DEPUTY Prime Minister and Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwan has come under attack in the Chinese social media over his frank statement that the boat which capsized off Phuket last week killing 42 Chinese tourists belonged to Chinese people, Sanook.com reported this morning (July 10, 2018).
According to a post at Ai Zhong’s Facebook page, the Chinese are annoyed that Gen Prawit’s comment did not focus on the responsibility of the Thai Government in the sinking of the tourist boat, which is big news in China because all those who died were Chinese tourists.
Gen Prawit visited Phuket yesterday together with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to oversee the search for 14 missing tourists and meet the 49 rescued victims and this Facebook page quoted him as saying:
“This is a story of Chinese people themselves hitting Chinese tourists, this is their boat and it violated and went against Thai laws – they did it to themselves.”
The clip of the interview has triggered a big debate in Chinese society but Ai Zhong did not translate the comments because some of the criticism was very strong and the language impolite.
However the overall picture is that many people in China are now less confident about traveling to Thailand for holiday because of what is claimed Gen Prawit said.
Top: Gen Prawit giving an interview to the press yesterday with some Chinese comments overlaid. Photo: Sanook.com