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2011: A year of turmoil, reflection, and cooperation

By Wu Jianmin (People's Daily Overseas Edition)

15:57, January 04, 2012

Edited and translated by People's Daily Online

2011, the eventful year, can be summed up in three words – turmoil, reflection, and cooperation.

2011 marks the most turbulent year since the beginning of the century.

The turmoil in Middle East and North Africa attracted most attention, and brought about the downfall of several strongmen. The Libyan civil war broke out. Syria, Yemen, and some other countries are still in turmoil.

The euro zone sovereign debt crisis plunged global economy and financial markets into turmoil. The economic crisis led to social crises worldwide, which then led to political crises and the change of government in several European countries.

The United States has been in a better situation than Europe, but still suffered persistent high unemployment and frequent public protests. A triple disaster of earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear radiation worsened the already weak Japanese economy.

Emerging powers in East Asia have maintained the momentum of economic growth, but the growth rate has been declining steadily. In addition, the friction among East Asian countries over islands ownership and maritime rights and interests has intensified. The “return to Asia” strategy of the United States has placed the South China Sea issue under an intense international spotlight again.

It should be noted that the turmoil in 2011 has displayed characteristics distinctively different from that during the Cold War.

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