The year that has just begun will be crucial for the Asian continent. While tackling the Covid-19 pandemic will continue to be a major concern for many governments, several events have already planned. Below are the appointments that await the Asian continent in the new year. Keep an eye on them.
One point stands out: 2022 will be a year of political change in many countries in Asia. We will see presidential elections in the Philippines, South Korea and Timor-Leste. Numerous other countries are undertaking local (India) or legislative (Japan) elections that will bring with them political implications. Even China will see a shake-up of political leaders at its once-every-five-years Party Congress. Elections of the chief executive of Hong Kong should also be held in March.
In January, the presidency of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will be ended over to Cambodia. The G20 should be held in Bali, Indonesia, in October (new coronavirus variants permitting).
There are also many important historical recurrences, the biggest being India and Pakistan celebrating 75 years of independence in August. In July, 25 years will have passed since the handover of Hong Kong from England to China.
2022 will open with the Beijing Winter Olympics. The Asia Cup will be held in Sri Lanka in April, while the Asian Games will be held in Hangzhou, China, in September. At the end of next year, between November and December, the Football World Cup will be held in Qatar.
For the third year running, the COVID-19 pandemic will loom over all other events. 2021 started with vaccine roll-outs and hope for a post-pandemic normal; the year ended with the Omicron variant shutting borders around the world once again. In 2022, all of the Asia-Pacific will be struggling to balance health precautions with the increasingly pressing need to get economies back on track.