Blood Is Thicker Than Water: A History of the Diplomatic Discourse “China and Thailand Are Brothers”
? ??In this article weexamine how the phrase “China and Thailand are brothers” became the diplomaticdiscourse that both countries commonly use to articulate their cordialrelations. First, we trace the historical contexts in which the discourse wasconstructed and how this discourse played a crucial role in encouraging overseasChinese to integrate into Thai society in the early twentieth century. Second,we explain how the discourse provided insights for Thai and Chinese politicalelites relevant to the transformation of their nations’ foreign policies towardSino-Thai normalization during the Cold War. We further demonstrate how thediscourse has reinforced a certain perception of Sino-Thai relations sincediplomatic normalization between the two countries. Finally, we suggest arethinking of the implications of diplomatic discourse with Chinesecharacteristics to better understand China’s relationship with foreigncountries in general and with Thailand in particular.
China, Thailand, Sino-Thai relations, foreignpolicy, discourse, diplomacy.
AsianPerspective 42 (2018), 597–621