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  William Vocke    Special to The China Post
In the past week, Hong Kong witnessed the peculiar sight of having its chief executive and a student activist stand virtually shoulder to shoulder on an issue.
I am still grateful today for a lesson that a reader taught me several years ago. The words "postponement" and "embarrassment" come to mind whenever I think of that lesson.
In South Asia, the new year has begun with brutal fighting which threatens to derail uncertain rapprochement between India and Pakistan. In a daring raid, an armed group invaded an air force base in northern India. The United Jihad Council, a militant group seeking an end to Indian rule in Kashmir, has claimed credit. At the same time, there has been an attack on an Indian consulate in Afghanistan.
The new year started not with a bang but a whimper. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde's prognosis at 2015 year-end was that global growth in 2016 would be "disappointing and patchy," blaming rising U.S. interest rates, the economic slowdown in China, persistent financial fragility in several countries and lower oil and commodity prices.
Not one week into the new year, the North Koreans jolted the world as well as the Richter scale with a nuclear weapons test. While the underground blast shook the remote Punggye-ri region near the Russian border, the political reverberations of the bomb have been felt globally,
Saudi Arabia's move to try to keep global oil prices low was intended to hurt its rivals -- but experts now say its decision may be starting to backfire.
At a time of continuing world turmoil, an important development for Turkey took place recently. Chapter 17, on Economic and Monetary Policy, was opened within the scope of EU membership negotiations.
As a new year begins, China has released plans for its military development, including a second aircraft carrier. At the same time, a military overhaul of its land forces has led to the creation of a General Command of the Army, a Rocket Force and a Strategic Support Force.
Mainland China's economic clout in the region looks set to increase this year, despite its growth slowing further, analysts say.
Welcome to the future of Singapore's past. Having spent 2015 in a year-long jamboree of reflecting on the better-than-anyone-expected progress over the last five decades, the republic now enters its post-SG50 and post-former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew era, with many pondering just what the future entails.
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