailand can be seen as a greater threat to Laos's independence than Vietnam because of its closer cultural affinity, its easier access, and its control over the railroad and highway routes to the sea. The Mekong River, which both sides have an interest in making a "river of true peace and friendship" — as their respective prime ministers called for in 1976 – also provides a north–south artery during the rainy season.
Thailand has an embassy in Kuala Lumpur, and consulate-general offices in George Town and Kota Bharu. Malaysia maintains an embassy in Bangkok. Recently, Thai-Malay relations have soured considerably due to the ethnically Malay Pattani separatists in three southern provinces of Thailand. There have been claims by some Thai politicians that certain parties in Malaysia has taken an interest in the cause of their opponents in the war, which is vehemently disputed by the latter.
Thailand officially recognised Palestine as an independent state on 18 January 2012.
Thai-Philippines relations continue to be friendly. Relations with Thailand were established 14 June 1949. Thailand is one of the Philippines major trading partners and one of the Philippines' rice suppliers. Relations continues to be strengthened through talks and agreements on economic, security, and cultural matters including concerns on rice trading, and combatting drugs and human trafficking.
The Soviet Union and Thailand established diplomatic relations with each other on 12 March 1941; Thailand recognised Russian Federation as the successor to Soviet Union on 28 December 1991. Russia has an embassy in Bangkok and two honorary consulates in Phuket and Pattaya. Thailand has an embassy in Moscow and two honorary consulates in Saint Petersburg and Vladivostok.
Relations Saudi Arabia and Thailand were established in 1957 and hundreds of thousands of Thais went to Saudi Arabia to work. However, relations have been severely strained for the past 20 years due to fallout from the Blue Diamond Affair. Diplomatic missions were downgraded to chargé d'affaires level and the number of Thai workers in Saudi Arabia plummeted. Saudi Arabia does not issue working visas for Thais and discourages its citizens from visiting the country.
Both countries established diplomatic relations on 1 October 1958. The year 2008 is the 50th year of bilateral relations with two nations. During the Korean War, Thailand was the second nation sending troops for supporting South Korea just after the United States. In October 2003, South Korean president Roh Moo-hyun visited Thailand while Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra went to Seoul in November 2005. South Korean is the 10th largest trade partner, which is about to reach the scale of 10 billion dollars.
Diplomatic relations between the two countries have existed since 1976, and are very friendly both economically and politically nowadays. Yet, relations between the two countries had always been marred by discord, which resulted from bitter rivalry to gain control of the area of what is today Laos and Cambodia.
In the 19th century, Thailand (then known as Siam) had fought a series of wars with the Nguyễn dynasty which then ruled over Vietnam over control of Cambodia. This rivalry will only temporarily subside when French colonists stepped in and gradually building an establishment in Southeast Asia, known as French Indochina.
During the Vietnam War, Thailand was aligned with South Vietnam and the United States and the U Tapao Air Base was used as a base for USAF aircraft. During the Fall of Saigon in 1975, fleeing South Vietnamese pilots arrived at U Tapao before fleeing to other countries.
In 1979, when the Khmer Rouge government in neighbouring Cambodia was toppled, this had raised concerns in Thailand and the Thai government quickly allied itself with the Khmer Rouge, later the CGDK, in fear of Vietnamese expansionism. In fact, Thailand was foremost among the ASEAN, of which it is part of, in opposing the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia.
Cambodian refugees soon stayed at border camps straddling the Thai-Cambodian border, and these camps are often controlled by the Khmer Rouge or the CGDK. In the years that followed, Vietnam launched a series of raids on the camps and Vietnamese troops often penetrated into Thai territory and shelled Thai border villages and towns.
|Country||Formal Relations Began||Notes|
|Belize||11 June 1999||
Both countries established diplomatic relations on June 11, 1999.
Brazil is the main trading partner of Thailand in Latin America.
|Mexico||28 August 1975|
In 2009, Thailand and Peru signed a free trade agreement calling for elimination of tariffs on 70% of 5,000 items listed in the agreement. Thailand imports tin and fish from Peru. Peru imports auto parts, electrical appliances, and clothes from Thailand.
Thailand has had relations with the United States since 1833. In 2003, the United States designated Thailand as a major non-NATO ally, which grants Thailand many financial and military benefits derived from the United States.
|Country||Formal Relations Began||Notes|
|Denmark||See Denmark–Thailand relations|
|Estonia||22 October 1921||See Foreign relations of Estonia
|France||1662||See France–Thailand relations
France-Thailand relations cover a period from the 16th century until modern times.
|Kosovo||2013-11-22||See Kosovo–Thailand relations|
|Netherlands||1608 embassy to the Dutch Republic resulted in a treaty being concluded between the Republic and the kingdom of Siam in 1617.|
British relations with Thailand date back to 1612, when the East India Company ship The Globe arrived in Siam carrying a letter from King James I for the Siamese king. After Burma lost the First Anglo-Burmese War (1824–26) relations opened between the Rattanakosin Kingdom of Siam and the United Kingdom with a treaty of alliance in February 1826 and another treaty in June negotiated by East India Company emissary Henry Burney. This was followed by the Bowring Treaty of 1855 to liberalise trade. In 1893, Lord Lansdowne of the British Raj finalized the border between Burma and Siam; the Anglo-Siamese Treaty of 1909 then dissected the northern Malay states.
