Fhai Insurgents Look for Fair Weather
as ir.parts of the country appear ready toolder action during the dppro-aching dry season. aceoves incf additional pressures, but foresees no major jurcp in the Comr-unist threat.
In tha north andprovinces, the Coir-Aunists have improved their tribalorganization in the presumably in preparation for their seasonal campaign against government security forces- and defectors have beenincreases in the number and size of these tribal units, some of which appear better erned than in the past. The Communistshave improved their support mechanism by shifting sorie of their Laos-basedand supply units into As ffianyr.ow nay be operating near the Laotian border, an increase of SCO during the past year. They have been virtuallyby government security forces, which have been ordered to minimize suppressive.
The Coirununists nay also bo setting the stage for their first serious effort to move intolowlands- Sightings of ethnic Thai guerrillas andincidents in these pre-viouslyquiet areas indicate the Communists are beginning totheir influence among this part of the population in the north. The effort could run into considerable di fficulty, however,
because of Coraunist support for tribal peoples who are looked down on by the ethnic Thais and because of rorc determined efforts to ensurein the lowland areas.
In the northeast, thehave begun to spread rat froa their traditionalareas, apparently as part Df their year-long effort to aroader. village support. These incursions, con* sisting mostly of food* andelligence-gathering raissior.s, raay also be designed to keepforces offactic used in previous years with only limited success* There is no indication, however, that the Communists in this area loon intend to take on govern-tentforces.
In the southern peninsular provinces, Thai insurgents appear to be challenging the government's presence for the first llm They have doubled their strength in the last year tond recently have made violenton local defense forces and government development projects that have drairatized theirbeyond their actual strength. The government has nade desultory efforts to strengthen itsforces and has ordered the national Coraunitt SuppressionDirectorate to take charge of security efforts in the south. Bangkok will have to io nuch ^ore, however, tothe coiTfprehcnsiveprograms necessary toustained Communist in the south. mfiMU"'
3 WEKKLY Xov 69
SINGAPORt Attracts Communist Commercial Interest
modern commercial facilities and its position at the crossroads of Asian trade isincreasing Communist Particularly forChina, itignificant source of foreign-exchangeand provides an important outlet for trade with the free world. Singapore is seeking to retain its roleiddleman and would like to develop new in Communist countries for its small and slow-growing exports of manufactures. Trade with these countries, however, continues to account for only about nine por-cent of Singapore's total trade.
Trade relations withChina, Singapore's mostCommunist trading partner, have returned to normalispute this summer with the local branch of the Bank of China. Chinese commercial activities have increased significantly since7 when Pekingarge share of its re-export trade to Singapore following the riots in Hong Kong- Lost year Singapore, with earnings of4 million, was Peking's largest source of foreign exchange, afterong. Trade 86 million.
North Korea also has foundain source of its snail foreign-exchange earnings. Trade that was minimal before the establishmentorth Korean trade mission7 amounted to s8 million Northrecent efforts to encourage trade with Singapore, however, have not yet met with much success.
Next month Singapore willrade office in Moscow, its firstommunist country. It will be under the auspices of INTRACO, the state trading company that waslast year to provide more control and an improved bargaining position in trade with Communist countries.
Moscow hasrade office in Singaporehen the two countries signed their first trade agreement. Trode totaledillion last year, ond has consisted very largely ofpurchases of Malaysian rubber sold through Singapore. Moscow is increasing its efforts to expand exports to Singapore, however, ond reportedly plans torade fair in Singapore next year. Last year the Sovietsoint shipping agency with Singapore, and Moscow has recently initiated regular weekly civil air service to the city-state.
Singapore's trade with Eastern Europe reached0 million last year. Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, and Bulgaria havelocal trade offices, and the latter two countries also hove
concluded trade agreements. igh-level Bulgarian tradevisited Singapore last month to open two Bulgarian-ownedbringing the total number of such businesses to seven. The Bulgarians also have investigated direct air service between Sofia and Singapore. (COHPIBSimftb MO
10 WEEKLY SUMMARY