The prevailing security trends in the Asia Pacific region remain broadly unchanged from last year, with geopolitical issues remaining the most significant driver of risk, according to Aon’s “2015 Terrorism & Political Violence Risk Map”.
There are no severe risk countries in the APAC region. But it also remains a region of marked polarity in the risk scores. Singapore, Brunei and many of the Pacific Islands attained negligible risk ratings with no perils. On the other hand, Thailand, China, Myanmar, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Philippines, have experienced all three risk perils – terrorism and sabotage; riots, strikes, civil commotion and malicious damage; and insurrection, revolution, rebellion, mutiny, coup d’etat, war and civil war (T&S, SRCCMD, PV).
Official concerns over Islamic State (IS) terrorism in parts of East and Southeast Asia appear centred around the threat that returnees who have fought with IS in Iraq and Syria might pose. A terrorism peril was already in place in four countries – China, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines – where the authorities have expressed particular concern about their nationals fighting alongside IS.
Aon recommends clients from the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Australia, which is now also facing Islamist terrorist threats, to consider their terrorism coverage closely as a result of the evolving threat.
The geopolitical risks of potential armed conflict remain unchanged, with China again committing itself to a double-digit increase in defence spending in early 2015. There were some improvements in Sino-Japanese relations in late 2014. But high levels of militarisation around disputed islands, China’s entrenched claims and the Japanese government’s increasing willingness to assert its status in the international system mean that the area remains a potential crisis flashpoint.