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Friday, July 03, 2015

Thai navy approves US$1.1b plan to buy submarines from China

Type 041 (Yuan) class SSKThailand's navy approved Thursday (Jul 2) a 36 billion baht (US$1.1 billion) plan to buy three submarines from China, according to Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon.

An army-led coup toppled Thailand's elected government in May last year, after months of street protests. The coup was widely condemned by Western nations, which downgraded diplomatic ties with Thailand, but the military rulers claimed to have support from China following the move.

Since then, Thailand - a traditional ally of the United States - has sought to improve ties with neighbours. It has also stepped up engagement with China, as Beijing increases its influence in the region with a raft of loans and aid for infrastructure.

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