Thailand has been showered with attention from the United States in recent months after Thai officials privately complained last year that senior Biden administration officials seemed to be passing by Bangkok during their travels to the region.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited in July, a month after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stopped in Bangkok. Blinken signed a joint communique on a strategic alliance with his Thai counterpart, while Austin sought to strengthen military ties between the nominal allies.
A month earlier, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha participated in a summit in Washington with President Joe Biden and other Southeast Asian leaders. In June, Thailand joined 12 other countries in signing up to the U.S.-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), a diverse trade platform that will now be negotiated among partners over the next 18 months.
Blinken and Thai foreign minister Don Pramudwinai signed a U.S.-Thailand Communiqué on Strategic Alliance and Partnership, the first comprehensive effort to broaden the terms of the 1962 Thanat-Rusk communiqué in which the United States committed to support Thailand against communist threats.
The new communiqué expanded relations beyond a military partnership to address the threats of climate change, expand law enforcement cooperation, deepen collaboration on cybersecurity and technological innovation, and advance global public health. Paragraph 6 references a U.S. and Thai agreement to protect human rights and promote free and fair elections. Separately, Blinken and Don signed a memorandum of understanding on supply chain resilience.
Read the complete story: The United States Makes Up Critical Terrain in Thailand | Center for Strategic and International Studies (csis.org)