Dynamics of power are key as Thai Kingdom struggles with the 'great game' of diplomacy

Dynamics of power are key as Thai Kingdom struggles with the 'great game' of diplomacy
Flags of the states which are also Asean members.

A well-balanced foreign policy is needed for Thailand in light of competition between major powers, mainly the United States and China, to increase their influence over Southeast Asia, said prominent scholars in international relations.

Thailand is seen as getting closer to Beijing after pressure from Washington over the military coup to topple an elected government last May.

Panitan Wattanayagorn, an adviser to Prawit Wongsuwan, deputy prime minister and defence minister, has raised six possible scenarios that he believes could occur.

The first one is the continuation of the American hegemony.

The second one is the growing importance of China to the point it usurps the US's influence.

Scenario three underlines the possibility of the international community witnessing Sino-US cooperation instead of having only one supreme power.

The fourth one centres on the possibility of the US and China cooperating with other major powers to determine the global order.

The fifth one puts regional organisations at the centre of the international order.

Scenario six would see a return to balanced power, a period in which countries would focus on their own survival.

For the moment, the US will remain the only hegemon enjoying the role of rule-maker, while China would eventually assume that role, said Chulacheeb Chinwanno, an expert in international relations from the Faculty of Political Science at Thammasat University.

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