BANGKOK — Thailand will buy 34 armoured personnel carriers from China worth 2.3 billion baht ($68 million), the Southeast Asian nation’s army chief said on Wednesday, the latest sign of closer military relations between the two nations.
The purchase is the latest defence deal between Bangkok and Beijing amid warming ties since Thailand’s military coup in 2014, when relations cooled with the United States, historically the country’s major supplier of Western weapons.
“Buying from the West is a little hard … buying from China is better value for money,” General Chalermchai Sitthisart told reporters, announcing that Thailand’s cabinet had approved the purchase of the VN-1 carriers.
The choice of China was not a consequence of closer relations between the two countries, however, but the most cost-effective option, he added.
“The most important is the suitability for the needs of Thailand and the price,” Chalermchai…
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