Defence Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat will hold bilateral talks with his Chinese counterpart in Brunei this week, a military source said.
Sukumpol: In Brunei forADMMmeeting
China's Defence Minister Chang Wanquan is expected to push for an upgrade of Thai-China joint military exercises, and is also likely to raise concerns over South China Sea maritime disputes, the source said.
Thailand is the country coordinator of China-Asean relations.
ACM Sukumpol flew to Brunei on Monday for the start of the 7th Asean Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM), which concludes tomorrow.
The meeting brings together defence ministers of the 10 Asean member countries to exchange regional security and military opinions.
China is also joining the meeting.
The source said Beijing wants to boost joint military exercises with Thailand to bring it on par with the Thai-US Cobra Gold military drills.
The US is not joining the Brunei meet, probably because of China's presence, the source added.
ACM Sukumpol was also due to hold bilateral talks with his Indonesian counterpart, though it was not clear what they would discuss.
Defence Ministry spokesman Thanatip Sawangsaeng said the ADMM would discuss two concept papers on military cooperation among Asean nations, covering military personnel exchange programmes, and the use of Asean military assets for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
Col Thanatip said ACM Sukumpol would sign an Asean joint declaration on safety and peacekeeping in the region.
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- Writer: Wassana Nanuam