A Hiatus in the Sino-Thai “Special Relationship” – Ian Storey
From the Jamestown Foundation’s China Brief:
The ongoing political crisis in Thailand, which forced Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to temporarily resign in April and has now resulted in a coup by the Thai military, has not been good news for the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Since taking office in 2001, Thaksin has prioritized relations with China, emphasizing the importance of boosting economic linkages between the two countries and often bending over backwards so as not to offend Beijing on a range of political issues. As a result, the Sino-Thai relationship, already one of the closest between China and a Southeast Asian country, has become even closer. The current political quandary in Thailand, however, has meant that plans to upgrade bilateral relations have been placed on hold, resulting in a hiatus for the Sino-Thai “special relationship.” [Full text]
For more reactions in China to the Thai coup, see this previous CDT post.