When Thai bamboo diplomacy is no longer a driving force in region

Bangkok used to be a leader in regional diplomacy. But its vaunted tradition of flexibility and pragmatism has turned passive at a time of intensifying competition between the US and China.

Thailand's "bamboo diplomacy" has become associated more with detachment rather than skillful statecraft. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
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Earlier this month, Thailand joined 140 other countries to support the United Nations General Assembly resolution deploring the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In the hours leading up to that vote, though, it wasn't that clear which way Thailand would swing.

Over in New York, Dr Suriya Chindawongse, Thailand's envoy to the United Nations, had cited Thailand's respect for international law and called for an immediate cessation of hostilities without directly naming Russia.

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