Saturday, August 22, 2020

Obvious Reason US-Backed Protesters Oppose Thai-Chinese Submarine Purchase

Opposition party's past violence in 2009-2010 has cost Thailand over ten times more than current submarine purchase. Worse still, the opposition fully plans to repeat the violence if their demands aren't met. 

August 22, 2022 (Tony Cartalucci - ATN) - Thailand's decision to move forward with the purchasing of 2 additional submarines from China - for a total of 3 - has predictably attracted criticism from the US-backed billionaire-led opposition and their street protesters.

Despite claims that the money could be better used elsewhere for post-COVID-19 recovery - Thailand's military spending versus GDP is well below the global average and what would best suit Thailand's recovery post-COVID-19 is stability - something the opposition has no intention of allowing.

The Obvious Reason US-Backed Opposition Opposes Thai-China Deal   

The deal would not only enhance Thailand's military power but also further tilt the nation in China's direction with the major purchase involving long-term training and maintenance implications drawing the two Asia nation's overall relations closer still.

Despite Thailand's opposition openly attempting to create political, social, and economic instability - protesters now demand that the money be instead used to for post-COVID-19 recovery - an issue they themselves have failed to focus on as they demand the government step down, the constitution be rewritten, and their parties of choice be given free reign over the country - all steps that will impede, not help Thailand's recovery.

Building closer ties to Thailand's largest trade partner, biggest investor, most important infrastructure partner, and largest source of tourism - would help Thailand's recovery.

Greater Thai-Chinese relations would further erode US "primacy" in Asia-Pacific.

It should be noted that the first submarine ordered by Thailand has already been paid for in 2017 and its construction is already complete with delivery of the submarine expected in 2024.

Thailand's Opposition Violence Has Cost More Than Military Purchases 

Bangkok Post's article, "B22.5bn sub buy gets nod," would report:
A House subcommittee scrutinising the budget bill for the fiscal 2021 approved the navy's controversial procurement of two submarines worth 22.5 billion baht from China, though not unanimously. 
The opposition to the deal comes in the form of billionaire fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra's Pheu Thai Party who - while organizing damaging street protests now claim that the long-standing defense deal now somehow jeopardizes the "economic survival of the people."

One Pheu Thai member would complain:
The prime minister must choose between the submarines and the economic survival of the people. How come the government favours the submarines over people's livelihoods?
Previous street protests organized by Thaksin Shinawatra and his political party in 2009-2010 left nearly 100 dead and led to arson causing some 150 billion Thai Baht in damage (approximately $5 billion USD) - or in other words damages equivalent to the purchase of up to 13 submarines. 

It was costly violence Thaksin Shinawatra, his Pheu Thai Party and street protests they are currently backing are once again hanging over the head of Thailand if their political demands are not met. 

Thaksin Shinawatra while in power from 2001-2006 had eagerly served US interests. Even after being ousted from power he had the largest and most influential lobbying groups in Washington aiding him in attempts to return to power.

READ MORE: The Complete Guide: US Government Role in Thailand's "Student Protests"

Today the US government aids Thaksin Shinawatra and his political allies in their attempts to take power and is currently funding virtually every aspect of ongoing street protests including core leaders like Anon Nampa of the US government-funded "Thai Lawyers for Human Rights" front. The US government is also funding fronts like iLaw attempting to rewrite Thailand's entire constitution.

The US has openly committed to a growing conflict with China ranging from military confrontations in the South China Sea, a global-spanning trade war, and the US-funded of protests and opposition groups in other areas along and with China's borders including Xinjiang, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Myanmar, and Cambodia.