December 13, 2017
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Growing threat
NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2017: Piracy in Asia-Pacific region is growing and the pirates are graduating from mere bandit like organization to a full-fledged regular militia which is seizing commercial ships and demanding ransoms more frequently than ever before. There were not any incidents involving the abduction of crew from ships in the Sulu-Celebes Sea and waters off Eastern Sabah in October and there were no incidents involving the hijacking of ship for theft of oil cargo.
 
Complicated vision
NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2017: China is venturing into Africa with lot of fanfare but there is an increasing worry in the minds of policy makers what could happen if China fails in its mission Africa. Right from Libya to South Sudan it is taking China nowhere. In fact, six years after independence, the world’s newest country South Sudan is still struggling to find its footing. Fighting in 2013 between government forces under president Silva Kiir and those loyal to his rival and former vice president Reik Machar turned into a many-sided civil war that engulfed much of the country.
 
Vanishing hope
NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2017: Libya is again turning into a failed state and rule of law may evade the tiny North African nation for another decade or so as hundreds of Islamic fighters are entering into the country without any verification. Indeed, it is far from surprising that Libya is still ravaged by violence. The country has been a failing state since its revolution in 2011. It was long host to two rival governments, one based in Tripoli consisting of Islamic hardliners, and a more moderate one based in the eastern city of Tobruk, comprising moderates who were elected to the UN-backed House of Representatives in June 2014.
 
Unending violence
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2017: A fresh outbreak of violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state has caused hundreds of thousands of Rohingya civilians to flee to Bangladesh. Tens of thousands of Rohingya are fleeing for their lives after an escalation of violence against them in Rakhine, the poorest state of Myanmar. A tide of displaced people are seeking refuge from atrocities-they are fleeing both on foot and by boat to Bangladesh.
 
Strategic goals
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER2017: With the opening of its first overseas military base in Djibouti, China has clearly sent a message that its role in the world is changing. The implications for the Middle East and Africa are immediate, but the larger message is clear that China no longer intends to be an exclusively Asian power.
 
Assertive approach
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2017: Tensions have continued to rise around the Korean peninsula since Pyongyang carried out its sixth nuclear test, prompting a new round of UN sanctions. North Korea's tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles and an alleged hydrogen bomb have escalated tensions over the nuclear nation's military ambitions.
 
Sliding posture
JULY-AUGUST 2017: Japan and China have series of disputes at political level, military sphere and economic challenges but Japan is catching up with its massive investment into steady military buildup and technological superiority against a formidable China.
 
Regrouping virus
JULY-AUGUST 2017: The ISIS may have fought the battle of Waterloo in Mosul but it is now fast reorganizing itself in Syria and northern parts of Iraq to set up its headquarters and rehabilitate some of the remaining battle hardened guerrillas who are keen to fight like a typical infantry style to snatch back the victory of Iraqi forces.       
 
Family connections
JULY-AUGUST 2017: China’s red princelings have jumped into running vast business empires due to their right connections with right links but their entrepreneur skills have failed to pass the litmus test after they climbed certain heights.
 
Tapping nectar
MAY-JUNE 2017: Russia is fast tracking a Chinese proposal to pump water from Lake Baikal, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and carry it across two borders to help alleviate water shortages which seem to be a problem solver but some Russian environmentalists have started opposing this plan.