President Joe Biden’s decision not to join APEC in November reflects the image of Thai politics. Political scholars noted
Prof. Dr. Ukrit Pattmanan from Chulalongkorn University gave an interview with Thai PBS World that
Biden’s decision this time shattered his dreams. 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 White House report informing 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 a pressure on Thailand on domestic democracy. According to a senior official of the State Department
In addition, the US government has clearly stated that want 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 at the Constitutional Court (30 September 2022) contradicts what the United States wants.
The United States does not want Biden’s absence from the APEC is more interesting than the Thai Prime Minister’s 8-year constitutional court decision.
G20 meeting in Indonesia
Biden confirmed to attend the Group 20 (G20) Summit in Bali, Indonesia on Nov. 16-17, and will fly directly back to Washington, D.C. 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 that have been in a relationship for a long time
Prof. 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 G20 leaders, including China’s President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Biden will be able to address all issues at the G20 meeting without having to repeat the same message in the APEC in Thailand.
Thailand has no role
Don Pramudwinai, 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 use the forum to ease tensions. The case of China vs. Taiwan and Russia vs. Ukraine
Although the Thai government has never made a stand on this issue before, while the presidents of China and Russia It has not yet been officially confirmed whether to attend the APEC meeting or not.
Prof. Dr. Ukrit Pattmanan sees that the idea of Minister of Foreign Affairs It may not attract enough attention for Biden to attend the meeting because the Thai prime minister has never made a stand on international conflicts.
For example, in the case of China-Taiwan, the Thai government used to signal support for the One China policy.
same as Russian-Ukrainian Although Thailand had previously voted condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But it seems the closeness of Thailand-Russia is more visible.
including the Ukrainian authorities once said Thailand does not play any important role. in terms of geography and politics compared to other ASEAN member countries especially Vietnam
And even more clearly reinforced by Biden’s management that is very interested in Vietnam. especially in the case that Hanoi is in controversy with Beijing. about the South China Sea Biden’s senior administration officials, including Vice President Harris and Defense Secretary Austin Lloyd, also opted to visit Vietnam earlier this year.
in terms of economy Vietnam is very attractive for investment. Due to its stability and fast growing economy
Prof. Dr. Ukrit said that the administration of the country Gen. Prayut over the years Causing many foreign investors such as Japan and South Korea to choose to invest in Vietnam instead.
The US government has never been satisfied with the role of Thailand. that cannot pressure the military government of Myanmar end violence and humanitarian issues
US ambassador Newcomer to Thailand, Robert Godek, told the US Senate that will take the opportunity to accept this position pressurized the Myanmar military government to end the attacks on its own people.
The United States has imposed sanctions on the Myanmar junta after Senior General Min Aung Hlaing staged a coup last year to overthrow Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected civilian government. and the US administration Want Thailand to play an important role in helping ASEAN to implement Consensus 5, especially on 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. It also took a stand against the military’s crackdown on dissent and armed ethnic groups along the border.