(CTN News) – Thailand’s recent decision to return approximately 400 to 500 million baht to China, seized from illegal businesses operated by Chinese nationals within the country, has caused a stir among its citizens.
Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam’s explanation that the move followed a seven-year-old criminal case involving a Chinese scammer has left many Thai netizens expressing their disagreement.
While the Chinese government was overwhelmed by the gesture, the decision has led to heated discussions about allocating the funds and its implications for Thailand’s domestic priorities.
The Controversial Gesture:
During a recent visit to China, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam handed over the seized money to China’s Minister of Interior Li Fangshu, showcasing the country’s cooperation in combating illegal activities.
The money was connected to a case where a Chinese scammer deceived thousands of his compatriots before fleeing to Thailand and investing the ill-gotten gains in Thai real estate.
However, China’s Interior Minister expressed concerns that the victims might not come forward to claim the money due to its association with illegal activities, leading to the decision to allocate the funds to the government budget.
Despite the government’s intention to cooperate and display goodwill, many Thai netizens have voiced strong dissent over the decision to return the seized money to China.
They argue that the funds should have been utilized for domestic purposes, such as funding essential infrastructure projects and social initiatives within Thailand.
Some netizens cite legal grounds that suggest the forfeited properties should belong to the country as per Section 35 of the Criminal Law. The move has sparked discussions on whether the government is prioritizing foreign relations over the country’s own interests and sovereignty.
Perception of Chinese Influence:
The decision has also amplified concerns among the Thai population about the perceived influence of Chinese nationals and businesses.
Some netizens claim that illegal Chinese businesses receive support from the Thai government, leading to the exploitation of Thai resources and citizens.
The gesture has raised questions about the impact of Chinese investments and the extent of control exerted by China in Thailand’s affairs.
Calls for National Unity:
Amidst the divisive discussions, some Thai citizens are urging their fellow countrymen to prioritize unity and act in the nation’s best interest.
While they acknowledge the importance of maintaining diplomatic ties, they stress the need to ensure that Thailand’s domestic needs and priorities are not compromised.
Thailand’s decision to return seized money to China, following a high-profile criminal case, has ignited a heated national debate. While the Chinese government appreciated the gesture, many Thai netizens remain dissatisfied, questioning the allocation of the funds and expressing concerns about the influence of Chinese businesses in the country.
As the discussions continue, it remains crucial for the Thai government to strike a balance between maintaining international relations and safeguarding the interests of its citizens and national development.