Top 10 world news events in 2007

Updated: 2007-12-28 00:44

The following are the top 10 world news events in the year 2007 as selected by Xinhua (in chronological order).

1. US troops suffer heavy losses in Iraq

US President George W. Bush embraced a major tactical shift in the war in Iraq on January 10, when he declared that more American troops would be deployed to Iraq.

However, the additional 30,000 US forces in Iraq did not bring peace to the country, which is still plagued by rampant violence and bloodshed.

The year 2007 has been the deadliest year for the US troops in Iraq since the US-led invasion in 2003, with around 900 soldiers died so far.

Iraq also reported a civilian death toll of at least 17,000 in various violent activities.

2. US-Russian relations strain

Relations between the United States and Russia have come under strain since late January when Washington announced plan to restart talks about deploying a radar station in the Czech Republic and interceptor missiles in Poland.

Russia believes the US missile defense plan in Eastern Europe poses a threat to its national security.

Russian President Vladimir Putin strongly criticized the US foreign polices at the Munich Conference on Security Policy in February, saying that Washington is abusing its military powers worldwide and the eastward expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) poses a threat to Russia's security.

In August, Russia renewed its long-distance strategic bomber patrols after a 15-year suspension.

In December, Russia's navy fleet started to resume military presence in the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean to increase the security of Russian navigation.

On December12, Russia officially suspended its participation in the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty.

3. Korean Peninsula witnesses an easing of tensions

On July 14, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) announced the shutdown of its Yongbyon nuclear facilities, a significant progress in the denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.

On November 29, returning from a three-day trip to the DPRK, a delegation of diplomats and atomic energy experts from China, South Korea, Japan, the United States and Russia reported that the DPRK's nuclear disablement process was going smoothly. This also helps relations between South Korea and the DPRK continue to thaw in 2007.

DPRK leader Kim Jong-II and South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun held talks in Pyongyang on October 3-4. The two leaders signed the Declaration for Development of North-South Relations and Peace and Prosperity, creating  more favorable conditions for easing tensions in the region.

4. Darfur issue makes good headway

On July 31, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution authorizing the deployment of a 26,000-strong hybrid force of the United Nations and African Union (AU) to the western Sudanese region of Darfur.

Peace talks between the Sudanese government and Darfur rebels were resumed on October 27 in Libya, marking a new starting point for the international community to promote the peace process in the conflict-ridden region.

China has played a constructive role on solving the Darfur issue. Vanguards of the Chinese peacekeepers engineering units arrived in South Darfur State capital Niyala on November 24, as the first batch of the UN peacekeepers to have arrived in the Darfur region.

5. US subprime mortgage crisis triggers financial market turmoil

On August 9, the US Federal Reserve (the Fed) pumped 24 billion US dollars into the financial market to ease tightening credit stemming from the troubles in the high-risk subprime mortgage market, which offers loans to people with lower credit and income.

Since then, the Fed, the central banks in Europe and Japan have made large injections of liquidity to help beat back the widening credit crisis.

The crisis, whose first sign emerged in April 2007, has caused billions of dollars losses for some banks and investment institutions in the West. It has also led to stock market turmoil in the US and global financial market.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) readjusted the prediction of US economic growth in 2007 to 1.9 percent, lower than the 2.9 percent in 2006.

6. Lisbon Treaty solves EU constitutional crisis

The Lisbon Treaty, which replaces the failed European Union (EU) Constitutions, was approved on October 19 at the informal EU summit in Lisbon, capital city of Portugal, allowing the EU to put an end to six years of constitutional wrangling.

To help make the EU more effective on the regional and global stages, the treaty provides for far-reaching changes in the EU's institutions and decision making mechanisms.

The new treaty, signed by heads of state and government of EU member states on December 13 in Lisbon, will enter into force in January 2009 after being ratified by each EU member.

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