|First||Name: Yingjang Shinawatra|
|Sixth||Death: 12 January 2116|
Yingjang Shinawatra is the Chancellor of Thailand in IOT XIV. He has been Chancellor since 2097 and he has been responsible for the economic and military rise of Thailand. He also amassed ever growing political power, making Emperor Sayammak I a puppet Emperor.
Yingjang Shinawatra is descended from a family of Chinese immigrants, thus his Chinese surname. He married at the age of 22 Miss Kulap Pookusuwan, a childhood love of his, but she died the next year during childbirth (although the child survived). Shinawatra, who loved dearly his wife, became depressed and did not look after women. He instead focused on politics.
Rise to Power
Emperor Rama XXVII was a friend of Yingjang Shinawatra. Delegation of executive power by Rama XXVII meant that practical control of the country resided with the chancellor Yingjang Shinawatra. Yingjang Shinawatra was responsible for the unification of Thailand, as he used cunning diplomacy and the threat of Japan to unify the Warlords, as well as military campaigns, when needed, against those who refused to submit to the Thai Crown. By 2106, Thailand had been unified. n early 2107 the Thai army occupied Cambodia and the country was promptly annexed into the empire.
2106 Economic Reforms
Thailand's economy was primarily agrarian with a large, illiterate peasantry. In 2106 Shinawatra instituted sweeping economic reforms in an attempt to rapidly industrialize the country. While the government rigorously touted the plan as integral to improving national GDP, it was criticized abroad for 'selling out' Thailand to foreign investors through corporate tax incentives at the cost of local industry and polarizing domestic wealth inequality.
Shinawatra's general strategy was to incentivize investment from foreign corporations that would establish factories and import manufacturing technology. A second objective not stated at the time was to increase the government's direct control of domestic revenue through what amounted to rent-seeking.
Corporate taxation and wage control
Shinawatra created the Investment in Thailand Organization as an advertising and coordinating body for foreign investors. It also handled capital subsidies to foreign and domestic developers. ITO was funded through blanket wage cuts to public-sector employees. Concurrently, corporate taxes were drastically slashed from 30% to 7% with particular focus on encouraging entrepreneurial business.
Agriculture and price fixing
The most controversial measure was the complete restructuring of the agricultural sector into state-managed sharecropping. Farmers were not taxed in cash but forced to yield three-tenths of their produce to the government. Two-thirds of this extract were sold in state-controlled home markets above normal price, while the remainder was exported at artificially low price to undercut neighbour countries' home markets, with all profit going to the national treasury.
Complementary legislation mandated that private retailers had to set prices on food 6% higher than state markets. As Shinawatra explained in a 2113 interview, the goal was to increase direct government revenue by coercing exclusive use of state-controlled markets.
As part of the agricultural restructuring, citizens owning more than 700 acres of land were forced to cede 200 acres to state control. This land was in turn parcelled out to the unemployed for use as small farms. In recompense, donors received unspecified tax cuts of 8%, or in the case of farmers, the sharecrop was reduced to one-fifth. These new farmers were provided start-up capital through the Farming Organization, funded by sales revenue from government markets.
Skeptics charged that the reforms undermined long-term economic stability by fostering dependence on foreign capital and worsening domestic wealth disparity. While corporate subsidies may have attracted increased investment abroad, the policy included no measures to protect the new jobs during economic downturn. Wage suppression of public workers also reduced income tax revenue and citizen spending power, negatively impacting growth and state-directed domestic development. The government's aggressive attempt to export food products below average international prices threatened to encourage trade partners to retaliate with protective import tariffs. Bangkok's pursuit of free trade thus seemed more about facilitating technology transfer than its immediate benefit to Thailand's economy.
The government aimed to supplement this revenue shortfall through the agricultural reform, but detractors attacked its methodology as fundamentally flawed in several key aspects. The sharecropping strategy was criticized as disproportionately punitive to smaller farms (and encouraged by the land reforms), while the state's use of arbitrary price controls to favour its distributors put farmers into competition against their own produce. Bangkok's emergency relief fund, which paid a conditional compensation of 40% of the sharecrop's expected revenue (or 12% of the farm's productive value), was considered woefully inadequate to support a farm facing insolvency. When challenged in a 2113 interview that the Thai government was profiteering, Shinawatra's reply was evasive and confusing.
Blockade of Indonesia
Shinawatra is also known for his intervention in Indonesia. The main reason behind the Thai intervention in Indonesia was to cause as much damage as possible to the Indonesian economy so as to allow Thailand to dominate South-East Asia. That was a long term goal of Thailand which it did not pursue due to the fact that Indonesia was more powerful than Thailand both economically and militarily. However, after the Feminist takeover, Indonesia was deprived of allies and Thailand was given a good excuse to intervene. Shinawatra constantly likened Indonesia to Nazi Germany and the failure of the international community to overthrow the regime with the failed policy of Hitler's appeasement by the Western Allies.
