The South China Sea remains a potential area for conflict, with countries involved in the dispute, China, Vietnam and the Philippines, all showing a deterioration in their scores. Although the likelihood of further military skirmishes in the disputed waters is high, a large-scale military engagement remains unlikely.
The Philippines suffered from an escalation of internal conflict between the government and rebel groups.
Myanmar also became slightly less peaceful, partly driven by the imposition of martial law in the Kokang Self-Administered Zone in Shan State on the border with China, which is reflected in a deterioration in likelihood of violent demonstrations. The continuing conflict risks intervention from China, which would escalate the situation further.
North Korea, the least peaceful country in the region, remains a concern for global peace with continued belligerence and isolation.
Indonesia was the most improved country in the region, rising 12 places to a rank of 46th in the overall rankings in 2015, thanks to improvements in the level of violent crime and a reduced impact of terrorism.
The 2015 Global Peace Index shows that the world is becoming increasingly divided with some countries enjoying unprecedented levels of peace and prosperity while others spiral further into violence and conflict.
Vision of Humanity is an initiative of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). IEP have offices in New York and Sydney. For more specific inquiries related to the peace indexes and research, please contact IEP directly.