Writers from throughout the area spotlight the developments and occasion to look at within the new yr.
Final yr was considered one of political change, with elections throughout the Indo-Pacific (some aggressive, some not). In 2022, Australia, China, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Nepal, the Philippines, South Korea, and Turkmenistan, all elected or appointed high leaders – some new, some re-upped incumbents. There are some extra polls in 2023, most notably in Thailand and Pakistan, however many extra international locations will see their present leaders – whether or not new to workplace or just grappling with new challenges – attempt to discover their footing.
And it gained’t be simple to do, amid fears of a worldwide financial downturn because the crises of 2022 proceed to hang-out the brand new yr. The warfare sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine rages on, disrupting provide chains and dragging down economies across the globe. The potential for battle within the Taiwan Strait and the Korean Peninsula looms giant, too, as tensions worsened in each areas final yr.
For probably the most half, the COVID-19 pandemic has slipped off the radar of regional governments and publics (with China as the massive exception). However the financial turmoil it brought about continues to linger, as international locations from Sri Lanka to Laos grapple with monetary smash.
Lastly, the brand new yr will virtually definitely carry new pure disasters, as local weather change continues to take a toll, in addition to new terrorist assaults, particularly given disturbing developments in Afghanistan. Nobody is aware of the place or when these occasions will occur, but when 2022 taught us something, it’s to count on the sudden.
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