The war begun with a blockade of Indonesia ordered in the Fall of 2111 along with Air strikes on Indonesian military bases. However, medical supplies would be allowed to the enter the country and it was stated constantly that civilian targets would be avoided. Chancellor Shinawatra made a speech on the purpose of the intervention:
- "With the takeover of Indonesia by extremists, it is now time for Thailand to play the role of the power that secures peace and stability in South-East Asia. Thailand has long been a peace-loving nation which avoids military conflicts. However, in the interests of peace and stability, Thailand will have to police South-East Asia and take military action against extremists and against those who threaten the peace and stability of the region and, indeed, that of the entire world.
- Indonesia will be the first test of Thailand. In Indonesia, Thailand shall test it's powers and see if it can take that new role. The Government of Indonesia was overthrown in a bloody civil war by 'feminist' extremists who have established a belligerent and extremist state that threatens the peace of the region. Thailand shall not accept such extremism in South-East Asia.
- For this reason, the Thai Royal Navy shall impose a total blockade of Indonesia and the Thai Royal Air Force shall bombard all military bases and power stations in Indonesia. The operation, nicknamed "Storm Eagles", shall be under the command of General of Light Sukhumbhand Paribatra. Our military mission shall try to avoid civilian casualties and the blockade, while total, will allow medical supplies to enter the country.
- Thailand hopes that with this mission, it shall force the Indonesian Government to resign and organize free and fair elections for the Indonesian people to decide their future. If, however, the extremists persist to power, then Thailand may have to make use of it's Marine Corps. This will not end up well for the Indonesian Extremists, so we hope that they will step down peacefully now that they can."
The blockade, however, although it managed to reduce Indonesia's military effectiveness, caused Indonesia to curtail even more the liberties of it's citizens and to issue an embargo on all non Feminist nations, causing huge food shortages as most of the world's nations relied on Indonesian food export.
So, in Winter 2112, the Chancellor authorized the landing of 20,000 Thai Marines on Indonesia with the mission to takeover strategic military bases. The strategy of the Chancellor was to form a pro-Thai Indonesian government in the liberated part of Indonesia and that this government, with the support of Thailand, would be able to form and train an Indonesian army which would defeat on it's own the Feminist regime.
Thailand was indeed able to secure the North of Indonesia and formed a democratic government under Jusuf Kalla, a known democrat activist and liberal politician who had been under house arrest by the Feminist regime. The new state was named "Democratic Republic of Indonesia". The government he formed was ecumenical and made up of more than thirty important former Ministers, politicians, businessmen and Commanders of the Indonesian army during the Civil War. Malta also joined Thailand in it's war effort, since it was affected by the Indonesian embargo.
However, most of the food factories were situated in Java while the factories in Thai-held Indonesia were mostly destroyed. Under international pressure to end the war quickly, the Chancellor increased the number of troops in the Thai army to 800,000 and the number of Thai troops in Indonesia to 160,000. Outside observers questioned the wisdom of such mass mobilization of the peasantry when the country was on the brink of starvation.
With the intervention of Feminist France and Britain in support of Indonesia, the Thai strategy changed from creating a democratic Indonesian army to fight the war to a swift blitz using the Thai army. The conflict had grown from an intervention to a full scale war.
Consolidation of Power
In winter 2112, Shinawatra married Miss Hom Rattanakosin, despite an age gap of almost 30 years. Nattapong Yingjang, nephew of Shinawatra, was appointed King of Cambodia the same summer, empowering Shinawatra's hold on power. Nattapong set up a court in Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia, and appointed Ministers.
Shinawatra's control of Thailand became more secure with the ascension of Sayammak I to the throne at the end of 2112, as Sayammak was a former student of Yingjang Shinawatra. While Yingjang denied this, Sayammak I was in all but name a puppet Emperor.
In Spring 2113, Thai and Maltese forces landed on Java and managed to make gains. The Maltese navy had also intercepted the French navy in the Mediterranean, causing the French to go all the way around the Cape in order to reach Indonesia. However, once the French and British reached Java, they were able to check the Thai-Maltese advance as they had adequate food supplies and superiority in the air.
With Malta making peace with the Feminists in Summer 2113 and the war becoming a stalemate, Thailand withdrew from Indonesia and also made peace with the Feminists. The main reason for this was that the Chancellor wanted to avoid a long and costly war which he was not sure of winning, especially since the goal of ruining the Indonesian economy was completed.
Intervention in Philippines
In Autumn 2113, Thailand intervened in Philippines. While Bangkok claimed to act under the auspices of United Nations Resolution 21 calling for the relinquishment of fugitive Japanese general Takeshi Shiro for war crimes, in reality the flash invasion was orchestrated by Shinawatra to seize control of pre-Cataclysm nuclear weapons caches. Shiro escaped, taking the nuke with him.
Intervention in Malacca
Bangkok promptly turned on Malacca, claiming Shiro had entered the country and demanding the government allow Thai troops to enter the country. Malacca responded that as a member of the allied coalition in the Pacific War it had far more experience in dealing with the Japanese, and the United Arab Republic warned that as a long-standing ally it would not respond kindly to threats against Malaccan sovereignty.