A poignant shadow has been cast over today's gathering with the drowning yesterday of a young Chinese tourist on a snorkelling day trip off Phuket.
Diplomatic niceties are expected to be observed today but the key to this unusual meeting will be how Phuket's authorities respond to any questions that the ambassador might ask.
It's generally accepted that the duty of care concept is not widely understood by many Phuket tour operators and boat ''captains.'' Avoidable deaths continue to occur.
Phuketwan reporters are at today's meeting at the Phuket Graceland Resort and Spa in Patong and we will be carrying LIVE updates in words and photographs all afternoon.
2pm With the Ambassador today are Consuls Ms Li Yijun and Qin Jian, Consul-General in Songkhla Xu Miangliang and Counsellor and Consul-General Gao Zhenting.
Virtually all of Phuket's leaders are here - although the Governor of Phuket is overseas, in Europe. The Mayor of Patong, Pian Keesin, is here, too.
2.05pm Phuket Vice Governor Dr Sommai Preechasin begins her speech of welcome and says how pleasant it is to have the Chinese delegation here in such strength.
2.10pm Dr Sommai says almost one million Chinese visit Phuket each year [verifiable statistics are hard to come by] and overall tourist numbers had grown by 25-30 percent a year over the past three years.
China, Russia, Australia, South Korea and Europe remained the key sources of tourism for Phuket. Stakeholders were concerned about the political stability of Thailand and the safety and security of tourists on Phuket.
''The motto of Phuket remains Sea, Sand and Sun,'' she said. ''Our concerns are no longer all about Phuket but about the Andaman cluster, too.''
Dr Sommai listed lack of language skills, not enough good service, traffic, guides, safety and security as key points for discussion about Phuket.
''Development of infrastructure is a priority,'' she said, listing the airport, safety zones for tourists, a safe road traffic system, a larger deep sea port and the tunnel to Patong as some of Phuket's needs.
2.20pm Responding, the ambassador said that 1.7 million Chinese had come to Thailand in 2011 and that figure rose to 2.8 million last year.
''One in three of those Chinese visitors to Thailand come to Phuket,'' he said. ''It's as though they come to visit their family.''
He said Thailand's Prime Minister and China's Prime Minister had talked a lot about tourism already in 2013.
He says - a remarkable statistic - that between January and April, 1.5 million Chinese have already come to Thailand.
''I predict the total for the year will be four million,'' he said, ''and one in three will come to Phuket.''
The ambassador then lists six points for improvement, switching sometimes from Chinese to Thai.
Point One, he says, is infrastructure. It needs to improve.
Point Two is Guides. ''We need properly trained people who understand both Thai and Chinese culture,'' he said. ''If we can do that, we will have a good relationship.''
He says he has been holding talks with the TAT to try to solve the problem: ''Hopefully this will be sorted as soon as possible.''
Point Three: Zero baht tours, he said, were a rip-off, pure and simple.
Point Four: He continued: ''Police and Immigration do not have justice in their hearts. They are not moral and professional.''
He switched from Chinese to say in Thai: ''Police are corrupt in Thailand. Some of them use their positions of power to rip off tourists.
''This is not true of every tourist but there are enough cases for this to be a serious problem. We have to sort this problem out immediately.''
[The ambassador is likely to have many other envoys agree loudly.]
''When it comes to fraud in Thailand, there is a lack of quality among investigators. Some cases will never be resolved. Chinese tourists are not satisfied.''
Point Five: Not enough is being done to fix problems.
There are food poisonings and accidents, he says.
''Tourists' documents and money are stolen.
Drownings happen too easily on Phuket and Samui. These problems need to be solved.
Point Six: Signs in Chinese are needed to warn tourists, along with service in the appropriate language.
''I believe tourists have certain basic rights,'' he said. ''And Thailand needs to support the large number of tourists that we send with a matching degree of investment in facilities.''
He said he had heard about a group of Chinese who had to wait four hours in their hotel lobby for a bus.
''By next high season, i am hoping the Thai government will have improved the bus operations and have a sensible plan in place for guides,'' he said.
Law enforcement was needed when agents cheated customers, he said.
Tourist Police needed to speak Chinese. The 1155 hotline service should be improved with a Chinese service.
''Prevention and protection from accidents and rip-offs in the key,'' he said.
At first, zero baht tours had been welcomed but now it had become obvious that they were not in anyone's best interests, he said: ''A strong set of laws is necessary to preserve tourism quality.''
Signage needed to be dramatically improved on Phuket: ''Our people drown on the beaches here because they cannot tell what a red flag is. More work needs to be done to educate tourists and save lives.''
He recommended a special committee be established to control issues relating to tourism.
''These issues should be raised at least once a month and dealt with quickly,'' he said. ''Our aim is to help the industry to improve and to make good revenue for Thailand.''