Hopes and challenges: What to expect in 2021

Joe Biden becomes US president. Britain enters a post-EU era. China versus the West. Vaccines and Covid-19's long shadow. PAP's political transition. Revised PSLE. The Straits Times looks ahead to the new year and new uncertainties.

What will Biden's moves be? Hard choices await Asia in 2021

 REUTERS Mr Xi Jinping and Mr Joe Biden watching a dragon dance at the International Studies Learning

Asians should have a better sense of where their collective destinies are headed in a few months from now.

In less than three weeks, Mr Joe Biden, who was vice-president of the United States when Mr Barack Obama fashioned the rebalance to Asia, takes charge of the nation. At his side will be America's first woman vice-president, who is of Asian and African-American descent.

Known, liked, and with experience so lengthy that if you put him in a room with two dozen Asian leaders he will have something interesting and informed to say about each of their countries, Mr Biden comes better prepared for office than almost any other American president in a century.


US, Europe set for radical reversals, succession struggles in 2021

Of all the events expected in 2021, the incoming Joe Biden Administration's shape and conduct in the United States are guaranteed to be of the utmost importance.

This is partly because outgoing President Donald Trump has proved to be such a break from traditional US foreign and security policies over the 75 years that any "return to normality and predictability" of the kind Mr Biden is promising is bound to entail some radical about-turns.

But it is also because the challenges facing the US are now more pressing than ever and can no longer be ducked with the type of boisterous gestures or sloganeering Mr Trump preferred.


Covid-19's impact to still weigh on Singapore's economy in 2021


After the annus horribilis that was 2020, which ushered in the worst economic recession in Singapore's history, the economy will rebound in 2021.

But we cannot yet be confident that this will segue into sustained growth, because the shadow of Covid-19 still looms large.

There are three dimensions of this that will weigh on the economy.


Singapore's 2021 will be lived under the long shadow of Covid-19

A healthcare worker receiving a Covid-19 shot on Wednesday at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases.

If 2020 was the year of the coronavirus, 2021 will be the year Covid-19 continues to cast a long shadow.

Even as news of effective vaccines cheers the world, the reality is that the journey to a post-Covid-19 world will be long drawn, and the months ahead will remain darkened by the scourge of the pandemic.

For Singapore, the key challenge of this year will be the roll-out of the vaccination programme.


The year ahead: Key events at home and abroad

The big events due this year, from the World Economic Forum in Singapore to elections in Germany.


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