— This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on May 21, Wednesday.
Welcome to the CNBC Business Daily.
Thailand in political limbo.
The country's caretaker prime minister is set to meet with the army chief this week over the impostion of martial law and general elections.
It could be a sea of orange... with the red shirts and yellow shirts meeting face to face.
All this, as the anti-government protest leader claims the opposition will continue their fight.
[DANE CHAMORRO / Managing Director - SE Asia, Control Risks] "Maybe this is actually a good thing that the military steps in in this form to restore some semblance of order so we don't have the types of violence we've had a few instances of in the last few months. We see this (a compromise between the two sides) as being a long drawn out process, it's not going to be resolved just because of this (martial law), it's not going to be resolved because of the next election, it's something that is almost generational in its transition."
And this begs the question...
How deep is the damage going to be on the Thai economy?
[ROBERTO HERRERA-LIM / Managing Director, Teneo Holdings] "It can be very deep. It can be very long term. Now, Thailand cannot stand still. It's being threatened from one side by competitiveness from Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam. If the political situation does not stabilize, and politics has always been one of the strong points for Thailand, then some of these investors might say, you know what, we're not going to stay in the country long term. "
Now... with the military stepping in...
The government saying its in charge...
And protestors refusing to disperse...
Are we headed towards a civil war in Thailand as some are predicting?
[SEAN KING / Senior Vice President, Park Strategies] "Not yet, I don't think so. Thailand's still fairly peaceful and that's why I'm surprised by this martial law by the army. I don't think it's a good sign for the government because remember it was the army who threw out Thaksin in 2006 and kind of started this mess to begin with."
How do we find some sort of resolution to this conflict?
[ALECIA QUAH / Senior Analyst, Asia-Pacific, IHS] "The viability of elections being held successfully in August really depends on the military; if the military is prepared to restore order and backs elections then the PDRC is unlikely to rally and we'll see the red shirts kept at bay. "
[SEAN KING / Senior Vice President, Park Strategies] "If it were up to me, I'd say, now that the army is taking control, they should set the date for an election. And whoever wins, wins. And that's it. And the army should back whoever is the winner. "
Markets seem to have come round to the view that perhaps the military can play a constructive role as a mediating force.
Time will tell.
That wraps up this edition of the Business Daily.
I'm Julia Wood, reporting from CNBC's Asian headquarters
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