Category Archives: China

‘New Wave’ of Chinese in Northern Thailand – ideas and direction

Since arriving in Chiang Mai to start field research I have begun to study Thai as well as had a meeting with Ajaarn Aryana Siriphon (Monday 1st Oct), who is a researcher at RCSD, she is part of a research team headed by Yos Satisambot who are looking at the influence of Chinese in a number of Southeast Asian countries. Aryana is looking at the Chinese in Thailand, which is why Danielle Tan arranged for us to work together. We discussed a few ideas for how our chapter on Chinese influence in Northern Thailand might play out. Before I forget here is a list of some of the points we covered.

New wave of Chinese in Thailand: Aryana mentioned three types of ‘Chinese’ she has identified as being part of the ‘new wave’ of Chinese in Thailand. They are located in one of three northern Thai border towns, Mae Sai, Chiang Sean and Chiang Kong.

  1. In the border location of Mae Sai (A border town in Chiang Rai province, Thailand which sits opposite Taichelek in Burma http://goo.gl/maps/xl9uS) at “Dai Wah” Market. These new Chinese are small business/entrepreneur type traders. It would be interesting to see whether these Chinese come from Yunnan province mainly or from other areas in China also to see how they have built networks with existing Yunnanese who are descendants of the KMT (50-60 years ago). There are also two Chinese Associations in Mae Sai, one is Yunnanese and the other is for Overseas Chinese. There is also a Chinese school in the area “Guang Ming”.
  2. In the port towns of Chiang Sean and Chiang Kong there is a Chinese presence in Shipping companies attracted by the FTA. Here the Chinese businessmen will hire a warehouse and also employ Chinese labour (200-300 Chinese labourers).
  3. In Chiang Rai there are also large privately owned companies, Chinese companies doing business with Thai companies. For example Sin Sing rubber, registered in Thailand,  has recently bought 300 Rai of land next to the R3A where they plan to build a rubber factory.

Across the border in Laos there are also interesting developments involving large Casino’s. Across the river from Chiang Sean in Ton Pheung, Laos ( see http://thediplomat.com/2010/12/24/laos%E2%80%99s-chinese-gamble/).Meant to take up 3000 Rai, its owner is Jiao Wei, from Macao.

Can we do some analysis of the different waves of Chinese businessmen in Northern Thailand how this New Wave is interacting with the Older Waves? Are the Older Waves looking for opportunities by reaching back into Yunnan?

Suggest a survey to be done in the next few months in this area.

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China is Thailand’s top export destination

Bangkok Post article.

China replaced the US as Thailand’s top export destination last year. China’s export demand may slow as China’s economy slows this year.

China International – An FP Photo Essay | Foreign Policy

China International – An FP Photo Essay | Foreign Policy.

Photo’s by journalists Heruberto Araujo and Juan Pablo Cardenal taken as part of their research into China’s investment throughout the world. Book published in Spanish 2011 called La silenciosa conquista china – not in English yet!

Yingluck’s visit to China – April 2012

VIDEO: CHINA, THAILAND PLEDGE CLOSER TIES CCTV News – CNTV English.

CNTV cideo of Yinglucks visit to China in April 2012.

Also covered in The Nation here:

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/politics/Yinglucks-China-trip-upgrades-bilateral-ties-30180237.html

The four day meet ended in the signing of cooperative bilateral agreements with aims to expand bilateral trade to US$100billion before 2015 and cooperation on ocean research, telecommunications, technology, energy and agriculture.

In regards to the GMS Yingluck was quoted as saying that  “Under this development scheme, it is my pleasure to inform you that a Mekong bridge between Thailand’s Chiang Rai and Laos’s Huay Xaiwhich provinces, connecting Yunnan [in China] to Thailand, will be opened on the 12th day of the 12th month of the year 2012,”

A report from Xhinhua news agency can be found here:

“…China is both the largest export market and second-largest import source for Thailand. The two countries’ trade volume hit 64.7 billion U.S. dollars in 2011”

The Economist: Asia

Analysis and updates on contemporary relations in the Mekong region

The Economist: China

Analysis and updates on contemporary relations in the Mekong region

Asian Correspondent

Analysis and updates on contemporary relations in the Mekong region

New Mandala

New perspectives on Southeast Asia