Thailand-US defense ties heal as China makes gains in Cambodia

Delivery of armored vehicles comes as Washington frets over Beijing's dominance.

Bangkok – Gen. Apirat Kongsompong, Thailand’s powerful army chief, is shifting the kingdom’s security architecture, and U.S. military equipment is helping to lay the groundwork.

A recent announcement that Thailand had taken delivery of the first 10 of more than 100 armored vehicles from America affirmed that the decades-old allies are again warming up to each other, after Thailand’s military coup in 2014 chilled the relationship.

The thaw began after Thailand held elections in the spring. Before the voting, Bangkok’s ruling generals had turned to China as a more sympathetic supplier to a defense force of 335,000 active duty troops.

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