11 July 2024

The U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, will pay his first official visit to Thailand on July 9th and 10th and will meet Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai.

During the visit, Secretary Blinken is also scheduled to meet the Ministry of Public Health’s Department of Disease Control Emergency Operations Centre and the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security’s Welfare Protection Centre for Victims of Trafficking, in Pathum Thani province, to advance Thai-U.S. cooperation in public health and the combating of human trafficking.

The visit will come less than a week after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s tour of five Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand, in an apparent bid by both global superpowers to exert and counterbalance their respective influences in the region.

Secretary Blinken’s first stop is in Bali, Indonesia, to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, where he will reinforce the US’s commitment to working with international partners in confronting global challenges, including food and energy insecurity and the threats posed to the international order by Russia’s continued war in Ukraine.

He is also scheduled to meet Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and China’s Wang Yi on the side-lines of the G20.

There is no scheduled separate meeting between Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Bali, even though both will be in the same room with other foreign ministers. US media The Hill reported that US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said the timing is not right.