China, Vietnam, South Korea, India, Japan, South Africa and the Philippines are the world’s most popular countries in terms of their people’s popularity, according to the latest Gallup-Healthways World Poll.
And that’s a big deal in Asia, where most people still struggle to find work, live in poverty or are economically insecure.
It’s no surprise then that the region has also been the site of a long and sometimes violent civil war between the Communist Party of China and the Nationalist government in the Philippines.
Teer, the director of the Gallup-China Center for Asia, says the current war has been going on for more than 20 years and has resulted in thousands of deaths and millions of refugees fleeing the conflict.
“We see the government of the Philippines as the greatest threat to global stability, both economically and politically,” Teer said.
As China has increasingly tightened its grip on the region, it has been forced to seek more foreign investment and to develop a more sophisticated security and political infrastructure.
But Teer says the war is likely to continue, perhaps even escalate.
He says that, even if the conflict is eventually resolved, the country could face a new wave of violent insurgencies in the coming years.
More than a decade ago, China and Vietnam were already at war, but the current conflict has already claimed thousands of lives.
Teer says it could get much worse in the future, especially if China is unable to secure its territorial claims in the South China Sea and East China Sea.