Senior government officials and procurement authorities here have distanced themselves in recent days from a disputed air defense deal with a Chinese company under US sanctions.

A senior official from the prime minister’s office said that as technical negotiations with China Precision Machinery Import-Export Corp. (CPMIEC) have been dragged into several problematic areas, “this option now looks much less attractive than it did last year.

“We are weighing the merits and demerits of other options,” the official said. “There remain scores of unanswered points about the Chinese solution.” […]