Top 10 world events of 2018
Updated : Thursday, December 27, 2018 3:36 PM (GMT+0700)

2018 is a turbulentyear in world events, full of ups and downs. Below are the top 10 world eventsof 2018 selected by the Vietnam NewsAgency.

President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in (L) and leader of Democratic People’s
Republic of Korea Kim Jong-un at their meeting in Pyongyang on September 19 - Photo:

1. A turning point inthe Korean Peninsula peace process: 

Korean Peninsula affairs recorded a breakthrough change withseveral historical events taking place in 2018. Inter-Korean summits resumedafter a gap of more than a decade, adopting the Panmunjom Declaration forPeace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula on April 27 and thePyongyang Joint Declaration on September 20. In addition, the first-ever summitbetween the US and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was held inSingapore and issued a Joint Declaration on June 12. These events helped turnthe situation from the edge of war to dialogue and détente, opening hope of adenuclearised, peaceful and prosperous peninsula.

2. US – Chinaconfrontation: Atrade war between the US and China with a series of tariff paybackssignificantly impacted global trade, economy, and financial markets, dimmingthe forecast for global economic growth this year and in 2019, and pushing manycountries to change their trade policies to avoid associated risks. The disputehas also expanded into other areas like technology, foreign diplomacy andmilitary, reflecting hardening competition between the two sides.

3. CPTPP signed and about to enterforce: 

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-PacificPartnership (CPTPP) – a replacement of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement(TPP) – was inked on March 9 and will take effect from January 2019. Consistingof 11 members, including Vietnam, the CPTPP is one of the most comprehensivetrade deals ever concluded. Once fully implemented, the pact will cover amarket of 500 million consumers, with a combined GDP accounting for 13.5percent of global GDP. The negotiation of the CPTPP following the withdrawal ofthe US is significant to maintaining investment links and freer trade inAsia-Pacific amid growing protectionism.

4. Thorny path toBrexit: 

After very tough negotiations for the UK to leave the EU – orBrexit, on November 25, the two sides agreed on a draft political declarationto shape their future relationship. However, the Brexit progress is stillplagued with latent uncertainties as it faces barriers from the BritishParliament, which is divided over controversial customs conditions. The futureof Brexit is unpredictable and exiting without a deal remains a possibility.

5. Riots in Paris, France: 

The “yellow vests” movement, motivated by rising fuel taxes,has expanded fast and escalated into riots, described as the worst in Francefor decades, and even spread to other countries. The movement has exposed deepsocial and economic divisions in France, forcing President Emmanuel Macron’sgovernment to make concessions.

6. Tension betweenRussia and Europe: Relationsbetween Russia and Europe have almost reached the lowest level in years afterformer Russian double agent Sergei Skripal was poisoned in the UK in March. Theconfrontation was also reflected in most of the world’s pressing issues like inSyria, Ukraine and the Korean Peninsula. The tension accelerated following thelaunch of US investigations into alleged Russian interference in the 2016American presidential election. The US has not only added a series of sanctionson Russia but also threatened to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range NuclearForces Treaty (INF), raising concerns about a new “Cold” War. Meanwhile, theRussian government said that these moves were part of a campaign coordinated byWestern governments to harm Russia’s prestige and isolate the country.

7. The US pulls outfrom the Iran Nuclear Deal: 

Neglecting international rules and norms, US President DonaldTrump on May 8 unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear agreement with Iran,which was finalised by his predecessor Barack Obama’s administration in 2015,and restored sanctions against Iran. The move has threatened the economicinterests of many countries and caused cracks in the relationship between theUS and its European allies. Many countries criticised the US’s actions todamage trust in the international order and said it could increase instabilityrisks in the Middle East.

8. Earthquake andtsunami in Indonesia: 

A strong earthquake and associated tsunami hitting Sulawesiisland on September 28 and a tsunami, triggered by an eruption of the AnakKrakatau volcano in the Sunda Strait – which lies between Sumatra and Javaislands – on December 22 have taken the lives of at least 2,370 people, injuredmore than 1,400 others and left some 5,130 unaccounted for. Previously, in lateJuly and early August, Lombok island experienced two earthquakes of 6.4 and 7magnitude, killing more than 400 people, destroying dozens of thousands ofhouses, temples and forcing approximately 20,000 to evacuate.   

9. Fake news and userdata leak on social networks: 

The spread of “fake news” on social media platforms, fromFacebook to Twitter and Whatsapp, have caused real consequences. Fake news hasbeen accused of contributing to the manipulation of election outcomes,provoking violence, deepening ethnic conflicts, causing social division andtriggering political instability in many nations. The reputations of techgiants like Facebook and Google has been shaken following their involvement insecurity breach scandals that exposed millions of user accounts. Facebook’sstock lost 120 billion USD in market value at one point and the firm’s revenuegrowth has significantly decelerated this year. The leaders of Facebook,Twitter and Google had to testify before the US Congress and ultimately vowedto come up with measures for a healthy cyberspace.

10. Journalist JamalKhashoggi murdered: 

The murder of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi insideSaudi Arabia’s consulate general in Istanbul, Turkey, on October 2, shookglobal public opinion. It set off a diplomatic crisis between Saudi Arabia andits Western allies and caused the country’s regional reputation to deteriorate.Several countries have announced travel bans imposed on Saudi citizens andurged the United Nations to launch an international probe into the case. The USSenate voted to end military aid for Saudi Arabia in the Yemen war, while theGerman government has halted all arms trade with the country, and Canada isconsidering to cancel its sale of armoured vehicles to its Middle East ally.

Source: VNA

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