Foreign Ministry dismisses rumours of Thailand joining ‘Nato 2’
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has rejected speculation that Thailand is joining a so-called “Nato 2” or “Nato of Asia” military alliance led by the United States in a move against the region’s superpowers China and Russia.
The ministry’s spokesman, Tanee Sangrat, said on Friday that the Kingdom only has bilateral cooperation with friendly countries regarding security matters, with no agreement on collective defence in case of military aggression, as is the case with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato).
“The rhetoric about a so-called Nato 2 is not based on truths,” he said.
He said such rhetoric has caused uneasiness for Thailand’s friendly countries like China, Russia and Iran, as the Kingdom could be perceived as leaning towards the US.
“Thailand has maintained a policy of balanced ties with all friendly countries, based on the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia,” said Tanee, who also serves as director-general of the ministry’s Department of Information.
“Thailand has had a close and smooth relationship with both China and the US,” he added, pointing to recent high-level visits involving both the superpower nations.
Tanee said official US documents regarding the Indo-Pacific Strategy have been unilaterally prepared by Washington, with no formal agreement with any country.
Meanwhile, the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) involves economic matters covering trade, supply chains, clean energy, taxation and the fight against corruption.
In May, the Thai government decided to join talks on rules and procedures for the IPEF. Asean members, including Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia, have shown interest in becoming founding members of the IPEF.