In the new year, the world still faces many challenges, adversities and new things. We’re taking these “question marks” and knocking on the door for 2021.
One size fits all! Brexit will make Britain more free?
When the New Year’s bell rang in 2021, the exhausted “sunset” empire, which had exhausted its energy for four years, finally broke away from the EU harbor and became an independent individual in the Atlantic Ocean again. Looking back on nearly half a century ago, it was also a New Year. Britain celebrated its entry into Europe, as if it were a dream.
“What we call is often the end, and declaring the end is starting.” European Commission President von der Leyen quoted the famous words of the British poet Eliot to summary and look forward to the twists and turns of the Brexit story.
Although the relationship between Britain and Europe has turned a new page, the impact of Brexit is far from over. Get rid of the haze of “no-deal Brexit”, Britain still faces serious challenges in political, economic and other aspects.
“There are some residual problems that seem to be temporarily solved, such as the Northern Ireland border issue, but these lay the stage for future conflicts. Although trade agreements have been signed to avoid a hard Brexit, their contradictions are still there. Zhou Hong, a member of the Academic Department of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, analyzed.
In addition, how Britain can realize the government’s original idea of “globalized Britain” under the rise of domestic populist forces is still a proposition to be solved.
Zhou Hong said that Brexit was for Britain that “local interests deprive liberalism of the long-term interests”, especially the concerns of the elderly group overwhelmed the concerns of the young people, whose dream was to return to the “British Empire” and change from the United Kingdom of the European Union to the “Global Britain”. However, because of the obvious trend of regionalization, it is not easy to achieve.
In any case, the final chapter of the “Brexit drama” has been left for the previous year. But the more infectious mutant coronavirus has to free up time for the UK to focus on managing large-scale vaccinations for the rest of the time.
As the Financial Times said, “The British government has readjusted its relationship with the country’s largest trading partner, opening a new chapter in British history 47 years after entering the European Union. Now, Britain must adjust itself.
The two countries “bye”, can North and South Korea make peace?
Unlike the United Kingdom and the European Union, the bilateral relations between North Korea and South Korea on the Korean Peninsula have been deadlocked since the negotiations between North Korea and the United States and Hanoi have broken down.
In 2020, North Korea blew up the inter-Korean Liaison Office and other bad factors, causing inter-Korean relations to fall to a freezing point, and the peace process is struggling. How will the situation on the Korean Peninsula change in the new year?
“The internal cause is the basis of change, and the external cause is the condition of change.” Wang Sheng, an expert on inter-Korean issues and a professor in the Department of International Politics of the School of Administration of Jilin University, believes that for North and South Korea, easing their relations in 2021 is the objective demand of both sides.
However, at present, due to the autonomy of South Korea, including the wartime command, the issue of South Korea-US defense fee sharing is still to be negotiated, and diplomatically unable to completely separate from the framework of the South Korean-American alliance, etc., it will be bound or restricted when developing inter-Korean relations. In the short term, it is difficult to break through the bottleneck.
In this case, how inter-Korean relations develop also depends on what kind of policy it will be implemented towards North Korea after the new administration of President-elect Biden of the United States takes office.
In this regard, the North Korean side is also in a wait-and-see state.
Wang Sheng pointed out that March 2021 is a key node for the Korean Peninsula.
At that time, whether South Korea and the United States will resume large-scale military exercises will have a great impact on North Korea’s attitude.
Wang Sheng stressed that in any case, North and South Korea should start from objective reality and find a breakthrough in actively promoting the development of bilateral relations.
Three steps, the space journey is again competitive.
Relations between countries may be trapped in some kind of constraints and unable to make progress, but the pace of human exploration will not stall due to technological constraints.
Oxygen was discovered outside the Milky Way for the first time, the underground structure of the lunar back was revealed for the first time, the largest three-dimensional map of the universe to date was made, and medium-mass black holes were discovered…
In 2020, human beings opened the door to a new world after another in their persistent exploration of outer space. When the new year begins, where will mankind’s space journey go?
Shortly after the launch of China’s “Yue’e 5”, India announced that its lunar probe “Moon Ship 3” would be launched in early 2021. Russia, a traditional space power, also plans to send three new probes to the moon by 2025.