In 1917 the modern Siamese kingdom declared war on Germany during World War I, which secured it a seat at the Versailles Peace Conference. Foreign Minister Devawongse Varopakarn used this as an opportunity to argue for the repeal of the 19th century treaties and restoration of full Siamese sovereignty. While Britain and France delayed until 1925, the United States obliged in 1920. Following the outbreak of World War II, relations with Britain, France and the United States deteriorated rapidly – though former Queen Rambai Barni was nominal head of the Seri Thai resistance movement in Great Britain. Japan allowed Thailand to resume sovereignty over the sultanates of northern Malaya that had been lost in the 1909 treaty with Britain, and to invade and annex the Shan States in northern Burma. After the Japanese surrender, Allied military responsibility for Thailand fell to the British, who favoured treating the kingdom as a defeated enemy. Americans, however, supported Thailand's new government; during the Cold War relations with the United Kingdom took a back seat to those with the United States.
|Country||Formal Relations Began||Notes|
Thai diplomatic missionsEdit
Royal Thai embassies and consulatesEdit
|Argentina||Argentine Republic||Buenos Aires||Embassy|
|Australia||Commonwealth of Australia||Canberra||Embassy|
|Austria||Republic of Austria||Vienna||Embassy|
|Bahrain||Kingdom of Bahrain||Manama||Embassy|
|Bangladesh||People's Republic of Bangladesh||Dhaka||Embassy|
|Belgium||Kingdom of Belgium||Brussels||Embassy|
|Brazil||Federative Republic of Brazil||Brasilia||Embassy|
|Brunei||Nation of Brunei, Abode of Peace||Bandar Seri Begawan||Embassy|
|Cambodia||Kingdom of Cambodia||Phnom Penh||Embassy|
|Chile||Republic of Chile||Santiago||Embassy|
|China||People's Republic of China||Beijing||Embassy|
|Denmark||Kingdom of Denmark||Copenhagen||Embassy|
|Egypt||Arab Republic of Egypt||Cairo||Embassy|
|Finland||Republic of Finland||Helsinki||Embassy|
|Germany||Federal Republic of Germany||Berlin||Embassy|
|India||Republic of India||New Delhi||Embassy|
|Indonesia||Republic of Indonesia||Jakarta||Embassy|
|Iran||Islamic Republic of Iran||Tehran||Embassy|
|Israel||State of Israel||Tel Aviv||Embassy|
|Jordan||Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan||Amman||Embassy|
|Kazakhstan||Republic of Kazakhstan||Nur-Sultan||Embassy|
|Kenya||Republic of Kenya||Nairobi||Embassy|
|Kuwait||State of Kuwait||Kuwait City||Embassy|
|Laos||Lao People's Democratic Republic||Vientiane||Embassy|
|Madagascar||Republic of Madagascar||Antananarivo||Consulate|
|Mexico||United Mexican States||Mexico City||Embassy|
|Morocco||Kingdom of Morocco||Rabat||Embassy|
|Mozambique||Republic of Mozambique||Maputo||Embassy|
|Myanmar||Republic of the Union of Myanmar||Yangon||Embassy|
|Nepal||Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal||Kathmandu||Embassy|
|Netherlands||Kingdom of the Netherlands||The Hague||Embassy|
|New Zealand||New Zealand||Wellington||Embassy|
|Nigeria||Federal Republic of Nigeria||Abuja||Embassy|
|Norway||Kingdom of Norway||Oslo||Embassy|
|Oman||Sultanate of Oman||Muscat||Embassy|
|Pakistan||Islamic Republic of Pakistan||Islamabad||Embassy|
|Peru||Republic of Peru||Lima||Embassy|
|Philippines||Republic of the Philippines||Manila||Embassy|
|Poland||Republic of Poland||Warsaw||Embassy|
|Qatar||State of Qatar||Doha||Embassy|
|Saudi Arabia||Kingdom of Saudi Arabia||Riyadh||Embassy|
|Senegal||Republic of Senegal||Dakar||Embassy|
|Singapore||Republic of Singapore||Singapore||Embassy|
|South Africa||Republic of South Africa||Pretoria||Embassy|
|South Korea||Republic of Korea||Seoul||Embassy|
|Spain||Kingdom of Spain||Madrid||Embassy|
|Sri Lanka||Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka||Colombo||Embassy|
|Sweden||Kingdom of Sweden||Stockholm||Embassy|
|Timor-Leste||Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste||Dili||Embassy|
|Turkey||Republic of Turkey||Ankara||Embassy|
|United Arab Emirates||United Arab Emirates||Abu Dhabi||Embassy|
|United Kingdom||United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland||London||Embassy|
|United States||United States of America||Washington||Embassy|
|New York City||Consulate|
|Vietnam||Socialist Republic of Vietnam||Hanoi||Embassy|
|Ho Chi Minh City||Consulate|
|Organization||Official name||City and Country|
|ASEAN||Association of Southeast Asian Nations||Jakarta, Indonesia|
|UN||United Nations||Geneva, Switzerland|
|New York City, United States|
Thailand economic and trade officeEdit
|Taiwan||Republic of China||Taipei|
International organization participationEdit
APEC, AsDB, ASEAN, BIMSTEC, CP, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, NAM, OAS (observer), OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNITAR, UNMIBH, UNTAET, UNU, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
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