BEIJING, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- The past week saw the unpeaceful side of world events, amid a backdrop of general stability.
Catching many by surprise, the first armed clash of substantial scale in 2011 happened near a temple between Cambodia and Thailand -- two ASEAN members, and left at least eight people dead and 67 others injured.
In fact, border dispute between the two countries is nothing new, and the situation would not have run out of control, should the event happen at another time. As pointed out by analysts, the escalation of conflicts this time is connected to the internal situation of the two countries.
Therefore, for the solidarity within the ASEAN and the fundamental interests of the two countries, at present the immediate task is to prevent conflicts from further escalating.
And these two countries are not alone stuck in territorial disputes, the most touchy disputes between countries.
Japan and Russia have been bickering along over the sovereignty of four Pacific islands, which are called the Northern Territories in Japan and the Southern Kurils in Russia, since Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's visit there last November, a move termed by Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan as a "outrage".
According to the Japanese media, the two sides continued to lock horns during Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara's two-day visit to Moscow last week, and the tone of the closed-door meeting between Maehara and his Russian counterpart reflected both sides' inherently resolute stance on the issue, and analysts see the impasse as insurmountable.
Nevertheless, the two foreign ministers said that their countries were keen to boost cooperation, and another agenda of Maehara's visit was to boost bilateral trade and energy cooperation, as peace and cooperation remain to be the mainstream of world relations despite the conflicts.
On the Korean peninsular, though the two-day colonel-level military talks held on Feb. 8-9 ended without breakthrough, the fact that the two sides are talking itself means a good beginning, and it is hoped that the two sides could move toward the same direction of maintaining the stability of the Korean Peninsula.
In Sudan, President Omar al-Bashir last week declared acceptance of the final results of south Sudan referendum which supports the region's separation, and said he wanted to be the first to congratulate the south on their new state, which is to be established on July 9, with Juba as its capital.
Now that the north and south separate with grace after two decades of war, and the southerners are jubilant to have their own country at last. However, it remains a great challenge that how the two sides should live and thrive alongside one another.
Also facing with an enormous challenge is the army of Egypt, which just took over power from resigned president Hosni Mubarak and is tasked with maintaining stability and creating a better future for the most populous Arab country.
And the world is watching, especially the people and leaders in the Middle East region which has witnessed two political upheavals recently, and no one is to tell whether the unrest will spread further.
Editor: Deng Shasha