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The Rise Of China:an Analysis On The Influence Of China’s Rise On The Sino-Thai Relations

Posted on:2015-02-08Degree:DoctorType:Dissertation
Country:ChinaCandidate:L OuFull Text:PDF
GTID:1266330431455162Subject:International politics
Abstract/Summary:PDF Full Text Request
China’s peaceful rise and the fast-evolving power dynamics in the international environment have produced significant influence on Thailand’s internal and external environment and have led to some changes in Thailand’s China policies. This paper assumes that during the rise of China, Thailand wishes to expand its ties with China in the areas of economics, security, and diplomacy. Moreover, the new changes in such fields and the internal and external elements of Thailand such as in Southeast Asia will also greatly influence Thailand’s China policy.From1978to2008, China has undergone a peaceful rise and became a dominating power in the East Asian continent. With the change in the balance of power between China and the US, the whole East Asian region is being divided into two spheres of influence--one is of China’s and the other one of the US. The further rise of China at the beginning of the21st century will impose a challenge to the US’s control over the East Asian waters and its global security interests. Therefore, this paper focuses on the combination of the historical development of Thailand-China relations and their current state of development while analyzing and interpreting the Thailand government’s policy on the handling of the Thailand-China relations during different periods of history so as to offer some valuable insights into Thailand’s diplomatic strategy.This paper suggests that, as a small developing country, Thailand may feel threatened by the great powers in many aspects, including in terms of economic strength, military strength, and diplomatic and cultural strength. Thailand is aware that the normalization of its relations with China will do more good than harm to the bilateral relations. Therefore, the mutual economic dependence between China and Thailand, harmonious interests, economic cooperation and the realization of internationally stable and peaceful development are the important variables that will contribute to the region’s stability and peace, reduce the risk of war, and strengthen cooperation amongst other countries. As there are now increasing chances for developing a mutually dependent economy, this may enhance bilateral political cooperation because more mutuality or shared interest will dominate the relations between the two countries which could cause the number of conflicts to decline. For the common rise of Southeast Asia, Thailand identifies with and supports China’s peaceful rise. And the common rise of Thailand and China also depends on the rapport between the two countries. An analysis of the Thailand-China relations by linking critical elements in Thailand’s internal and external environments, including security, economic and social reform, will be made on the basis of the theoretical analysis framework of James N. Rosenau’s linkage politics. The dialectic analysis of the new changes and new characteristics emerging in the Thailand-China relations during China’s peaceful rise will be helpful in understanding the changes in Thailand’s foreign policies towards China. This paper divides the development of Thailand-China relations from the establishment of the diplomatic ties between the two countries into three stages:from the establishment of Thailand-China relations to the beginning of1990s; from the1990s to the establishment of strategic partnership in2007; and from2007to the present date. The maintenance of Thailand’s national interests, government legitimacy, economic development and view of certain values are the critical elements that concern the adjustment of Thailand’s China policy. Due to the political and security interests, Thailand considers China as a friendly and trustworthy neighbor and partner. Among the internal elements that concern Thailand, security and the economy has significant influences on the changes in Thailand’s foreign policy. From2007until now, both the economy and security elements are playing significant roles the changes of Thailand’s diplomatic policies. This is an excellent embodiment of the assumption of the linkage politics theory.This paper argues that, Thailand’s security, as an internal element, has a significant influence on the development of Thailand’s China policies. From1975to the beginning of1990s, with the changes in international environment and the shift in Thai leaders’view of China, changes have happened to Thailand’s China policy. The leaders are shifting their focus from the internal, to Thailand’s position in international politics. After the coup, Thailand’s China policy shifted the direction and started to interact with countries ruled by the Communist party once again. This policy was put forward out of Thailand’s concern about domestic terrorism; meanwhile, China announced to execute diplomacy into two levels. Thus, we can see that the internal elements are playing a more significant role in the making of the China policy. From the early1990s to2007, the countries in Southeast Asia were all actively promoting regional political cooperation in order to drive the peace and progress in Cambodia. Besides, at that time, the US’s influence on Southeast Asia fell. As Thailand was facing a power vacuum problem, more territorial sovereignty disputes