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(September 8, 2020) Biden win a boon or bane for Thailand?

There are only nine weeks to go before Nov 3 when American voters decide on their new president. If former vice president Joseph Biden wins, Thailand must prepare a new strategy to "renew" and "reinvent" engagement with the US that will take be tougher on issues related to China, human rights and democracy. The Biden administration's approach could be a boon or bane for Thailand, one of its five allies in the Indo-Pacific, depending on the country's diplomatic pathway and strategic preparedness. With a new administration under the Democrats, the US State Department would again shape overall policy towards its benign ally.

Reading through the 91 pages of the 2020 Democratic Party Platform, one can easily figure out the Biden administration's plans for foreign relations and advancement of American interests overseas. On the overall policy towards the Asia-Pacific, seven out of 11 paragraphs on US foreign relations zeroed in on China. Among several pledges, this one stands out: "Democrats will be clear, strong and consistent in pushing back where we have profound economic, security, and human rights concerns about the actions of China's government."