Among them, the Lunar 25 probe will be launched in October 2021. In the next few years, the manned moon landing of the United States and the lunar exploration plans of Israel, Japan and other countries have also attracted much attention.
In 2021, the track of human race to Mars is also becoming more and more busy. In addition to China’s Tianwen-1 probe, which will arrive on Mars in February, the United Arab Emirates’s Hope and American Perseverance will also try to land.
Russia and Europe’s cooperation project on Mars exploration has been postponed to 2022.
On the other hand, a month ago, the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft successfully docked with the International Space Station, ushering in the era of commercial space in the United States.
At present, American companies have announced that they will send tourists to the International Space Station in 2021 with the help of the Dragon spacecraft.
From “running to the moon” to “exploring fire” to ordinary people’s “space odyssey”, human space exploration has taken three major steps and went further and further…
Four re-election, is it difficult for Merkel to leave the European Union?
In 2021, German “Iron Lady” Merkel will step down as Chancellor and bid farewell to politics.
After 16 years in power, discipline and patience are the biggest labels of this “super-long standby prime minister”. Under Merkel’s leadership, Germany successfully passed the European debt crisis, and its economy was booming.
When the coronavirus epidemic hit, Merkel also responded positively and advocated cooperation with a scientific attitude, and tried its best to promote the conclusion of the EU Recovery Fund, and the poll support rate was often high.
The departure of such an “evergreen tree in politics” will bring a series of difficulties to Germany and the European Union.
On the one hand, “the choice of Germany’s next prime minister is so confusing.” Yan Yu, executive director of the Center for European Studies of Renmin University of China, said that it is still unknown whether Germany’s political situation will be as stable as in the past 16 years in the next few years.
On the other hand, Merkel has always been regarded as an indispensable “helm” of the EU. Without the EU led by her, it may be more difficult to complete the reconstruction of post-epidemic economic recovery and solidarity.
Yan Yu pointed out, “But what is certain is that whether Merkel’s successor is strong or weak, the pattern of German-French cooperation in leading the EU will not change for the time being.”
Five-ring dream! Can the Tokyo Olympics be held?
Merkel’s withdrawal from politics is a pity for Germany and the European Union. The failure to hold the Tokyo Olympic Games on schedule has become a pity for Japan. Affected by the coronavirus epidemic, the summer of 2020 should be “hot” has been quietly spent.
The next year, it is still doubtful whether more than 11,000 athletes can gather in Tokyo as scheduled to participate in the grand event.
“The quiet Olympic Games wearing masks will remain the most important event in 2021” – AFP said in an article on this topic that the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee and the Japanese government are trying to cope with the increasing costs, and on issues such as whether to allow foreign tourists to visit and what measures to take for spectators and participants, Undecisive.
Zhou Yongsheng, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of the School of Foreign Affairs, said that if the Olympic Games can be held successfully, it will achieve a small rebound in Japan’s economy based on a deep recession, “add points” to Yoshihide Suga government and improve Japan’s international status.
But now, the epidemic has become the primary test of the Japanese government, and the people are concerned about whether the Olympic Games can be held under safe conditions.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga promised the world that the Tokyo Olympic Games would be held safely and become “the symbol of mankind’s victory over the epidemic”.
You are watching the 2021 Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics.” In July this year, people are looking forward to the debut of this commentary.
Six challenges, how much has Biden changed in office?
In addition to the high-profile Olympic Games, President-elect Biden will be sworn in on January 20, 2021, and the United States will officially usher in the “Biden era”.
Biden, 78, said he was full of hope to enter a new era. However, he will face six thorny issues: epidemic, economy, racial contradictions, political polarization, international cooperation and diplomacy.
In the past year, the coronavirus epidemic has widened the gap between rich and poor, racial contradictions have exacerbated social differences, and the United States has been “extremely divided”.
Pang Zhongying, a Distinguished Professor of Ocean University of China and Dean of the Institute of Ocean Development, pointed out that ending the coronavirus epidemic will be the top priority of the Biden administration.
