US vows to support free press, bilateral relations

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The United States will support the Thai press as free and independent journalism is an integral part of freedom of expression and democracy, said US Embassy Charge d’Affaires Michael Heath.

Speaking at a seminar for reporters organised by the embassy in partnership with the Thai Journalists Association (TJA), Mr Heath discussed US foreign policy in the region and provided deeper insights into the full range of US-Thai cooperation.

“This seminar marks the first collaborative effort of its kind between the US embassy and TJA,” he said.

“Like we do across the world, the United States will continue to support a vibrant, free press which keeps us informed, prevents the spread of mis- and dis-information, and serves as a cornerstone of democracy.”

Mr Heath talked about foreign policy during the Biden administration.

“As a Pacific nation, the United States is committed to a free and open Indo-Pacific because a free and open architecture benefits both the American people and the peoples of all other Pacific nations,” he said.

Those interests are maintaining peace and security, including the peaceful resolution of disputes, respect for the international rules-based order, including freedom of navigation and overflight, securing critical supply chains, respect for human rights, fostering economic development that is transparent and sustainable, and promoting Asean centrality, he said.

“As Admiral [John] Aquilino, the commander of US Indo-Pacific Command, said during his recent visit to Thailand, the United States is committed to ensuring peace, prosperity, and stability for all countries in the region,” Mr Heath said.

He said the US is working hard to strengthen ties with allies and like-minded partners in the region including Thailand, the Philippines, South Korea, Japan, India and Australia.

The US is Thailand’s largest export market. During the pandemic, Thailand has been able to keep supply chains intact — despite many of its neighbours or other countries being unable to, Mr Heath noted.