Thailand foreign relations and security


Thai navy inks deal for LPD warship from China

China and Thailand have signed a deal that will see a Chinese shipbuilding company build a Type 071E landing platform dock (LPD) warship for the Thai navy, a move which shows deepened arms trade cooperation between the two countries, a Chinese military expert said


Chinese shipbuilder starts work on US$411 million submarine for Thai navy

China’s leading shipbuilder has begun the construction of a submarine for the Thai navy under a 13.5 billion Thai baht (US$411 million) deal agreed last year that observers say provides clear evidence of Beijing’s growing role as an international arms supplier

10 AUGUST 2018

Moving the U.S-Thailand Alliance Forward

Among its five treaty allies in the Asia-Pacific, the U.S. alliance with Thailand is the clear outlier. Forged in a strategic moment long past, when the two sides saw Thailand as a potential domino in the Cold War, the alliance has struggled to find a clear direction for over 40 years

11 JULY 2017

Thailand approves $358 million purchase of S Korean fighter jets

Thailand’s cabinet on Tuesday approved the US$258 million (S$358 million) purchase of eight T-50 advanced jets from South Korea, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said, the latest defence acquisition by a military government that took power following a 2014 coup

16 MAY 2017

Thai resistance to China’s downstream ambitions

Beijing’s plan to blast rocks and rapids in the Mekong River to make way for bigger boats and faster trade is strongly opposed by grass roots activists

4 APRIL 2017

Thailand approves purchase of Chinese tanks to replace old US model

The Cabinet on Tuesday approved the purchase of 10 Chinese-made tanks at the price of Bt2 billion in order to replace World War II-era American vehicles, Defence Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan said

5 JULY 2016

Thailand buys 3 Chinese submarines for $1 billion

Thailand’s defense minister confirmed Tuesday that his country’s navy will buy three submarines from China for $1 billion, saying that reasonable price and a 10-year payment period were the main reasons

20 FEBRUARY 2016

Junta-ruled Thailand flirts with Russia as U.S. ties cool

Thailand is pursuing closer ties – and possible arms deals – with Russia, with relations between Thailand and its traditional partner, the United States, cooling in the wake of a May 2014 coup


New contract for Royal Thai Navy Offshore Patrol Vessel

BAE Systems have signed a new contract with Bangkok Dock to assist in the licensed construction of a second 90 metre Offshore Patrol Vessel for the Royal Thai Navy

17 DECEMBER 2015

US tells Thailand a return to democracy would boost ties

Washington’s top diplomat for East Asian affairs has told Thailand’s leaders that democracy must be restored in the country for relations to flourish between the longtime allies

9 JULY 2015

Thailand condemned for repatriation of 109 Uighurs to China

Thailand faced a blizzard of international criticism Thursday, and its consulate in Istanbul was ransacked, after it deported 109 ethnic Uighur refugees to China despite fears that they would face persecution there

2 JULY 2015

Thailand plans $1.4 billion purchase of three Chinese submarines

Thailand’s navy has approved a 36 billion baht (S$1.4 billion) plan to buy three submarines from China, the southeast Asian nation’s defence minister said on Thursday, in what could be a sign the country is cosying up to the regional superpower

23 APRIL 2015

Thai Navy Petitions Govt to Buy Submarines

The Royal Thai Navy has formally submitted a request to the government to buy submarines for its submarine division, which has lacked a single vessel for the last 64 years

14 MARCH 2015

US must not impose its idea of democracy: Thai PM

The United States should not try to impose a one-size-fits-all democracy on the rest of the world, Thai Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha said yesterday


Beijing and Bangkok aim to boost military ties

China and Thailand agreed yesterday to expand military links over the next five years, from increasing intelligence sharing to fighting transnational crime, as the ruling junta seeks to counterbalance the country’s alliance with Washington.

