Thailand denies Chinese police will patrol in tourist areas

BANGKOK: Thailand today denied reports that Chinese police will patrol at popular tourist destinations in the kingdom.

Instead, the Chinese police will collaborate with their Thai counterparts by sharing relevant information to effectively address crimes targeting Chinese tourists in Thailand, in a bid to boost confidence among Chinese travellers.

Government spokesperson Chai Wacharonke in a statement said Chinese tourists had raised concerns of Chinese criminals operating in Thailand targeting them.

“The Chinese and Thai police will join hands to gather information in busting the Chinese mafia groups. The Chinese police will not be patrolling in Thailand.

“We assure that we will not compromise Thailand’s sovereignty,” he said.

He added that the Chinese and Thai police have been working together in cracking down “grey businesses” involving Chinese nationals in the kingdom.

On Sunday, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) governor Thapanee Kiatphaibool told media that Thailand plans to station Chinese personnel at some of its tourist destinations to boost the confidence of Chinese travellers.

Thapanee said a similar initiative was implemented in Italy from 2016 to 2019. However, the move stirred a controversy, with many expressing concerns over national sovereignty.

Meanwhile, national police chief, Gen. Torsak Sukvimol disagreed with the proposal to involve Chinese police in enhancing the safety of Chinese tourists in Thailand.

“The move will violate Thailand’s sovereignty. The Thai police possess the necessary capabilities to protect both citizens and tourists,” he said at a press conference today.

Thailand targets to welcome 4 to 4.4 million Chinese tourist this year. However, statistic showed about 2.8 million Chinese visited Thailand as of November 5.

In September, Thailand waived visa requirements for Chinese travellers for five months in a bid to boost Chinese tourist arrivals.–Bernama