Thailand: China cancels deal to buy more than 1 million tons of rice due to corruption probe

The Associated Press 0

BANGKOK – China has cancelled a deal to buy more than a million tons of rice from Thailand due to a probe into the Thai government’s subsidies for rice growers.

Thai Commerce Minister Niwattumrong Boonsongpaisan said Tuesday that a Chinese state company terminated a contract to buy 1.2 million tons of rice.

He said the company was afraid it would run into problems due to an investigation by Thailand’s National Anti-Corruption Commission.

The rice scheme is a flagship policy of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s embattled caretaker government.

Critics say the policy of buying rice from growers at above market prices has accumulated losses of at least $4.46 billion and has been dogged by corruption.

Thousands of farmers have blocked main roads in the provinces to demand overdue payments from the government.

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