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Economy

Thailand's military and civilian ministers appear divided over diplomatic strategy

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha speaks to reporters at a Sept. 1 press conference. (Photo by Hiroshi Kotani)

BANGKOK Recent diplomatic moves from the Thai military government appear to be attempting to strike an unlikely balance between freedom and oppression. The team assigned with responsibility for the economy, comprised mostly of civilian ministers, is seeking to bolster the relationship with long-term ally Japan and is actively considering joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement led by the U.S. and Japan. At the same time, the generals tasked with maintaining national security is sticking to a heavy-handed approach, siding with China and brushing off criticism of disregard for human rights.

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