It's expected Prime Minister Scott Morrison may hold talks with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on the sidelines of a busy two-day East Asian Summit which starts on Sunday in Thailand.
The Bangkok meeting comes as the APEC Leaders summit, where Mr Morrison was due to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping later this month in Chile, was cancelled due to riots.
Sunday's meeting comes just days after China scolded Australia's foreign minister Marise Payne for daring to suggest Beijing should be be called out over human rights abuses.
While there has been friction between Australia and its number one trading partner, Mr Morrison did have a lengthy discussion with Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan when they were both in Indonesia last month, which the prime minister described as "constructive and positive".
Meanwhile, the US downgraded its attendance at the summit with President Donald Trump declining to travel to the region and sending his assistant national security advisor Robert O'Brien instead.
In a speech in Washington on Friday, Australian Defence Minister Linda Reynolds urged the US to play a greater role in the Indo-Pacific region to counter China's power and influence.
"The United States has been the key to the Indo-Pacific success story for both peace but also for prosperity," Senator Reynolds said.
"And the future of both hinge on sustaining and deepening US engagement."
She said this is more than committing military strength - as crucial as this has been and will continue to be so - but also about fostering economic growth and strengthening democratic institutions.
"US investment in the region and the attraction of US soft power plays a vital role to this end. Australia makes no apology for its relentless advocacy of deep, broad-based and ongoing US regional engagement," she said.
Australian Associated Press