27 JANUARY 2015

US-Thai alliance ‘remains intact’

The highest-ranking US official to visit Thailand since the army seized power last May has signalled that while the coup d’etat “challenged” their 182-year relationship, the broader US-Thai alliance remained intact

6 JANUARY 2015

Thai navy eyes procuring submarines following shelved bid

Thailand’s commanding naval admirals are once again reviving stalled efforts to procure submarines and have resolved recently to bring their efforts to fruition

2 JANUARY 2015

Thai PM puts hurry up on defence budgets

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is pushing the military to more quickly draft its spending plans for the 2016 fiscal year and submit them within the month.


The Thai government recognises Malaysia’s role as the facilitator for peace efforts in southern Thailand, said Najib Razak


UN voices ‘serious concern’ on human rights in Thailand

The United Nations said Wednesday it was “seriously concerned” about growing restrictions on human rights activists in Thailand after a string of curbs on freedom of expression in the junta-ruled nation.

8 AUGUST 2014

Thailand ‘key to growing China-Asean cooperation’

China sees the upcoming Asean Economic Community (AEC) as an opportunity for further cooperation with the region, and says Thailand can play a leading role in the strengthening of these ties.

27 JUNE 2014

Wealthy Thais vent anger over sanction with EU goods boycott

Wealthy Thais who have welcomed military rule are now calling for what may prove a more wrenching change: a boycott of their beloved European cars, wines and boutiques

23 JUNE 2014

EU suspends cooperation with Thailand over military coup

The European Union on Monday condemned the military takeover in Thailand, saying it was suspending all official visits to the country and shelving important agreements to back up calls for an urgent return to democratic rule.

17 JUNE 2014

Cambodia slams Thailand over post-coup worker exodus

Some 188,000 Cambodians — who help keep major Thai industries afloat but often lack official work permits — have streamed across the border since the junta warned last week that illegal foreign workers face arrest and deportation

15 JUNE 2014

More than 110,000 Cambodian migrants flee Thailand after coup

On Wednesday Thailand’s military regime, which seized power in a coup on May 22, had threatened to arrest and deport all illegal foreign workers.

11 JUNE 2014

Thailand votes against international forced labour protocol

Perpetrators of forced labour, which is estimated to affect 21 million people globally, will be punished in most countries under a UN treaty agreed on Wednesday, though Thailand voted against the treaty and nearly all Gulf countries – including Qatar – abstained

11 NOVEMBER 2013

UN rules for Cambodia in Thai border row

Thailand must withdraw all military and police forces from the area surrounding a 900-year-old Hindu temple on the far side of its border with Cambodia, UN judges have said in a ruling that could exacerbate tensions between the two countries.

16 OCTOBER 2013

Ruling on Thai-Cambodian Temple Row Expected Next Month

The United Nations’ top court is set to deliver its verdict on a long running dispute between Cambodia and Thailand over an ancient temple site. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague will decide on Nov. 11 which country should administer a 4.6-square kilometer (1.8-square mile) tract of land surrounding the 11th century Preah Vihear temple.

11 OCTOBER 2013

With Li Visit, Thailand, China Move to Strengthen Ties

Thailand and China have moved to further strengthen bilateral economic ties during an official visit by China’s Premier Li Keqiang, who kicked off the trip by addressing parliament on Friday.

5 JUNE 2013

Thailand denies entry to Cambodia opposition leader Sam Rainsy

Thailand has denied entry to Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy over concerns he would engage in political campaigning in the neighboring Southeast Asian nation.                                                                                                                                                         

15 NOVEMBER 2012

Thailand Defence pact with US ‘only reaffirms ties’

The 2012 Joint Vision Statement for the Thai-US Defence Alliance, to be signed during the visit of US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta today, posed no legal difficulties in terms of the Constitution and would have no impact on strategic ties with China, Defence Minister Sukampol Suwannathat said

14 NOVEMBER 2012

US defence pact ‘won’t affect’ Thai neutrality

Security experts said this week that Thailand would not lose its neutrality after the decision to sign a new defence agreement with the United States during the upcoming visit of President Barack Obama, but the country must be careful not to be seen as moving too close to the American orbit.

14 NOVEMBER 2012

Expanding Military to Military Engagement: China and Thailand

As U.S. Defense Secretary Panetta turns north from Australia on his way to Thailand and Cambodia today, he should carefully consider the trends in China’s military to military relationship with Thailand.


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