Most not worried by China's complaint about Thanathorn: poll

Most not worried by China's complaint about Thanathorn: poll

Army chief Gen Apirat Kongsompong shows a picture of Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong with the removed image of Future Forward leader Thanathorn Jungroongruangkit at a
Army chief Gen Apirat Kongsompong shows a picture of Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong with the removed image of Future Forward leader Thanathorn Jungroongruangkit at a "lecture" on national security in Bangkok on Sept 13. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)

A majority of people are not worried by a statement issued by the Chinese embassy in Bangkok expressing concern over what it said was a show of tacit support by a Thai politician for protesters in Hong Kong, saying that Thailand and China have long enjoyed strong relations, according to the result of an opinion survey by the National Institute for Development Administration, or Nida Poll.

The poll was conducted on Oct 15-17 on 1,270 people aged 18 and over of various levels of education and occupations throughout the country to compile their opinions on a picture showing Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit posing with Joshua Wong, a Hong Kong protest leader who addressed a US congressional hearing on Sept 17 and has been jailed multiple times by the Hong Kong government.

Asked what they think about the picture of Mr Thanathorn with Joshua Wong, the responses varied -- with each respondent allowed to give more than one answer -- as follows:

- 29.84% said it is just an ordinary picture of two people;

- 25.04% had no comment, saying they do not know who Joshua Wong is; 

- 18.11% said it shows personal contact between two people that won't affect Sino-Thai relations;

- 17.01% said Mr Thanathorn had acted inappropriately;

- 12.99% said it is a matter of two people with the same ideologies having their pictures taken together;

- 6.61% said it could affect the Thai-Chinese relations;

- 4.49% had no comment;

- 2.83% said it might show collaboration between them to show opposition to one of the two countries or both;

- 1.73% said the picture could cause a decline in the number of Chinese tourists to Thailand; 

- 1.65% said the picture is unlikely to result in a decline in the number of Chinese tourists to Thailand.

Asked whether they were worried by a Chinese embassy statement that expressed concern about the picture without mentioning Mr Thanathorn by name, 51.81% said they were not worried at all, saying Thailand and China have long had strong relations; 14.72% were not interested, believing that it was only a Thai politician seeking publicity; 19.76% were rather worried as it could affect Sino-Thai relations; 4.65% were very worried; while 9.06% were not interested or had no comment.

A majority -- 52.36% -- of the respondents said they do not follow the news about the protest in Hong Kong at all, 26.69% said they follow the news occasionally, 16.70% said they rarely do so but are aware of what is happening there, and 4.25% said they follow the news regularly.


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