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The Asia-Pacific in 2021: What to Expect

The Diplomat looks at the trends to watch across the region in the coming year.

By The Diplomat for
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The Asia-Pacific in 2021: What to Expect
Credit: Pixabay

2020 taught us all a lesson about the dangers of prediction. The COVID-19 pandemic that emerged this time last year violently shoved nearly every forecast into the rubbish bin. But we’re trying again for 2021, with one big “known unknown” looming large for the Asia-Pacific: the continuing effects of COVID-19. How will governments keep their people safe while struggling to rebuild their economies?

Another big question mark that will impact nearly every sector and state is the ascension of the Biden administration in the United States. Governments throughout Asia are looking to see what new policies and priorities could be rolled out from Washington, especially with regard to China. And, of course, some things never change, pandemic or no: Climate change will continue to pose an existential crisis to us all.

Beyond those big shared questions, though, each country has its own concerns. From elections in Kyrgyzstan, India, and South Korea to the peace process in Afghanistan; from protest movements in Pakistan and Thailand to Olympic dreams in China and Japan; we offer suggestions of key markers to watch in the new year.

We have overviews for the United States, Japan, the Koreas, China, Southeast Asia, Oceania, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia. Click to read more.