The world on edge
THAT DOES IT - Korina Sanchez (The Freeman) - January 10, 2016 - 9:00am

The world seems to be on edge this 2016. We have tension in the Middle East between Saudi Arabia and its supporting gulf states and Iran, after the kingdom executed several persons accused of terrorism, including a known Shiite cleric. Iran has condemned the execution and vowed revenge for the killing of what they say was a non-violent man. Diplomatic relations were severed overnight, with both countries recalling their diplomatic staff or were asked to leave. There are more countries siding with the kingdom than with Iran, which has always been seen as an outsider in Middle East affairs. The tension has markets on the edge, with the price of crude oil once again in the spotlight. 

Then there is the nuclear test by North Korea. If there ever was a country that should not have nuclear weapons, North Korea is it being as belligerent as it is. South Korea has stepped up the rhetoric versus the North, prompting Pyongyang to warn Seoul of its continued propaganda against them by threatening war. Both countries have never really been officially at peace since the Korean War of the 1950s. Then last Sunday, B-52 nuclear bomber conducted a flight over Seoul in what many see as a show of force. The US has always been supportive of South Korea, even fighting alongside them in the Korean War. This is a flashpoint that the world is intensely watching, even as some doubt that an actual H-bomb was detonated by the North. North Korea isn't exactly known for telling the truth.

In our region, we have some tensions of our own. China has conducted flights and has landed aircraft more than once on the airfields it has constructed on disputed islands. Vietnam was the first to protest the flights, with the country following suit. Both the US and the UK have expressed alarm over China's test flights. But China being another belligerent country like its "friend" North Korea, it couldn't care less what its regional neighbors think of their test flights. Calls for ASEAN nations to unite against China and file complaints for the flights have not gained much ground. The rhetoric is there, but the actions are wanting. I wonder what it will take for the world to really call China's attention to its regional bullying.

Will the US conduct flights by military aircraft over the West Philippine Sea? They have done it in the past with China crying foul, like they are the only ones with the right to do so. Senator John McCain has indeed called on more US military presence in the region, to counteract China's territorial claims. But will they up the ante?

korina_abs@yahoo.com

BUT CHINA CHINA FLIGHTS KOREA KOREAN WAR MIDDLE EAST NORTH KOREA SAUDI ARABIA SENATOR JOHN SOUTH KOREA WEST PHILIPPINE SEA
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