Thailand’s future sacrificed at the stake of China’s BRI
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the principle goal of China’s Belt and Road Initiative is to expand its geopolitical influence. The big changes in BRI Version 2.0 are made to address the lack of transparency and public accountability, the main weaknesses of and complaints against BRI 1.0.
To over-commit to BRI 2.0 is to place a big chunk of Thailand’s future under the uncertainty of the US-China geopolitical ties.
It would be naive to believe that the US will sit idly by while China is pursuing its superpower ambitions. Once the US pushes back against China’s grand strategy, Thailand may become just another pawn and get stuck on the Silk Road that is going nowhere.
The junta is betting Thailand’s future without sufficient public scrutiny. The detailed cost-benefit analysis of Thailand’s participation in BRI has not been made public, which has a right to more transparency.