HomeЛюди и блогиRelated VideosMore From: FCCT Events

The Eagle and the Elephant: US-Thai relations 2015

2 ratings | 776 views
(apologies for the poor video quality due to a technical problem with the recorder) Thailand's status as a non-NATO ally of the United States is an extension of Cold War treaties in the 1950s, and founded on warm diplomatic relations first established in the 19th century. In the 1920s and 1930s, the US helped Siam tackle unequal treaties that had been imposed on it by predatory European powers. In late 1941, the US ducked a declaration of war issued by the government of Field Marshal Pibul Songkhram. After World War II, Americans helped keep at bay vengeful European colonial powers returning to Southeast Asia for the last gasps of Western colonialism. Thailand was a key ally to the US in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War years, but relations reached a low point in 1975 when Indochina fell to communism leaving Thailand marooned in a sea of red. Even so, the US remained Thailand's most important foreign trading partner until it was overtaken by Japan in the 1980s and 1990s. The US is still important to Thailand in many ways, including defence arrangement that have included the annual Cobra Gold joint military exercises. Despite talks of diplomatic pivots, Thailand like many countries in Asia has been dealing with a US seemingly distracted by developments in other parts of a post 9-11 world. Relations have also been strained by coups in 2006 and 2014 that triggered automatic censure protocols by the world's most powerful democracy. In January, Assistant US Secretary of State Daniel R. Russel made some critical, but predictable, comments about the kingdom's political situation during a talk at Chulalongkorn University. He ruffled feathers. Relations with China have meanwhile apparently warmed on all fronts. With a new US ambassador on the horizon, where do things stand in this rollercoaster relationship and what can we expect next? The FCCT is pleased to welcome the following speakers: Kasit Piromya was a career diplomat who served as foreign minister in the government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva between 2008 and 2011. Previously, he served as ambassador to the US, Russia, Indonesia, Germany and Japan. Kasit was a member of the People's Alliance for Democracy, and has lately been giving thought to how Thailand's exceptionally fractious party politics can be mended and taken forward. David Lyman is an icon of Thailand's American business community having served as president of the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM). He is chief values officer at the law firm of Tilleke and Gibbins - a role that extends beyond legal matters to creating an ethical environment for business. A former submarine officer in the US navy, David has been active with the World Economic Forum's Davos Annual Meeting for 18 years. He is a member of the board of governors at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. Benjamin Zawacki is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and was recently a visiting fellow in the human rights program at Harvard Law School. He is completing a book on Thailand's changing relationships with the United States and China, and the implications for human rights and geo-politics in Southeast Asia. Based in Bangkok, he was previously a researcher at Amnesty International and senior legal advisor at the International Commission of Jurists.
Html code for embedding videos on your blog
Text Comments (1)
chula (1 year ago)
It's getting worst and worst...

Would you like to comment?

Join YouTube for a free account, or sign in if you are already a member.