11 July 2024

Move Forward’s Pita Limjaroenrat, tipped to be the next Thai prime minister, claims that several of the policies adopted by his party and its coalition partners took inspiration from Taiwan.

He was speaking in an interview with Chinese News Agency (CNA). The interview was published in CNA’s English-language “Focus Taiwan” section.

When asked if some of the coalition’s 23 policy proposals were based on those already implemented by Taiwan, Pita said “a lot of our policies are based on the Taiwanese experience”. He referred in particular to Taiwan’s “Uniform Invoice” lottery, which encourages consumers to ask for a receipt in a bid to tackle tax evasion.

According to CNA, Pita added that marriage equality was another issue where his party hoped to follow the lead of Taiwan, which became the first economy in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage in 2019.

Video : INTERVIEW : Thailand PM hopeful takes policy inspiration from Taiwan

Thailand could also learn from Taiwan’s promotion of transparency and good governance, such as the use of digital platforms to make government information more accessible.

Pita added that he met with Morris Chang during the 2022 APEC summit. Chang is the founder of the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, who also served as President Tsai Ing-wen’s envoy to the summit. They discussed possible cooperation in terms of economics and education in the semiconductor industry,” Pita said.

He and Chang, both graduates of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), bonded through their shared alma mater.

Asked about his future foreign policy, Pita told CNA that it has to be a “rules-based diplomacy” with the objective being stability in Asia and the world as a whole.

“There might still be Sino-US rivalry but, if this is strategically managed, such competition could benefit Thailand and other countries in ASEAN,” he said.

“It is time for a middle power like Thailand to really step into the global arena and help to shape the new world order,” he added.