Inside Story – Is the US losing traditional allies in Asia to China?

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’s recently been openingly courting Beijing 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 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

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