rose up, making Thailand believe that its border cities were under security threat. During this period, the external elements were playing a more significant role in the making of the China policy. From2007to now, security cooperation between Thailand and China’s troops becoming much closer. Though Japan attempts to cooperate with the US’s strategic intention and woo Thailand to confront China’s rise, Thai society sees more values in China’s peaceful rise. Therefore, Thailand is not affected too much by external influence and is active in pushing the establishment of the Thailand-China strategic partnership. It is safe to say that, during this period, for the Thai society, China’s rise is realized on the basis of mutual understanding and respect of history. Meanwhile, the peaceful settlement of border issues and ensures the common security and promotes the establishment of the multilateral security framework with great influence.As for the economic aspect, it is found that the external elements are playing a bigger role in the making of Thailand’s China policy. From1975to the early1990s, the oil crisis resulted in the changes in the international environment. During this time, Thailand underwent continuous coups and turbulent political situations, but Thailand changed its China strategy and pushed the transition of Thailand-China relations to a normalized stage and officially established the diplomatic ties with China as a consequence. Therefore, the external elements are the main reasons for the diplomatic strategy adjustment of Thailand, and thus produced remarkable influence in the making of Thailand’s China policy. From the early1990s to2007, the influx of international capital and the stock market booms sowed the seeds of economic crisis. Thailand came to know that China’s rise would provide more economic cooperation and chances for Thailand and other countries in Southeast Asia to agree that China’s economic growth created more trade value and investment opportunities. But at the same time, it also urged that the peaceful and stable rise of China would drive it to blend in the local community and the world, thus improving China’s international status and image. Therefore, the external elements of Thailand played a bigger role in the making of China policy in this period. From2007to now, in order to address the challenges brought by China’s rise and its control over regional economic interests in Asia, the US adopted a policy of returning to Asia, which greatly affected the Southeast Asian countries’diplomatic strategies. Despite the changes in the external environment, Thailand’s China policy still identifies with China’s peaceful rise. Thailand is willing to make its efforts to actively drive China to blend into the local community and the world in order to further solidify the development of Thailand-China relations, and this treats China as one of its important economic partners.China’s rise has a bigger influence on Thailand than on any other countries in ASEAN. Thailand still has to stick to its former diplomatic magic weapon:keeping the balance and making corresponding adjustments to its diplomatic ties with China. To maintain the harmonious development of Thailand-China bilateral relations, both countries’ governments and people shall pursue common efforts to establish mutual trust. The Thailand-China friendship which has a long history will certainly restore vigor after going through the Cold War, and will bid a bright future. The Thailand-China harmonious bilateral relations are based on mutual political trust, economic benefits, security assistance, and cultural appreciation, and in addition have a profound history and real foundations.When faced with a political dilemma and changes in the external environment, Thailand always knows through history that the normalization of the Thailand-China relations has had a significant meaning in the development of bilateral relations. It is safe to say that the development of the Thailand-China relations always brings more good than harm. By strengthening the cooperation with China, Thailand has realized its political, economic and diplomatic goals. China’s rise had an overall influence on Thailand-China relations, including the influences on stability, economy, society and culture. Furthermore, it has also had a significant meaning for the huge Southeast Asian region. The healthy development of the Thailand-China relations will benefit the bilateral or multilateral relations. However, it has also encountered some constraints in the development of the ties, which mainly include:the strengthening of China’s national power, the existence of the US’ influence, and the changes of other ASEAN countries’relations with China. Nevertheless, China’s peaceful rise has laid a solid foundation for the healthy and stable development of Thailand-China relations and the development of such relations in the new century. The changes in the international environment and the economic and social development of both countries will urge both countries to work together and strengthen their cooperation in various fields. It can be foreseen that with the joint efforts of both countries’governments and people, the Thailand-China relations will pave for a vigorous new century, and the people from both countries will write a new chapter of their friendship.
Keywords/Search Tags:Rise of China, Internal Elements, External Elements, Thailand’s ChinaPolicy, Thailand-China Relations
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