Thinking Aloud

Seat-belt warning as storm clouds loom in 2019

A new great-power rivalry, tired old squabbles with Malaysia, and unfolding events point to some turbulence ahead

You have been here before. As you settle into your comfortable seat for the long flight ahead, a voice crackles from the cockpit.

"Our flying time today will be 12 hours, 40 minutes, and we expect a smooth journey ahead, but there looks to be some pockets of turbulence along the way," your captain says, sounding vaguely assuring. "We suggest you keep your seat belt on."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 06, 2019, with the headline 'Seat-belt warning as storm clouds loom in 2019'. Print Edition | Subscribe