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Closer Thai-China ties will not risk US security link

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Significance

Both the Thai and Chinese militaries are participating. The Thai junta -- keen to bolster strategic cooperation with Beijing and to attract Chinese infrastructure investment -- has made much of Chinese participation in the exercise, to the consternation of Japan and Thailand's long-standing treaty ally the United States. Beijing, for its part, seeks to build alliances in South-east Asia and capitalise on Thailand's market and investment opportunities.

Impacts

  • US firms are unlikely to be marginalised in the Thai market, even though their presence in Thailand is limited.
  • Security relations will dominate US-Thai relations for the foreseeable future.
  • Japan will continue to boost security relations with South-east Asian partners.
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