1. Chinese proposals become international consensus
Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered important speeches at the World Economic Forum in Davos and the United Nations Geneva Headquarter on January 17 and 18, making a strong voice to promote the rebalance of globalization and the building of a community of shared future for mankind.
China not only formulated a series of creative, leading, and constructive results during the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation and the 9th BRICS Summit, but also raised schemes and plans in multiple areas of global governance.
These all served as a witness of the improved international status and influence of China.
2. US withdraws from multiple international mechanisms in shift toward unilateralism
On January 23, the US President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. This was followed by the disavowal of the Paris Agreement, the retreat from UNESCO, and the quit from the Global Compact on Migration. The “America First” policy pursued by the Trump Administration is a reflection of the country’s unilateralism and expanding divergence with the international society on global governance. Such withdrawal not only reflected America’s abandonment of some of its international responsibility, but also injected further uncertainties into the international landscape.
3. Tensions over Korean Peninsula escalate
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) tested a ground-to-ground intermediate and long-range missile on February 12, and kept its nuclear and missile tests ever since, despite of opposition from the international community.
The military drills conducted by the United States and South Korea further escalated the tensions over the Korean Peninsula. The two countries kicked off their biggest-ever joint air force exercise on December 4, which set the situation on the peninsula into a vicious circle.
4. European integration faces severe challenges
Officially initiating the “Brexit” process on March 29, the government of the United Kingdom reached initial agreement with the European Union after several rounds of hard negotiations. In addition, during the elections of Netherland, France, Germany, and Austria, the influence of mainstream parties waned after the fight against right-wing populism.
5. Meeting between the presidents of China and the United States
The highly anticipated first meeting between Xi Jinping and Donald Trump took place at Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida from April 6 to 7. Four high-level dialogue mechanisms focusing on diplomacy and security, the economy, law enforcement and cyber security, and social and people-to-people exchanges were established.
The two countries reached multiple agreements on the development of bilateral ties during Trump’s visit to China in November. The stable and healthy development of relations between the two major powers has become a wide aspiration for the international society.
6. Turbulence in the Middle East
In June 2017, a number of Islamic countries including Saudi Arabia cutoff diplomatic relations with Qatar, throwing the future of Gulf Cooperation Council into doubt.
The United States declared its recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on December 6, triggering continuous opposition.
7. Ease of tensions in the South China Sea
China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) adopted a framework for the Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea during a ministerial meeting held from October 6 to 8. China and ASEAN countries restored and consolidated the consensus to settle disputes peacefully through dialogue and consultation between countries directly concerned.
8. Global economy gains vitality
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued the latest World Economic Outlook on October 10, raising the forecast of the global economy for both 2017 and 2018. According to the report, 75% of the global economies are expected to see accelerated growth in 2017.
An economic report released by the United Nations in December also suggested a roundabout of the world economy in 2017.
IMF predicted a 34.6% contribution to be made by China to the world economic growth in 2017.
9. Successful holding of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China
The 19th CPC National Congress was held in Beijing from October 18 to 24. It was a meeting of great importance during a decisive stage in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and at a critical moment as socialism with Chinese characteristics entered a new era.
10. Defeat of ISIS
Iraqi Prime Minister Hadir Al-Abadi declared military victory over the Islamic State in Iraq on November 21 just hours after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced that Iranian-backed forces had driven the terror group out of Syria. Russia also declared its intention to withdraw troops from Syria, declaring its counter-terrorism mission accomplished.
However, many countries are still suffering from the spillover effect of the extremist organization, with increased pressure to counter terrorism.