Friday, 23 December 2016

中泰拟合建军工厂:美国又一盟友倒戈? / Thailand seeks to develop military production facilities with China

中泰拟合建军工厂:
美国又一盟友倒戈?

作者、来源:马来邮报中文网综合报道

12月12日下午,中国国务委员兼国防部长常万全(右)在北京八一大楼会见来访的泰国副总理兼国防部长巴维•翁素万上将(Prawit Wongsuwan)——此插图和文内小标题为《人民之友》编者所加。
(图源:guancha.cn/military-affairs/2016_12_22_385482.shtml

[ 路透社-曼谷21日讯 ] 泰国国防部表示,泰国正与中国讨论合作在泰国建立军工生产设施。这是中国与泰国这个美国在亚洲最长久盟邦之间关系加温的最新迹象。

路透社周三报导,泰国在2014年的军事政变后,与美国的关系趋于冷却。泰国军方当时声称政变是必须行动,以结束泰国数个月的动荡,与对民选政府进行的街头抗争。

美国已经表示,只有泰国恢复民主体制,美泰关系才会回归正常。泰国军政府已承诺在2017年举行大选。

中泰两国国防部长上周在北京会晤

自政变以来,泰国军政府试图发展对中国关系,藉以平衡对美关系。泰国副首相兼国防部长巴维•翁素万上将(Prawit Wongsuwan)上周访问北京期间,曾与中国国防部长常万全会晤。

泰国国防部发言人孔切普(Kongcheep Tantravanich)周三向路透社表示,“国防部长告诉中国国防部长,我们有兴趣建立设施,来维修保养我们军械库中的中国装备。”

孔切普说:“我们也将借重他们在制造小型武器、以及如无人机等其他安全相关装备上的专长。”

他透露,泰国也曾与俄罗斯讨论建立类似的生产设施,但并未说明细节。

日本《外交学者》对相关课题的报道

日本《外交学者》周二也在专文中提到,中美在南海争锋相对之际,中国与东盟国家的合作也展开,在美国政权交接期间形成在区域领导力的可能真空,也让中国更有机会加强与东盟国家的合作。

《外交学者》提到,中泰两国空军于2015年首度举行联合军演后,泰国不但首次从中国购买坦克、还将造价数十亿美元的潜舰生产合约给了北京。泰国防长巴维访华期间,曾与中国防长常万全提出在泰国建造军备制造和修理厂。

虽然中方在声明中没有明确提及上述项目,但根据北京说法,中方愿意加强在诸如“联合训练和国防工业”领域的合作。

报导认为,随着中泰两国军事合作范围扩大,包括主战坦克买卖、技术转让和国防工业合作,最终建立这样一个军工厂的逻辑似乎很清楚了。



Thailand seeks to develop military production facilities with China

By Thanarith Satrusayang | BANGKOK

Thailand and China are in talks about building military production facilities in Thailand, a Thai defense ministry spokesman said on Wednesday, the latest sign of warming relations between China and America's oldest ally in Asia.

Relations between Thailand and the United States cooled following a May 2014 military coup that the Thai military said was necessary to end months of unrest, including street protests that led to the ouster of an elected government.

The United States has said relations cannot return to normal until democracy is restored. The generals running Thailand have promised an election for 2017.

Since the coup, the military government has sought to counterbalance U.S. ties by developing relations with China and Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwan met his Chinese counterpart, Chang Wanquan, during a visit to Beijing last week.

"The defense minister told his Chinese counterpart that we are interested in setting up facilities to repair and maintain the Chinese equipment we currently have in our arsenal," ministry spokesman Kongcheep Tantravanich told Reuters.

"We will also look to their expertise in producing small arms and other security-related equipment like drones," he said.

Thailand has also held talks with Russia about setting up similar production facilities, said Kongcheep, without giving details.

Following the 2014 coup, the U.S. froze security and defense aid to Thailand. It has also scaled back annual military exercises citing concern about Thailand's political development.

Donald Trump's election victory has also raised questions about prospects for a U.S. "pivot" towards Asia, a central policy of outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama.

"If the U.S. is unable to back up its regional role ... the regional states have no other choice but to accommodate Beijing," said Thitinan Pongsudhirak, a political science professor at Bangkok's Chulalongkorn University.

Kongcheep said military relations with the United States were expected to get back on track after Thailand's election.

"The relationship is not yet perfect," he said.

"Once Thailand returns to democracy, I expect the relationship to return to normal."

(Reporting by Thanarith Satrusayang; Editing by Amy Sawitta Lefevre, Robert Birsel)

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