Even before officially taking office, the leadership of the victorious Move Forward Party has vowed to help pursue US foreign policy objectives both in regards to “rebalancing” Thailand away from China and back toward the West, as well as regarding US interference elsewhere in Southeast Asia, and more specifically, Myanmar.
New Thai Government and US to Aid Militants in Nextdoor Myanmar
The Irrawaddy, a media outlet funded by the US government through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED, is recognized as an undesirable organization in Russia), in a recent article titled, “Thailand Will No Longer Be Quiet on Myanmar: Incoming Coalition,” would boldly announce this stark pivot for Thai foreign policy.
The article would claim:
Fuadi Pitsuwan, foreign affairs chief for MFP leader Pita Limjaroenrat, said the incoming government will revive Thai foreign policy to improve its image in ASEAN and alleviate Myanmar’s political crisis.
The article would note Fuadi Pitsuwan’s US education via Harvard and Georgetown University where he studied foreign service, which may explain why both he and the rest of his US-backed party have now so eagerly embraced not Thailand’s best interests, or even Southeast Asia’s or Eurasia’s best interests, but instead seek to implement US foreign policy objectives.
The article even points out Fuadi Pitsuwan and Move Forward’s desire to pivot back West despite the obvious lack of rational incentive to do so.
The article says:
He added that under the new government, Thailand will rebalance its foreign policy to restore its reputation in the international arena. Under the Prayut government, Bangkok foreign policy leaned away from western countries and more towards China.
The article continues, making it clear that Thailand’s foreign policy isn’t merely similar to Washington’s, it is Washington’s foreign policy that Thailand seeks to aid in implementing.
The article discusses Move Forward Party leader Pita Limjaroenrat’s “Myanmar policy,” noting:
Pita highlighted the importance of the Burma Act, which he said Thailand would use to “start working with the international community to make sure that we have the right amount of pressure and incentives for people to resolve their conflict”.
Passed by US Congress last December, the Burma Act authorizes US funding of non-lethal support for resistance forces in Myanmar.
Any involvement in Myanmar’s internal political affairs is a violation international law and more specifically, the UN Charter through its protection of national sovereignty and its prohibition against foreign interference. Such involvement also violates the fundamental principles of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) which include, “non-interference in the internal affairs of one another,” and the “settlement of differences or disputes by [a] peaceful manner.” Both Thailand and Myanmar are ASEAN member states.
Not only is Washington’s “Burma Act” and Move Forward Party’s vow to assist in implementing it a violation of international law under the UN Charter and ASEAN’s fundamental principles, by providing “non-lethal aid” to what The Irrawaddy calls “resistance forces,” the US and its proxies within Move Forward will be fuelling an armed conflict.
The armed militants in Myanmar fighting the central government have repeatedly carried out attacks not only on police and military forces, but also on political opponents, civil servants and ordinary civilians perceived as not supportive of their armed campaign.
Another US government-funded media outlet, Myanmar Now, has published many articles since the fighting began in 2021 about the nature of the armed opposition. Despite being supportive of the opposition, Myanmar Now has been unable or unwilling to cover up the terroristic nature of the opposition.
In one 2021 article titled, “After a bold attack, PDF fighters consider their next move,” regarding attacks carried out against civilian train traffic across Myanmar, the article would cite one of the armed militants fighting the central government who described in detail who he believed represented potential targets of their violence.
The article says:
According to La Pyae Wun, that means that anyone in uniform who continues to work for the junta, including traffic police, firefighters, and even Red Cross workers, is fair game.
In addition to blatant terrorism, the US-backed opposition the incoming Thai government would be aiding through the US “Burma Act” is also openly anti-China. The militants have repeatedly attacked Chinese factories, other investments, and jointly-built infrastructure projects including pipelines making up Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
US-Thai Aid to Militancy in Myanmar is Part of Wider Proxy War Against China
Associated Press in 2021 in their article, “Attacks on Chinese-run factories in Myanmar vex Beijing,” would report on the opposition attacking and destroying Chinese factories in Myanmar.
The Irrawaddy had covered a February 2022 opposition attack on a pipeline facility making up part of China’s BRI infrastructure in Myanmar in its article, “China-Backed Pipeline Facility Damaged in Myanmar Resistance Attack.” More recently, The Irrawaddy covered another attack in early May 2023 in its article, “Myanmar Resistance Group Claims Attack on Chinese Pipeline Facility.”
The US, through its support for this armed militancy attacking Chinese infrastructure, investments, and industry in Myanmar as well as the China-friendly central government, is essentially waging a proxy war on China itself. The incoming Thai government led by Move Forward Party is openly declaring its intention of recruiting Thailand to participate in this proxy war against China, aiding militants who are attacking Chinese property and investments, and endangering the lives of Chinese nationals and their allies.
It should be pointed out that China is currently Thailand’s largest trade partner, foreign investor, source of tourism (more Chinese tourists come to Thailand than from all Western nations combined), infrastructure partner including through the building of Thailand’s first high-speed rail line, and defense partner by helping Thailand replace its aging US military hardware with cheaper, more modern and effective Chinese alternatives including everything from main battle tanks to warships and submarines.
By joining the US in a proxy war ultimately aimed at China itself, Thailand risks shattering its ties with China – ties that the US and Europe are economically and politically incapable of providing alternatives to.
As in Europe, So to in Southeast Asia?
It is safe to say that Thailand risks sabotaging its ties with Asia’s chief engine of development and prosperity. By joining the US in its efforts to destabilize and destroy neighboring nations, it risks destabilizing and destroying the entire region – not unlike what US foreign policy is demonstrably doing to Europe right now through its proxy war with Russia via Ukraine….