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Introduction: A unified Thai kingdom was established in the mid-14th century. Known as Siam until 1939, Thailand is the only Southeast Asian country never to have been taken over by a European power. A bloodless revolution in 1932 led to a constitutional monarchy. In alliance with Japan during World War II, Thailand became a US treaty ally in 1954 after sending troops to Korea and fighting alongside the US in Vietnam. A military coup in September 2006 ousted then Prime Minister THAKSIN Chinnawat. December 2007 elections saw the pro-THAKSIN People's Power Party (PPP) emerge at the head of a coalition government that took office in February 2008. The...

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Bilateral Relationship: Australia and Thailand have longstanding and deep connections, and cooperate in a broad range of areas of mutual interest, including trade and investment, law enforcement, counter-terrorism, education, security, migration and tourism. Formal diplomatic relations were established between Australia and Thailand in 1952, and 2012 marks the 60th anniversary of relations. The bilateral relationship is facilitated by mutual membership of bodies such as the EAS, APEC, the ASEAN PMC, and the Cairns Group.

His Majesty King Bhumibol Aduljadej visited Australia in 1962 and the Thai Crown Prince, His Royal Highness Maha ...

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History: Southeast Asia has been inhabited for more than half a million years. Archaeological studies suggest that by 4000 BC, communities in what is now Thailand had emerged as centers of early bronze metallurgy. This development, along with the cultivation of wet rice, provided the impetus for social and political organization. Research suggests that these innovations may actually have been transmitted ...

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International Relations: Thailand's relations with neighbours

Foreign policy has focused primarily on enhancing ties with ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) neighbours, China and India. Thailand is a founder member of ASEAN, and takes a leading role in the region. Thailand was Chair of ASEAN in 2009 The Secretary-General of ASEAN, Dr Surin Pitsuwan, is Thai.

One of Thailand's biggest foreign policy challenges is Burma. The long, fluid border between the two countries sees large numbers of refugees, illegal immigrants and drugs pass from Burma into Thailand. There have been occasional border skirmishes between ...

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Over the course of millennia, migrations from southern China peopled Southeast Asia, including the area of contemporary Thailand. Archaeological evidence indicates a thriving Paleolithic culture in the region and continuous human habitation for at least 20,000 years.

The pace of economic and social development was uneven and conditioned by climate and geography. The dense ...

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Area Handbook Series
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