China, Thailand Working Through Submarine Deal

BANGKOK --- Thailand's Deputy Premier Prawit Wongsuwan said on Tuesday the Thai navy's procurement of three Chinese-built submarines is currently in the coordinating process for a government-to-government purchase deal.

Prawit, who is concurrently the defense minister, declined to tell how soon the coordinating process for the submarines purchase deal will be completed but confirmed that a regular budget for the navy to procure the first of the three Yuan-class S26T subs within this year has already been earmarked and approved for current fiscal year.

His comments followed speculation that the issue would have been brought up during Tuesday's cabinet meeting.

The budget for the purchase of the first Yuan-class sub had already been approved by the Thai government and the National Legislative Assembly, according to the deputy premier.

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