A visit to China last week by the top U.S. admiral highlighted the degree to which territorial disputes in the South China Sea are affecting the relationship between the Pacific powers.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson was on a five-day China trip that the U.S. Navy said was to "improve mutual understanding and encourage professional interaction." Richardson said in a Navy news release that he would be "continuously reassessing my support" for a closer relationship based on "continued safe and professional interactions at sea."
China has been building airstrips, harbors and military facilities on man-made islands created by piling sand on top of coral reefs, angering neighboring countries, including U.S. allies.
Much of India, meanwhile, was captivated last week by the premiere of national superstar Rajinikanth's latest film, "Kabali." Private companies declared a holiday, parents kept children out of school and fans poured big cans of milk over cutouts of Rajinikanth in a Hindu blessing ritual.
Rain hit much of Asia, most destructively in northern China, when floods killed more than 110 people and left about as many missing. Four local officials lost their jobs for what authorities said was an inadequate response.
South Korea, on the other hand, suffered a heat wave.
New Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte continued his mission to rid his country of crime by year's end. He said he plans to ask Chinese officials why some Chinese citizens who visit his country are involved in illegal drugs. He said he won't hesitate to pardon law enforcers accused of abusing their authority in drug crackdowns, as long as they don't lie or fabricate evidence.
This gallery was curated by Associated Press photo editor Karly Domb Sadof in Bangkok.
This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings