Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has told US President Barack Obama to "go to hell" in response to Western criticism of his war on drugs.

Duterte has been openingly courting Beijing in recent weeks despite a long-running and bitter dispute over the South China Sea.

On Wednesday, Thailand briefly detained and deported a Hong Kong student who helped to organise pro-democracy protests at the request of China.

Bangkok and Beijing have established stronger ties since a military coup in Thailand two years ago.

So to what extent can Asian nations realistically step out of America's influence and embrace China?

Presenter: Adrian Finighan


Chito Santa Romana - Incoming Philippine ambassador to China

Graham Ong-Webb - Research Fellow at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies

Victor Gao - Director of the China National Association of International Studies

Source: Al Jazeera