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Expect COVID-19, China and climate change to dominate 2021

Expect COVID-19, China and climate change to dominate 2021

How Taiwan's Audrey Tang can help Asia's democracies strike back

Shigesaburo Okumura is editor-in-chief of Nikkei Asia.

As the editor-in-chief of Nikkei Inc.'s flagship English language publication Nikkei Asia, I always have some hypotheses or scenarios in my mind as to what could happen next.

Usually, I have an orthodox main scenario, which in most cases is a more probable but less exciting story. Then there are the alternative scenarios, where I am preparing for the risks associated with both positive and negative events. Our editorial direction is also based on similar sets of scenarios.

When it comes to 2021, to simplify one especially complex set of scenarios, I will be watching what I call the three Cs with extreme care: COVID-19, China and climate. Nikkei Asia will provide comprehensive and thorough coverage of these three subjects because these are the three topics I expect to deliver the biggest changes affecting Asia over the next 12 months.

When it comes to COVID-19, I cannot find much cause for optimism. Let's take the United Kingdom, for example. The first country to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the U.K. began mass vaccinations on Dec. 8. It took only two weeks before skepticism dampened that early surge of hope after U.K. health authorities identified a new, more contagious variant of the virus.
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