Thailand’s Defence Diplomacy with China


About the Webinar

Since at least 2014, Thailand has increasingly tilted towards China, militarily re-balancing away from the United States towards more of a finessed omni-directional foreign policy. While some would argue that Thailand is simply readjusting to the changing power equilibrium, others claim Bangkok is trying to become a strategic balancer so that it can accrue the most benefits for itself. In this webinar the speaker will examine Thailand’s defence diplomacy with China in terms of weapons sourcing, joint military exercises and military officer education. What has been the reason for Bangkok’s bending towards Beijing? To what extent does this represent a permanent shift in foreign policy? What military hardware has Thailand agreed to purchase from China and are such purchases sustainable? How has the United States sought to offset Thailand’s tilt towards China? What is the likely future of Thai-Chinese defence relations? This webinar will address these questions.

This webinar is supported by Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.

About the Speaker

Paul Chambers is a Lecturer and Special Advisor on International Relations at the Center of ASEAN Community Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok, Thailand. In addition, he is a Research Fellow at the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF) in Germany; Senior Research Fellow at the German-Southeast Asian Centre for Public Policy and Good Governance and Senior Research Fellow at the Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace (CICP) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. He is also the executive editor of the journal Asian Affairs: an American Review. Previously he was a Senior Research Fellow at Heidelberg University in Germany (2008-2011); Research Fellow at the German Institute of Global and Area Studies in Hamburg (2013-2020); Visiting Research Scholar at Kyoto University’s Center of Southeast Asian Studies in Japan (2020); Director of Research, Institute of Southeast Asian Affairs, Chiang Mai University, Thailand; and Visiting Fellow at De La Salle University in the Philippines (2012, 2019). Chambers’ research interests focus on civil-military relations in Southeast Asia and the international politics of Asia. He has written or co-written five books as well as over 70 articles and book chapters about the military, democratization and the international politics of Southeast Asia. His articles have appeared in Asian Survey, Contemporary Southeast Asia and The Journal of Contemporary Asia, among others. Recent publications include his co-edited book Khaki Capital: The Political Economy of the Military in Southeast Asia (NIAS, 2017) and his co-edited journal Special Issue “Intra-party Factionalism in Southeast Asia”, Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, 2020.


This webinar will be delivered online entirely. You can join the webinar at the specified date and time using devices (computer, phone, or tablet) with internet connection.

Please register here to receive your unique link for joining the webinar.

Limited spaces only, register early to avoid disappointment.

To join the webinar,
1. Install the Zoom client onto your computer or download the app on your mobile device.
2. Set up a Zoom account, using the following link:
3. Click on the unique link in your email.

For the best experience, please mute your microphone. If you have questions for the speaker, please key in your questions via the Q&A, stating your name and affiliation. The moderator will field them to the speaker during the Q&A session.


Oct 16 2020


10:00 am - 11:00 am