Asia Briefs: Thailand buys armoured carriers from China

Thailand buys armoured carriers from China

BANGKOK • Thailand will buy 34 armoured personnel carriers from China worth 2.3 billion baht (S$94 million), the South-east Asian nation's army chief said yesterday, the latest sign of closer military relations between the two nations.

The purchase is the latest defence deal between Bangkok and Beijing amid warming ties since Thailand's military coup in 2014, when relations cooled with the United States, historically the country's major supplier of Western weapons.

In April, Thailand approved the first of three planned submarine purchases from China in a deal worth more than US$1 billion.


Indonesia makes big Pangolin haul

MEDAN • The Indonesian authorities have seized hundreds of critically endangered pangolins and scales in a haul worth US$190,000 (S$261,000) after uncovering a major smuggling operation, an official said yesterday.

Two men were also arrested after navy officers raided a warehouse near a port in Sumatra late on Tuesday, acting on a tip-off that it was being used to store the creatures which are also known as "scaly anteaters".

They discovered 223 live pangolins, 24 of the creatures which were already dead and frozen as well as nine large bags of pangolin scales.


Japan embarks on new whale hunt

TOKYO • Japan yesterday kicked off a whaling campaign in the north-western Pacific, in a move sure to anger animal rights activists and others calling for an end to the hunts.

Three ships are leaving port on a three-month mission to catch 43 minke whales and 134 sei whales, according to the government. The new mission comes after Japan on Sunday started an annual coastal whaling hunt along its northern Pacific shores, aiming to catch 47 minke whales until mid-July.

Japan is a signatory to the International Whaling Commission's moratorium on whale hunting, but uses a loophole in the temporary ban allowing for lethal scientific research.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 15, 2017, with the headline 'Asia Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe