Justice Minister Thawee Sodsong led a delegation to Beijing, intensifying efforts against transnational crime. Thailand and China to work together to tackle the drug menace. Key areas of collaboration include controlling non-regulated chemicals, joint law enforcement against dangerous criminal activities and addressing powerful transnational criminal networks.

A Thai delegation led by Minister of Justice Thawee Sodsong has been in China this week. In brief, the two countries promised closer cooperation in combating transnational crime. The threat from drug trafficking in the Golden Triangle region on Thailand’s borders, in particular, was discussed. Furthermore, ministers considered how to deal with cases involving dual nationals of both countries. The visit is seen as another step towards stronger communication and intelligence links.

Thai Minister of Justice Police Colonel Thawee Sodsong in Beijing on Wednesday, where he met China’s Minister of Public Security Mr Wang Xiaohong for extended talks. The two countries are to work closer in tackling international drug trafficking and crime gangs.

There was a significant diplomatic meeting on Wednesday, January 31, 2024, in Beijing, China’s capital.

Police Colonel Thawee Sodsong, Thailand’s Minister of Justice, led a high-level delegation for discussions with Mr Wang Xiaohong, China’s Minister of Public Security.

The official Thai government delegation was in China until Friday.

The talks addressed shared concerns, particularly focusing on the critical issue of illicit drug prevention and suppression.

Warm welcome from Mr Wang, China’s Minister of Public Security. Focus of the visit was effectively combating the menace of the transnational drug trade

The meeting commenced with a warm welcome from Mr Wang. In brief, he emphasised the strong and enduring relations between China and Thailand.

Police Colonel Thawee Sodsong expressed appreciation for China’s committed efforts in combating drug-related challenges.

In short, he highlighted the positive outcomes seen from more stringent drug prevention and suppression measures.

Minister Thawee provided an overview of the drug problem in Thailand and efforts to combat it.

The minister, appointed in September 2023, underlined Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s commitment to fighting the drug menace.

Mr Srettha has put at the top of the national agenda combating the country’s chronic drug problem. He acknowledged China’s success in handling its drug-related challenges.

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At this time, these include protective measures, treatment, the rehabilitation of drug addicts, and drug suppression.

Minister Thawee stressed the need for global cooperation. He told Mr Wang that no single country can tackle these issues in isolation.

However, he spoke of the increasing threats from within the Golden Triangle and the Mekong Subregion.

Minister Thawee highlighted the growing quantity of unregulated chemical precursors. These are flowing into the Golden Triangle from China. In turn, they are being used to produce methamphetamine pills in vast quantities. 

Certainly, this has been a major concern and is not covered by United Nations conventions. At the same time, experts within the UN are quite aware of the threat.

The Thai minister disclosed: ‘It is seen that we both need to cooperate more closely.’ He emphasised the necessity for joint efforts in curbing the illicit drug trade.

Agreements between the ministers on a programme of cooperation to tackle cross-border drugs coming into Thailand and international Chinese mafia gangs 

The discussions, at length, resulted in a comprehensive agreement to strengthen cooperation in several key areas:

Prevention of non-controlled chemicals: Both countries agreed to cooperate in preventing the smuggling of non-controlled chemicals. China, being a major global producer and exporter of industrial chemicals, will lead efforts. Significantly, China has agreed to regulate the entry of such chemicals into production sites in the Golden Triangle area.

Law enforcement cooperation: The focus will be on joint efforts to suppress various crimes affecting both nations. The list is extensive and growing. In summary, at this time, this includes drug trafficking, telephone fraud, online gambling, human trafficking, and money laundering.

Certainly, much of this is linked to the drug trade. In addition, it is being driven by large Chinese mafia groups. 

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Furthermore, these groups have infiltrated Southeast Asian countries.

In particular, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and Thailand. At length, this was addressed at Wednesday’s meeting in Beijing.

Transnational criminal networks: Collaboration will extend to investigations and arrests of transnational criminal networks. The discussion included specific cases involving people with dual nationality.

For instance, China is seeking Thai cooperation in repatriating these suspect individuals currently in Thailand for prosecution.

Stronger and more ambitious intelligence sharing to fight the drug threat while the Thai officials saw China’s approach to community-based rehabilitation

Knowledge Exchange: China expressed pleasure in hosting a Thai delegation to share its insights in the area.

It briefed the Thai visitors on the progress and success of China’s intelligence operations.

In addition, the exchange covered crucial academic matters such as substance analysis, wastewater treatment for addiction, and community-based rehabilitation programmes.

In conclusion, both sides reaffirmed their commitment to enhancing the enduring relationship between Thailand and China.

Moreover, the meetings and trip laid the groundwork for continued and enhanced cooperation. Meanwhile, there will now be greater communication between the leaders of both countries through all available channels.

The Thai delegation was afterwards scheduled to travel to Kunming City, Yunnan Province.

Further discussions were to take place while Thai officials were to visit drug rehabilitation centres.

The Chinese region is considered one of the Communist country’s drug black spots.

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