BANGKOK — The Foreign Ministry on Tuesday issued a statement rejecting criticism that the kingdom has become too close to China at the expense of its ties with the European Union and the United States.
It came after former deputy prime minister Pridiyathorn Devakula made the remarks Monday. Pridiyathorn served as a deputy leader after the 2014 coup under junta head Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha.
The foreign ministry said Thailand’s foreign policy under the current military regime places importance on “maintaining balance” among superpowers and key allies by forging “constructive strategies” with “mutual respect, mutual trust and mutual benefits.”
“Thailand has forged close ties in all dimensions with the US, China, Japan, India and Australia, be they political, economic or social,” the statement read, adding that Prayuth was invited to visit the White House in 2017 as an example, and citing the opening of the Thai consulate in Fukuoka, Japan.
The statement said the European Union decided to revive its high-level ties with Thailand in December 2017, which led to Prayuth’s visits to the United Kingdom, France and Germany and to attend the ASEM Summit in Brussels, Belgium this year.
“Leaders of all countries received the prime minister and the entourage well and this led to tangible results,” the statement read, adding that trade, economic cooperation and investment from both state and private sectors gained as a result.
The Foreign Ministry added that Thailand supports multilateralism and respects international laws.