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Thailand and China: Brothers in arms

Bangkok looks to Beijing for military supplies after US relations sour

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The Thai navy has a submarine squadron but no subs. To rectify that, the country is purchasing one from China.   © Reuters

BANGKOK Thailand will buy submarines "not for battle, but so that others will be in awe of us," Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, the nation's former military chief and current head of its ruling junta, said at a 2016 press conference. Prayuth's regime took a decisive step toward that muscular view in January after the National Legislative Assembly, the country's rubber-stamp parliament, approved a bill to spend 13.5 billion baht ($383 million) to buy a Chinese submarine -- the first of an expected three-boat, $1 billion deal.

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