Thailand places $1bn dollars order for Chinese submarines


Thailand Navy Chief, Kraisorn Chansuvanich, said on Thursday that the country has placed a- 36 billion baht, approximately 1.1 billion dollars order for three Chinese-made submarines as it seeks to boost its naval power.

The Navy picked the Chinese offer after looking at alternatives bids from six countries, including Germany, France and Russia.

The subs, the first in the Thai fleet, are to be commissioned in the next 6-7 years.

The Thai government has in the past said it needs a bigger navy to protect its 3,219-kilometre coastline.

NAN

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Analysts: Taiwan Goals Drive China’s Spratly Grab


TAIPEI — Missing from discussions at last week’s US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) was Taiwan’s significance in China’s land reclamation efforts in the South China Sea, said defense analysts.

       
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THAILAND: Thailand’s military uses lèse majesté laws to stick to power: analysts


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Earlier this month, Thailand’s military government banned the Foreign Correspondent’s Club of Thailand (FCCT) from holding a debate on controversial lèse majesté laws. The yearly global human rights report that was published by the US State Department on Thursday ranks Thailand as equal to China, Egypt, Iran, Russia and Saudi Arabia when it comes to respect for human rights. In this week’s Spotlight on Asia we look at the lèse majesté laws and how the current government is using them to quell dissent.

Demonstrators carry a portrait of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej

Reuters/Damir Sagolj

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US-China dialogue keeps clear of topic of Taiwan




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Japan, Philippines monitor China by air in the South China Sea


A Japanese surveillance plane with crew from the Philippines circled parts of the South China Sea that both China and the Philippines lay claim to.

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Second Australian Canberra-class Big Deck Amphib Starts Sea Trials


Australia's two Canberra-class amphibious warships. RAN Photo

Australia’s two Canberra-class amphibious warships. RAN Photo

The Royal Australian Navy has begun sea trials for its second big deck Canberra-class amphibious warship, BAE Systems Australia said Tuesday.

The 27,000 ton Adelaide (L01) left BAE Systems Williamstown shipyard outside Melbourne on the June 17 for ten days of trails in route to Sydney.

The evaluation precedes a second set of trials planned for August ahead of an anticipated delivery of the amphib to the Royal Australian Navy later this year.

“We will undertake approximately 240 hours of testing over 20 days to ensure all systems perform to their capability,” said Bill Saltzer, BAE Systems Director of Maritime, in a statement. “Some of the trials will run concurrently and cover everything from basic systems operations such as alarms, to the ship’s maneuverability while at sea.”

LHD_AWD_ANZAC_FFG_Size_ComparisonThe second set of sea trials in August will test the ship’s communication and combat systems.

The hulls for the two-ships — the largest ships ever built for the Australian Navy — were primarily constructed by Spanish shipbuilder Navantia, then barged to Australia and outfitted in Williamstown.

The ships will be crewed by about 400 RAN sailors and can transport about 1,000 troops with four landing craft and eight helicopters in an amphibious configuration. The ships can field up to 18 helicopters in an aviation centric configuration.

First-in-class HMAS Canberra (L02) delivered to the RAN late last year.

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How Taiwan can avoid a Chinese takeover: expert


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The Future of US-Japan-Vietnam Trilateral Cooperation


A closer look at an idea that has received growing attention.

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Who Is the Biggest Aggressor in the South China Sea?


In the past 20 years, Vietnam has doubled its holdings in the South China Sea.

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Philippine Muslim Rebels Begin Turning Over Weapons, Soldiers


Government and rebels do what they can to advance a stalled peace process.

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