Thailand considers barter trade with China for submarine amid procurement issues

The Defence Minister of Thailand revealed that the government is contemplating various alternatives, including a barter commerce association or the acquisition of fertilisers from China, to resolve the ongoing points in regards to the procurement of a submarine for the navy. Sutin Klungsang spoke on the matter at a seminar discussing Thai security and geopolitical challenges, hosted by Rangsit University’s College of Social Innovation.
The debate comes as the Royal Thai Navy wraps up joint workout routines with China at present. Blue Streak 2023 aims to facilitate the sharing of naval experience, prepare for potential humanitarian help and disaster aid situations, and strengthen navy relations between the 2 countries and concerned naval ships and submarines from China and Thailand.
Sutin was questioned about the problematic submarine engine, to which he responded by advising the navy to evaluate the need of the procurement. He suggested that if the navy deems the Chinese-made engine unsuitable, additional discussions with China ought to be initiated to explore potential solutions. These might embody the purchase of a surface ship, or even abandoning the contract altogether and opting to import cheaper fertilisers from China as an alternative.
“Other options, such as a barter trade deal, should be thought-about. But Recognized have to have a look at whether these choices are in line with the legislation.”

Sutin added, although, that a definitive resolution hasn’t been achieved but, and extra discussions will be required. The Defence Minister indicated that the situation would possibly require a dialogue with China for the procurement of fertilisers.
“This matter will be introduced for consideration by the prime minister.”

Sutin had beforehand expressed optimism that the incoming government would negotiate a new agreement with Germany and China concerning the engine for Thailand’s new submarine, at present beneath development in China. He said that such a deal would prove helpful for all parties.
The S26T Yuan-class submarine was initially scheduled for delivery to Thailand from China this month. However, due to the pandemic, the delivery has been delayed until subsequent April.
The submarine is being built by China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Co (CSOC) under a government-to-government settlement. The firm provided a CHD620 engine after Germany declined to promote its MTU 396 diesel engine to China, as it’s categorized as a military-defence merchandise.
Sutin mentioned that further particulars concerning military reform could be clearer when he resumes work at the Defence Ministry on Wednesday, reports Bangkok Post..

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