Individual illegal acts do not represent mainstream of Chinese citizens, enterprises in Thailand despite third-party’s sowing discord: embassy
Published: Mar 01, 2023 02:29 PM
The Chinese Embassy in Thailand Photo: Sina Weibo

The Chinese Embassy in Thailand Photo: Sina Weibo

The suspected illegal activities were only orchestrated by a few individuals and by no means represent the mainstream of Chinese citizens and enterprises in Thailand despite third-party's sowing discord, a spokesperson from the Chinese Embassy in Thailand said on Tuesday in response to reports of Chinese citizens participating in illegal activities in Thailand, adding that China supports Thai authorities to deal with suspected violations in accordance with the law.

A total of 110 immigration officers, including three generals, have been charged with malfeasance in office and extortion. These officers are accused of involvement in issuing visas for Chinese businessmen allegedly involved in "grey" businesses in Thailand, and the revelation of the case caused shock in local community, Thai media reported.

Many of these people entering Thailand in the use of student visas while some apply for volunteer visas to work for foundations in the country, according to Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn, a deputy national police chief, adding that they do not actually study at schools or work as volunteers as they claim.

The spokesperson said this was a rare case and did not represent the majority of Chinese citizens and businesses in Thailand, and that the law enforcement agencies of both countries will continue to cooperate in combating cross-border crimes such as online gambling and fraud.

China always asks overseas Chinese citizens and enterprises to strictly abide by the laws and customs of the host country and actively contribute to the local society. A large number of charity activities held by Chinese citizens and enterprises in Thailand and their great contributions to Thailand's economic development are there for all to see, the spokesperson added.

However, some Western media and scholars have interpreted this isolated and occasional case as an erosion of the integrity of Thailand's political process by Chinese capital and influence.

An Australian scholar writes in an article on the East Asia Forum that Chinese citizens using fake Thai identity cards and holding cash, luxury cars and real estate certificate are direct evidence of Chinese "grey money" flowing into Thailand. Grey money refers to the profits of drug and gambling businesses that are laundered through the purchase of real estate, he wrote.

The scholar also warned of the possibility of the Chinese side could ''exploit close personal relationships with Thai elites and high-ranking officials in the Thai capital" and the possibility of grey capital flowing into the election.

The Chinese Embassy in Thailand mentioned the need to guard against third-party forces trying to smear China and Thailand bilateral cooperation, noting that it is untenable to use individual illegal acts to question the economic and trade cooperation and personnel exchanges between the two nations.

"China firmly opposes the attempts by a third party to smear China and undermine bilateral cooperation and personnel exchanges between the two countries," the spokesperson noted, adding that China will work with the Thai people to maintain the sound momentum of development of bilateral relations.

Global Times