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Maha Ratcha Ana-chak Tai/Great Tai Empire

Population

25,000,000 (Thais, Laotians, Malays)

Capital

Krung Thep Maha Nakhon

Head of State

His Imperial Majesty, the Emperor Rama

Ruling Party

Khana Ratsadon (from 1932)

Head of Government

Field Marshal Plaek Phibun Songkhram (1938-1964), Field Marshal Thanom Kittikachor (1964-1975), Prince Souphanouvong (from 1975)

HistoryEdit

Thai Kingdom becomes Tai Empire after annexing ethnic Tai regions from virtually all surrounding countries, beginning with the conquest of Laos and parts of Cambodia from France in 1940. By the end of the war, Thailand had annexed the three principalities of French Laos (Luang Phrabang, Muang Phuan, Champasak), four British-protected Malay sultanates (Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu), the various Shan States of the British Raj, and a substantial part of the Chinese provinces of Guangxi, Guizhou and Hunan.

Of the states of Japan's Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, Thailand is regarded as being closest to equality with Japan. Thailand, like Japan, was never occupied by a Western power, and entered into alliance with Japan freely in pursuit of territorial expansion. The Thai Emperor is regarded as a monarch in his own right, owing no allegiance to Japan save that of fraternity.

Thailand borders the Japanese-backed states of Indochina (formerly Viet Nam or Tonkin, plus the states of the former French Indochina: Cambodia, Annam and Cochinchina), China and Tibet and the British-backed Dominion of Hindustan (India) and protected Malay Trucial States.

Thai forces regularly clashed with the forces of the French in French Indochina, especially in Cambodia. This culminated in 1979 in a full-scale war with Cambodia after it had been abandoned by the French. After the close of the conflict and the formation of the unified Empire of Indochina (1981), all outstanding border disputes in the region were resolved.

Problems along the southern border however continued, and indeed worsened after 1979. Some of the population of the Malay Sultanates had never accepted their annexation by Thailand, and armed resistance, supported by the British in the remaining Malay Trucial States, had continued virtually uninterrupted since their incorporation.

From the late 1960s and especially after the late 1970s, the conflict continued to escalate, with the rebels being supported by the British and their Malay allies, as well as by the Netherlands and their local proxy, the Prince Jusice Legion or Angkatan Perang Ratu Adil based in the Netherlands East Indies. This was part of a broader strategy, whereby Great Britain and the Netherlands also supported the Moro Rebellion in the southern Philippines and a very minor Cham-Malay Rebellion in Indochina (mainly in Cambodia) and in Japan (specifically in Hainan).

Subdivisions of the Tai EmpireEdit

Kingdom of Thailand: the core of the Tai Empire, populated by the core of the Thai nation.

Principality of Laos: essentially the territory of Laos as constituted during the period of French Indochina, annexed 1940-1941 through negotiation with Japan and France. Gained some formerly Thai territory, and lost some territory to Viet Nam (later the Empire of Indochina) in 1976.

Malay Sultanates: four formerly British-protected sultanates, annexed 1941, plus some formerly Thai territory in the extreme south of the country.

Shan Principalities: formerly part of the British Raj, annexed 1941.

Khmer Province: ethnic Khmer territory in the east of Thailand, including some parts of French Cambodia annexed 1940-1941.

Rau Province: formerly part of China, handed to Thailand in 1949.

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