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Thai army puts off military purchases until coronavirus outbreak passes

Jack Burton

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PHOTO: Chiang Rai Times

The Royal Thai Army says Thailand “needs to heal” after the Coronavirus pandemic is over in the country so plans to delay purchases of military equipment in the 2020 defence budget. They say the change is in order to prioritise national recovery efforts in the wake of the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak.

A Defence Ministry spokesman says cuts to the 2020 budget for military hardware and projects are being considered. The Ministry says they’re well aware of what needs to be prioritised for future situations.

“The military’s mission is to protect and help the people, and support the government in solving national problems while maintaining the availability of troops and equipment to protect the nation.”

A spokesperson says that any procurement project that is able to be delayed, without affecting foreign contracts, must be delayed.

“The Army is currently considering which projects will come under the 2020 budget, and will continue to discuss the projects in the 2021 budget.”

The spokesperson clarified that some 2020 budget funds have already spent and military contracts under the budget may have binding contracts.

Speaking about the upcoming controversial purchase of Chinese made submarines under the 2021 budget, the spokesperson said that the Royal Thai Navy is considering the matter and “related legal consequences carefully”, realising that budget “must be used to restore the nation and economy”.

SOURCE: The Nation

 

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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