According to statistics released by Johns Hopkins University in the United States, as of December 26, the cumulative number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide has exceeded 80 million.
In the new year, with the advancement of vaccine and drug therapy research and development, the “cloud” of the epidemic covering the world is expected to decrease.
Recently, some countries have launched vaccinations one after another.
Brazil and Turkey released the results of clinical trials of Chinese vaccines, confirming their effectiveness. At the same time, the discovery of multiple variants of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Nigeria has raised some concerns.
While many expect vaccines to become the “ultimate weapon” in the fight against COVID-19, it remains unknown whether the coronavirus outbreak will be effectively contained in 2021, given uncertainties such as vaccination rates, duration of antibody protection, and new developments in the emergence of viral variants.
As WHO Director-General Tedros Tedros said, the progress of vaccine research and development has begun to see “the light at the end of the tunnel”, but there is still a long way to go to end the coronavirus pandemic.
U.S. political situation: wind and rain are hard to stop
After this year’s ups and downs of the presidential election, President-elect Biden of the United States is expected to be sworn in on January 20 next year. Before him will be the United States with a problem and a torn society.
The worsening of the epidemic, the economic downturn, the high debt, and the intensification of the contradictions between democracy and the republican parties, the storms and struggles in American politics in the new year will not stop.
As the country with the worst epidemic in the world, the cumulative death toll of the coronavirus in the United States exceeds 330,000, and the national health system is under heavy pressure.
Several American health experts have warned people that the “most difficult moment” is far from over. Under the impact of the epidemic, the unemployment rate is high, and the party struggle often makes relevant countermeasures not come forward in time.
The U.S. economy is at risk of falling into a “double bottom recession”. How to effectively control the epidemic and alleviate the economic difficulties is the first problem for the new government to solve.
In addition, in the United States, where political and social polarization is increasing, it is also a major challenge for Biden to bridge the differences between different parties, classes and races and change the division of the “two Americas”.
Russia-Syster relations: the cold continues
Since the Ukrainian crisis, Russia’s relations with Western countries have been at a freezing point.
Considering Biden’s previous public claim that Russia is the “greatest threat to U.S. security”, relations between Russia and the United States are expected to remain cold in the new year.
Public opinion generally expects that after Biden takes office, he will take a tougher stand against Russia, continue to attack Russia on human rights, Ukraine, Belarus and other issues, further squeeze Russia’s global influence.
But the Biden administration will focus more on maintaining strategic stability between the United States and Russia, and the Biden diplomatic team has clearly expressed its support for the extension of the United States and Russia’s New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, which expires in February next year.
At the same time, the EU will continue to maintain a policy of “selective contact” with Russia.
On the one hand, the sanctions imposed by the European Union on Russia on the grounds of cyber attacks and “poisoning” incidents by Russian opponents will continue; on the other hand, Russia’s “North Stream-2” gas pipeline project to Germany will continue despite the opposition of the United States.
In addition, Russia and Europe also have space for cooperation on Syria, Libya, Iran and other issues.
Changes in the Middle East: Thunder
In 2020, an Iranian general and a nuclear scientist were assassinated one after another. The United Arab Emirates and other Arab countries established diplomatic relations with Israel.
Turkey intervened in the Libyan and karabakh conflict, and relations with Greece and Egypt deteriorated due to the Eastern Mediterranean issue. These events reflect the general trend of continuous turbulence in the Middle East and indicate that the Middle East will continue to be thunderous and dangerous in 2021.
The United States and Russia are important external factors for the change of the situation in the Middle East. The Biden administration may intensify its efforts to curb Russia’s influence in the region.
And Russia will continue to wrestle with the United States and Turkey on the Syrian issue to consolidate its military presence on the east coast of the Mediterranean Sea.
The fierce game of regional powers is bringing more and more uncertainty. Iran is looking forward to the return of the United States to the Iran nuclear agreement, but the process is difficult to go smoothly.
Israel may establish diplomatic relations with more Arab countries, which will continue to increase security pressure on Iran. Turkey’s intention to compete for regional dominance is becoming increasingly obvious, and whether this four-sided strategy will trigger more intense regional conflicts is worth paying attention to.
Brexit: the strong wind does not diminish
After nine months of difficult negotiations, Britain and the European Union finally reached an agreement on their future relations on December 24. The haze of “no-deal Brexit” that has been sweeping Britain for many years since the “Brexit” referendum in 2016 has finally been blown away, but the UK will still face strong political, economic and other aspects in the future.
First of all, most people in northern Scotland are originally opposed to Brexit, and some elements of the Anglo-European agreement involving agriculture and fisheries are even more dissatisfied.
Scotland has long sought “exit from Britain” due to complex historical, economic and other reasons, and the breakup of Britain with the European Union will further intensify this independence.
Secondly, the United Kingdom is currently the world’s largest net exporter of financial services, more than 40% of which are exported to the European Union, while the UK-Europe agreement involves little of the financial services industry, which may have an impact on the British financial industry.
In addition, after completing Brexit, how to maintain political stability, economic prosperity and international influence, and thus realize the vision of “globalized Britain” is also a difficult problem.
Global economy: cloudy and sunny
In 2020, the global economy under the epidemic entered a cold winter.
With the advancement of vaccine research and development and vaccination, the global economy is expected to gradually emerge from the severe cold next year, but the risks of vaccines are still not as effective as expected, the outbreak of the outbreak, and the surge in debt.
The International Monetary Fund released the World Economic Outlook report in October, which believes that the global economy is coming out of the trough and recovering better than expected.
Many economies have gradually lifted the blockade, and many governments and central banks have introduced large-scale fiscal support measures, which have boosted market sentiment.
However, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development released a report in early December, pointing out that the rebound of the epidemic in the second half of this year once again hit the global economy, causing weak economic recovery in Europe and North America.
Some experts believe that in the short term, the reintroducement of epidemic prevention restrictions in some countries will curb the momentum of economic recovery.
In the medium and long term, the epidemic has hit the global economy hard, causing countries to surge in debt and affecting global growth potential. In the future, the global economy will face a long, uneven and highly uncertain difficult climb.
5G application: gradually warming up
2020 is the year of large-scale construction of 5G.
In 2021, with the gradual establishment of 5G infrastructure construction in some countries, 5G applications will gradually warm up. This may herald that the world will begin to usher in a new era of “Internet of Everything”.
In the past year, the commercial implementation of 5G has created new application scenarios in many fields and is gradually becoming an important cornerstone of the development of the digital economy.
As of November this year, China has built a total of 718,000 5G base stations, and the top-level design of 5G applications has been continuously optimized. Relevant manufacturers have formed advantages in technology, equipment and innovative solutions, and radiated to the global market.
In the new year, with the gradual promotion of 5G applications, its characteristics of “ultra-high speed, ultra-low delay, ultra-large connection” will empower the digital transformation of all walks of life, and will efficiently connect a series of new infrastructure such as big data center, artificial intelligence and industrial Internet, and accelerate the realization of digitalization, networking and intelligence.
Industrial and technological transformation and optimization and upgrading in the main direction of attack.