China's influence is felt far outside its borders. The country is an agenda-setter in this region and its impact - political, cultural and economic - can be felt around the world. Here, generations of Chinese-Thais have played a formative role in shaping modern Thailand. They have changed the political, economic and cultural landscape, and they have made contributions in fields as diverse as business, public service, the arts, academia, religion, the media, the military - even organised crime.
Chinese communities are relatively well integrated here. Many consider themselves "Thais of Chinese heritage" rather than putting their ancestral roots to the fore as is often in the case in the Philippines, Indonesia or Malaysia.
It's an environment that can be more conducive to taking a look at Chinese influence, past and present, locally and further afield, without invoking fear or politics.
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