The government-run Vietnam News Agency has rounded out the top 10 world events for 2014 as follows:

1. China stepped up actions that threaten regional security: Territorial disputes on the East Sea and East China Sea became tense, especially after China illegally placed its Haiyan Shiyou-981 oil rig in Vietnam ’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone. The world community expressed concern and seriously condemned China ’s provocative acts and conspiracy to unilaterally occupy the East Sea .
2. Ukraine crisis: Stemming from sectarian conflicts and disputes in choosing the path for national development, the Ukraine crisis led to the removal of President Viktor Yanukovich, the annexation of Crimea peninsula into Russia while an independence movement in the east gained momentum. The crisis in this Eastern Europe nation has pushed the ties between Russia and the west to the worst level since the Cold War.

3. Cuba and the US decided to normalise ties: December 17 has become a historic milestone in the history of Cuba – US relationship when Cuban President Raul Castro and his US counterpart Barack Obama simultaneously announced a decision to normalise diplomatic ties between the two countries after over a half century of disruption.

4. The emergence of the self-claimed "Islamic State" (IS): The Middle East fell into serious instability when the IS force took control of many territories in Iraq and Syria . With barbarian terrorist acts and a plot to expand its reach, the IS is becoming a threat to global security. An international alliance involving nearly 60 countries led by the US has been established to fight against the IS. Meanwhile, terrorist networks such as Al Qaeda, Taliban and Boko Haram are increasing their operations with scores of attacks, hostages and savage massacres.

5. World crude oil price drops dramatically: Crude price hit a five-year low, even dropping below 60 USD per barrel at one time, which strongly impacted the world economies, especially those depending on fuel exports.

6. Ebola outbreak in western Africa: The Ebola outbreaks in western Africa killed over 7,500 out of nearly 20,000 infection cases, sparking concern all over the world. Efforts to research and test Ebola vaccine showed initial positive results.

7. Aviation and maritime disasters rock the world: Malaysia's aviation sector suffered three catastrophic accidents when Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 with 239 crew members and passengers on board went missing mysteriously on March 8 while en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur and flight MH17 of the Malaysian Airlines was shot down in Eastern Ukraine on July 17, killing all 298 people aboard. On December 28, AirAsia flight QZ8501with 162 passengers and crew members on board went missing while en route from Indonesia to Singapore .

On July 23, flight GE222 of Taiwan ’s TransAsia Airways went down in Huxi, Taiwan ( China ), killing 48 people. One day later, an Air Algeria jet, coded AH5017, crashed in North Mali due to sandstorm. All 118 people aboard were killed also.

On April 16, the Sewol ferry sank, taking the lives of around 300 passengers, making it the most serious maritime accident in the history of the Republic of Korea .

8. Agreement reached during UN conference on climate change: The 20 th session of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-20) in Peru ’s Lima on December 14 reached a framework agreement on mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. Although the agreement does not have many binding commitments and has yet to address basic contradictions among the parties, it is still considered a positive signal creating a basis to build a global draft treaty on climate change, which is expected to be on the agenda of the COP-21 in Paris, France in 2015.

9. Bloody conflicts in the Gaza Strip: The Middle East peace process reached a deadlock when on July 18 Israel launched its "Operation Protective Edge" in retaliation for the Hamas movement’s firing of rockets from Gaza into the country. The 50-day bloody military operation killed more than 2,100 Palestinians and injured around 11,000 people, mainly women and children. The parties involved reached a ceasefire agreement on August 26, temporarily bringing back peace for the Gaza Strip.

10. Spacecraft Rosetta landed probe on a comet: After its ten-year journey, spacecraft Rosetta of the European Space Agency successfully landed its Philae probe on the surface of comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, about 500 million kilometres from Earth. The 100kg-weigh Philae brought with it a set of devices able to capture and examine the comet surface. This is the first landing on comet, opening up opportunities to discover the forming history of the solar system.-VNA