Vietnam remains "highly peaceful" despite disputed waters

By Dam Tuan   June 10, 2016 | 05:57 pm GMT+7
Vietnam remains "highly peaceful" despite disputed waters
Vietnam is famous for its friendly people and peaceful land. Photo by VnExpress Photo Contest/Luu Trong Thang
The 2016 Global Peace Index (GPI) recently ranked Vietnam 59th out of 163 independent states and territories.

The Institute for Economics and Peace has released its GPI for 2016 in which Vietnam is ranked higher than the U.S. (103), China (120) and Thailand (125), but the index also indicated that the world has become a slightly less peaceful place to live compared to last year.

According to the Australia-based global non-profit research organization, Vietnam fell three positions from GPI 2015, while Iceland, Denmark and Austria make up a top three unchanged from last year.

However, several countries have improved their overall score this year including Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Myanmar and Thailand. Escalated tensions in the South China Sea (Vietnam's East Sea) will continue to have certain impacts on external relations between the three main nations involved: China, Vietnam and the Philippines.

In the Asia Pacific region, Vietnam is ranked as 12 out of 19 independent states and territories. New Zealand and Japan held on to the top two positions, while the Philippines and North Korea remained the worst in region.

Vietnam’s expenditure on violence containment took up seven percent of GDP, ranking the country 86th on the index, compared to the U.S. that ranked 42nd spending 12 percent of GDP on violence containment. Unsurprisingly, Syria and Iraq topped the list, spending 54 percent, while Iceland, Canada and Indonesia spent only two percent of GDP on tackling violence.

Regarding societal safety and domain security, Vietnam was in the middle group with 2,224 points compared to Ireland at the top with 1,248 and Iraq at the bottom with 4.333 points. In Southeast Asia, Vietnam was lower than Singapore, Laos and Indonesia.

The GPI 2016 is developed based on 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators from highly respected sources using three broad themes: the level of safety and security in society; the extent of domestic or international conflict and the degree of militarization.

The tenth edition of the GPI found that overall global levels of peace continue to deteriorate while the gap between the most and least peaceful countries keeps widening. Reflecting the growing inequality in peace, 81 nations stepped up their peace while 79 nations deteriorated.

The GPI is the world's leading measure of national peace created in 2007.

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