Blinken in Thailand to shore up regional support, counter China push
The United States and Thailand signed agreements on Sunday to deepen the countries' already strong ties as Washington steps up its efforts to counter China's expanding influence in Asia.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai pledged to advance partnerships in climate change, law enforcement and security cooperation.
“Apart from the strategic alliance partnership communique, the second signing was on the MOU on promoting supply chain resilience. Again, this ensures a strong, resilient and diverse supply chain cooperation, particularly in medical industry and technological innovation," Don Pramudwinai told press after meeting with his American counterpart.
Blinken said: "Our countries share the same goal – a free, open, interconnected, prosperous, resilient and secure Indo-Pacific. In recent years, we've worked together even more closely towards that vision. Our economic ties are incredibly strong and even now, emerging from Covid, they will grow stronger. We're grateful for Thailand's partnership in launching with us the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework – that's going to help create a stronger, fairer, more resilient economy that will help families, it will help workers, it will help businesses across the region."
He added that Thailand was an important US ally in achieving a resilient and secure Indo-Pacific.
Blinken will also meet with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
China's foreign minister Wang Yi has been engaged in intense diplomacy across Asia in recent weeks and met Prayut last Tuesday.