The expanding Sino-Thai military relationship: implications for U.S. policy in Thailand
Harbin, Kenneth S.
Buss, Claude A.
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Prior to 1987, the U.S. was the major supplier of ground, air, and naval weapons, and other military equipment to Thailand. Since 1987, Thailand has turned to the PRC for the purchase of weapons and equipment required for many of its armed forces modernization and force restructuring programs. In addition to the acquisition of large quantities of ground forces equipment for the Royal Thai Army (RTA), Thailand has also investigated the acquisition of PRC fighter aircraft for the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) and is in the process of acquiring six frigates for the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) from the PR. The objective of this thesis will be to examine the improved and improving Sino-Thai military relationship and analyze the key variables responsible for changing Thai political and military attitudes towards the PRC. The thesis also examines Thai willingness to actively pursue supplier diversification strategies with respect to major arms acquisition contracts. Finally, the thesis will also consider the impact of the Sino-Thai military relationship on current and short term U.S. policy objectives in Thailand.
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