Looking Back at Xi's Displomacy
China moves from a 'low-profile' diplomatic outlook to a more engaged and globally conscious approach
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UPDATED: December 23, 2014 NO. 52 DECEMBER 25, 2014
Top 10 World News Stories of 2014

Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks at the Fourth Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia held in Shanghai on May 21 (PANG XINGLEI)

New Security Concept

Chinese President Xi Jinping put forth a new security concept for Asia featuring common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security at the Fourth Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia, which was held in Shanghai, China, on May 21.

With the rapid economic growth of the region, the security dilemma of Asia is a growing concern. The continent is facing a slew of threats to safety and stability from territorial disputes, nuclear proliferation, terrorism, extremism and cross-border crimes. Thus, finding a mechanism to ensure peace and security in the region is particularly important and urgent for Asian countries.

Rescue workers collect bodies of victims at the site of the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in east Ukraine on July 19 (XINHUA/AFP)

Ukraine Crisis

Anti-government protests continued for more than three months before finally escalating into massive bloodshed in late February, leaving hundreds of casualties. Elected President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted. The country faces the possibility of separation due to the differing stances among ethnic groups. In early March, Crimea voted to join Russia in a local referendum, which was not recognized by Ukraine and major Western countries. In May, the Donetsk and Lugansk regions in east Ukraine declared independence.

Petro Poroshenko's election as Ukraine's new president in late May did not greatly alter the situation. Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 and its 298 people on board became victims of the Ukrainian civil conflict as the plane was reportedly shot down in Ukraine's war-torn eastern region on July 17. The crisis further escalated and evolved into a wrestling match between Russia and the West. The West imposed economic sanctions on Russia for its support of pro-independence insurgents in east Ukraine rebels. Although the concerned parties signed a truce agreement in September in Minsk, Belarus, the agreement was not well observed. Thus far, a resolution to the crisis is not yet in sight.

A medical worker demonstrates personal protective equipment to educate local residents on the Ebola virus in Liberia in July (CFP)

Ebola Epidemic

In March, the World Health Organization reported a major outbreak of Ebola, a highly fatal disease, in Guinea since December 2013. Due to a lack of treatment funds and international attention, the disease then rapidly spread to the neighboring countries of Liberia and Sierra Leone and some other West African countries later in 2014, with more than 18,000 people affected and a total of around 7,000 deaths.

When it appeared on the European and American continents in October, the epidemic caught world attention and received more international assistance. However, though the number of new cases is falling overall, UN officials said it will take several months to bring the epidemic under control.

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