Setting the stage: Looking back at 2020 for what’s in store for 2021
“There are decades where nothing happens, and there are weeks where decades happen.” Often attributed to Vladimir Lenin, this quote says a lot about 2020, which all of us cannot wait to be finished with. It is worthwhile to recap how global events have accelerated the macrotrends developing in the Asia Pacific, which I hope may provide some guidance on where things are as we head into 2021.
We started 2020 with markets rejoicing because of a temporary US-China trade deal. (And technology bifurcation and the containment of China by a bipartisan US Congress will continue with a Biden administration.) The Hong Kong democratic protests that started in 2019 worsened in early 2020, with no end in sight. Then, on 20 January 2020, news quickly spread of a cover up by the local government in Wuhan, China, of cases of a new strain of coronavirus back in December 2019, with cases of newly infected reported outside of China. This was followed by the Chinese government’s swift lockd