Twelve months ago, in this space The Diplomat’s authors looked ahead at the trends and developments likely to dominate the region. From China’s ongoing crackdown on corruption to the struggles of Australia’s then Prime Minister Tony Abbott, our goal was to give our readers a framework for thinking about the year ahead.
Naturally, events have the capacity to be game changers. For the Asia-Pacific in 2015, we might point to the Paris climate change deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, the Iran nuclear deal, the thumping government victory in Singapore’s elections, and the equally thumping opposition victory in Myanmar. Still, many of the trends we identified did dominate 2015. Tensions rose in the South China Sea. China grappled with an increasingly tricky economic transition. Rising Hindu nationalism emerged as a growing concern in India. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe balanced his own nationalist impulses with the economic imperative of calm in East Asia.
So once again, we asked our writers and editors to nominate the trends they think we should be across the region as we head into 2016.