2019-07-10 JSHNB 47907
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What do Thai people think about China?


原创翻译:龙腾网 http://www.ltaaa.com 翻译: 转载请注明出处

Matt Jones, I live in VA United States. I've lived in Thailand.
1. Thailand has had historically close relationship with China both in trade and diplomacy. Moreover, Thailand has never been controlled/colonized by the west; thus they were not influenced by the western view about race and foreign relation and can think independently. So the Thai opinion about China is generally positive. At one time, the Ayutthaya Kingdom used to be the richest city in Asia because of its maritime trade with China and Japan. There is a classic book that one should read on this topic. In fact, Ayutthaya was so wealthy that it threatened the trade ambition of the English East India Company, and the EIC even declared war with Siam.


2. Thailand is the home to the largest Chinese-ethnic population outside of China and Taiwan. However, Thailand, as it is, has become a non-racial society, united under the Thai identity. Today, many Thais view their grandparents from China as Chinese, but consider themselves simply as Thai. This peculiar phenomenon can only be compared with how the European descendants in America view themselves vis-à-vis their European forebears. This means that while the Thai-Chinese share certain values and cultural aspects with the Chinese people, they still view non-Thai Chinese as strangers.


1) Thai people generally considered Chinese as their Asian big brothers which was source of technology and development of life of ordinary people which transfer from people-to-people relation (not for elites which prefered monopoliable imported technology from Indian and later from the West). Thai people see it is rather natural for China to be big brother here, this is partly due to Thailand and its Siam precursor has no negative history about direct conflict with China and feel so content with their status of tributary state in name only with China as the most important market of its product before China lost in Opium war. This position is reinforcing by Sino-Vietnamese war which Thai people believes that China fight against Vietnam to stop Vietnamese expansion and save their country from become next domino of Communism. Another event that make Thai reinforcing Thai people's feeling about China's status as big brother is its battle against hedge fund in Hongkong during Tomyamgung disease fininancial crisis in 1997-1998 which not only China could make situation of crisis in Asia stable, Thai people feel that justice of revenge has been served with the retreat of hedge funds from Hongkong. This make Thai people think about China as one of very responsible player in international system.


2.Thailand old aristocratic elites in last 250 years could trace their bloodline back to China. The restoration of Siam after the fall of Ayutthaya was partly due to China's support. But after China losing Second Opium War in 1857, Siam/Thailand stop its tributary relation with China. During day of attempt to westernization, old aristocratic elites try to divorce their tie with chinese elements as well as divorced Thailand from China. But this end up counter-initiative due to most of Thai's commercial economy is in hand of oversea Chinese and their descendents, so when those oversea Chinese economic elites grow in political power, Thai connection with Chinese coming back during later part of the Cold War.


6) Favor toward China not as strong in post-Cold War generations when compare to older generation which born during Cold War due to Chinese soft power in Thailand is receding with the rise of Korean soft power (while Japanese and American soft power hold its own share and expand but not much when compare to Korean soft power) which produced soft power product with a lot of flavor of aristocratic culture which many of non-middle class and non-oversea chinese middle class find it is easier to consume than non-aristocratic perspective of Hongkong/Taiwan/Mainland China pop products.

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