France–Thailand relations cover a period from the 16th century until modern times. Relations started in earnest during the reign of Louis XIV of France with numerous reciprocal embassies and a major attempt by France to Christianize the kingdom of Thailand (then known as Siam) and establish a French protectorate, which failed when the country revolted against foreign intrusions in 1688. France would only return more than a century and a half later as a modernised colonial power, engaging in a struggle for territory and influence against Thailand in mainland Southeast Asia that would last until the 20th century.
The revolution in Thailand interrupted relations between France and Thailand until the 19th century, although French Jesuits were allowed to continue preaching in Thailand. After peace was achieved in 1690, Bishop Laneau was able to resume his missionary work, which he continued until his death in 1696. He was succeeded by Bishop Louis of Cice (1700–27). The rest of the century consisted in persecutions by the Siamese or by the Burmese invaders. The king kept his favour for Bishops Texier de Kerlay and de Lolière-Puycontat (1755). Between 1760 and 1765, a French group of gunners led by Chevalier Milard participated to the Burmese invasions of Siam, as an elite corps of the Burmese army. After the Burmese invasions, in 1769 Father Corre resumed missionary work in Siam, followed by Mgr Lebon (1772–80). Lebon had to leave in 1775 after persecutions, but his successors Bishops Condé and Garnault returned to Siam.
In 1893 Territorial conflict in the Indochinese peninsula for the expansion of French Indochina led to the Franco-Siamese War of 1893. In 1893 the French authorities in Indochina used border disputes, such as the Grosgurin affair and the Paknam naval incident, to provoke a crisis. French gunboats appeared at Bangkok, and demanded the cession of Lao territories east of the Mekong. King Chulalongkorn appealed to the British, but the British minister told the King to settle on whatever terms he could get, and he had no choice but to comply. Britain's only gesture was an agreement with France guaranteeing the integrity of the rest of Siam. In exchange, Siam had to give up its claim to the Tai-speaking Shan region of north-eastern Burma to the British, and cede Laos to France. (Although it is to note that the Lao king asked for French protection in place of Siamese rule
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