Cancelled sub deal will not affect Sino-Thai ties: Prayut


Thailand will not buy the China-made submarine without the MTU396 diesel engine from Germany as specified in the contract, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha announced on Monday.

Prayut also warned the Chinese manufacturer that it must find a way to honour the contract or Thailand will find a new supplier.

When asked if this issue will be discussed in the May 23 no-confidence debate, he said it should be part of the agenda. He added that the public should be interested in the topic, which has been explained by the Navy several times now. Prayut pointed out that there was no point in getting a submarine without an engine.

Prayut said the committee in charge of the purchase will be responsible for the cancellation, adding that this should not affect diplomatic ties. He pointed out that the deal fell through because the manufacturer could not get an engine, and neither country can be blamed for it.

As per the 13.5-billion baht purchase deal signed in 2017 between the Royal Thai Navy and the China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Co (CSOC), the Yuan-class S26T submarine must have MTU396 diesel engines from Germany’s Motor and Turbine Union company.

However, the German government has prohibited the export of these engines to China because of their use for military purposes. Germany is bound by a European Union arms embargo imposed on China in 1989 after the Tiananmen Square massacre.

As for the upcoming censure debate, he said he will defend his intentions and that he is not responsible for everything.

Opposition leader Pheu Thai Party submitted a censure motion against the government to block Prayut from dissolving the Parliament.