President Joe Biden’s decision not to join APEC in November reflects the image of Thai politics. Political scholars were noted
Professor Dr. Ukrit Pattmanan from Chulalongkorn University gave an interview with Thai PBS World that
Biden’s decision shattered his dreams this time. Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister, hopes to take advantage of the presence of world leaders at the APEC meeting for political gain.
According to a report from the White House that informs the Thai Embassy in Washington that Vice President Kamala Harris will represent the United States. Attending the November 18-19 APEC meeting in Bangkok was seen by Biden’s refusal to join as pressure on Thailand for domestic democracy. According to a senior State Department official
In addition, the US government has clearly stated that it wants to see the development of democracy in Thailand To be a role model in the ASEAN region But today’s consideration of the term of office under the new constitution in the Constitutional Court (30 September 2022) is contradicting what the US wants.
The United States does not want Biden’s absence from the APEC is more interesting than the 8-year constitutional court decision of the Prime Minister of Thailand.
G20 meeting in Indonesia
Biden confirmed that he will attend the Group of 20 (G20) Summit in Bali, Indonesia on November 16-17, and will fly directly back to Washington, DC to attend his granddaughter’s wedding ceremony. at the White House on 19 Nov.
This means that Biden prioritizes family over international relations. especially Thailand which has been in a relationship for a long time
Professor Dr Ukrit provided additional information.
Biden’s participation in the G20 meeting could also fulfill Biden’s mission in Asia. At the meeting in Bali, Biden will sit with all the G20 leaders, including Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Biden will be able to address all the issues at the G20 meeting without having to repeat the same message at the APEC in Thailand.
Thailand has no role
Don Pramudwani, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, said the State Department is still trying to negotiate with Biden’s participation in the APEC meeting, suggesting that the US President is using the forum to ease tensions. There is the case of China against Taiwan and Russia against Ukraine
Although the Thai government has never made a stance on this matter before, while the presidents of China and Russia It has not yet been officially confirmed whether to attend the APEC meeting or not.
Professor Dr. Ukrit Pattmanan sees that the idea of Minister of Foreign Affairs may not attract enough attention for Biden to attend the meeting because the prime minister of Thailand has never taken a stand on international conflicts.
For example, in the China-Taiwan case, the Thai government used to show support for the One China policy.
the same as Russian-Ukrainian Although Thailand had previously voted condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But it seems closeness Thailand-Russia is more visible.
including the Ukrainian authorities once said Thailand does not play an important role. in terms of geography and politics compared to other ASEAN member countries especially Vietnam
And reinforced even more clearly by the Biden administration which is very interested in Vietnam. especially in that case Hanoi is in dispute with Beijing. about the South China Sea Senior Biden administration officials, including Vice President Harris and Defense Secretary Austin Lloyd, chose to visit Vietnam earlier this year.
in terms of economy Vietnam is very attractive for investment. Because of its stability and fast growing economy
Professor Dr. Ukrit said that the country’s administration Gen. Prayut over the years Caused many foreign investors such as Japan and South Korea to choose to invest in Vietnam instead.
The US government has never been satisfied with Thailand’s role. that cannot pressure Myanmar’s military government to end violence and humanitarian issues
The US ambassador, the new arrival to Thailand, Robert Godek, told the US Senate that taking the opportunity to accept this position put pressure on the military government of Myanmar to end the attacks on its own people.
The United States has imposed sanctions on Myanmar’s junta after Senior General Min Aung Hlaing staged a coup last year to overthrow the elected civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi. and the US administration Want Thailand to play an important role in helping ASEAN implement Consensus 5, especially in the end of violence and the release of political prisoners.
but on the contrary The Thai government, however, maintains a normal relationship with the military government. A stance also against the army’s campaign on dissent and armed ethnic groups along the border.