But not on-foot patrols, at least that was a quick clarification from a government spokesperson.
Chinese police and the Royal Thai Police are to join forces on “information-sharing”, in order to boost tourism confidence in Thailand. The Phuket Express reports that the move has been confirmed by the Tourism Authority of Thailand and a spokesman for PM Srettha Thavisin.
Thapanee Kiatphaibool, director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, confirmed the arrangement yesterday, November 13, after meeting the PM at Suvarnabhumi International Airport. Thapanee says a meeting will take place tomorrow between the Chinese embassy and Thai police, including tourist police and officers from the Central Intelligence Bureau.
Officials have confirmed that Chinese police “will not patrol” alongside their Thai counterparts, rather the cooperation will take the form of information-sharing, particularly when it comes to the activities of Chinese criminals.
The government is anxious to restore confidence among Chinese tourists, a significant market for Thailand and its largest by far pre-pandemic. A number of issues have dented confidence in tourism safety in Thailand, including a Bangkok mall shooting in which a Chinese tourist was killed.
Compounding the problem was the release of the movie No More Bets, depicting Chinese nationals being conned by human traffickers and forced to work overseas in the illegal online gambling industry.
According to Thapanee, the knowledge that Chinese police are working with the Royal Thai Police will make all tourists feel safer, not just the Chinese. She says this is because tourists from other countries trust the Chinese police system. (Yes, she really did say that…)
The announcement has sparked furious discussion online, much of it critical, which has prompted the PM’s office to issue a follow-up statement clarifying that Chinese officers would not be patrolling the streets of Thailand.
SOURCE: The Phuket Express