Biden has announced three hundred days of anti-epidemic plans after taking office, vowing to lead the United States through the “dark winter”. However, for the U.S. economy hit hard by the pandemic, it remains to be seen whether Biden can use the right medicine to make it recover quickly.
In addition, the problem of political polarization in the United States is deepening day by day. How to promote bipartisan cooperation has become a must-answer question for the next government.
how can Biden improve his support and prepare for the next four years?
Domestic challenges are endless, and there are many diplomatic difficulties. In recent years, the Trump administration has shouted that the United States is the priority and wantonly retreated from the “group”.
Although Biden has made it clear that he will strengthen international cooperation, Pang Zhongying believes that the process of returning to some international organizations or agreements in the United States may not be so easy. On the other hand, how to deal with Iran, Russia and Europe also requires political wisdom.
Seven gatherings? The chaos in the Middle East remains to be solved.
In 2020, two assassinations brought the relationship between the United States and Iran to a freezing point, and also made the haze of conflict overwher over the Middle East again.
On the first anniversary of the death of Iranian general Suleimani in the U.S. airstrike, the United States and Iran are still in a tense confrontation.
Li Weijian, vice president of the China Middle East Society, said that if Biden enters the White House at that time, he can regain the Obama-era “Asia-Pacific Rebalancing Strategy” and shrink the presence of the United States in the Middle East.
The seven countries that signed the Iran nuclear agreement may reunite at the negotiating table. The imminent tension between the United States and Iran will be greatly eased.
However, the above changes may also encounter considerable resistance. First of all, after the withdrawal of American forces from the Middle East, the probability of uncontrolled and chaos in the region has increased.
Secondly, the assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist shows that the Trump administration and its allies in the Middle East are constantly strengthening their current policy towards Iran, making it more difficult for Biden to implement the new policy.
In addition, Li Weijian believes that “2021 for the Middle East, the greater systemic risk comes from the inside rather than the outside.”
Affected by the epidemic, the economic and social operation of many countries in the Middle East will be greatly difficult after the international demand for energy has plummeted.
How to fight the epidemic and carry out economic recovery at the same time has become a problem that Middle Eastern countries must deal with. Therefore, “more countries in the region will devote their energy to domestic reform and development.”
Since August 2020, Israel has normalized relations with the United Arab Emirates and other countries, which may be the result of Arab countries from national interests.
Li Weijian believes that in recent years, the “nativeism” based on national interests has gradually surpassed “pan-Arabism” has been partially divided into the Arab countries.
After the COVID-19 epidemic, the Arab countries have encountered difficulties in economic and social aspects, and are more willing to improve their relations with foreign countries and obtain practical benefits such as cooperation and assistance.
And Israel has always wanted to break the situation of Arab countries’ grouping, and naturally it is also happy to see success. In the future, the trend of improving Arab-Israeli relations will be significant.
However, this does not mean that the Arab countries will completely turn to Israel. From historical burdens such as the Palestinian-Israeli issue to the impact of the uncertainty of U.S. policy, many countries, including Saudi Arabia, still take a cautious wait-and-see attitude.
Therefore, in 2021, the Middle East will remain largely in a state of “stalemate and saws” of multiple forces.
80 million! How will the coronavirus epidemic be?
In the past year, the coronavirus epidemic has penetrated everyone’s life, and the lost lives and the tears left have become indelible memories. Nowadays, many countries have come out with coronavirus vaccines one after another, bringing new hope to the new year.
Lindsay, the first vaccinator in the United States, said, “I feel that the healing is coming”; British Prime Minister Johnson said that the vaccine plan “has given a far-reaching injection on the whole British arm”; Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said after vaccination, “This is a small vaccination for individuals, but It is a big step in the health of all of us”…
In 2021, can we really say, “can we start dreaming about the end of the coronavirus epidemic?”, as WHO Director-General Tedros Tedros said?
“The most difficult period is gradually passing, but it is not completely optimistic,” said Yan Yu, executive director of the Center for European Studies of Renmin University of China.
The vaccine has just been launched, and its production scale and quantity cannot meet everyone’s needs at once, and the effectiveness of the vaccine itself needs to be continuously tested and revised. The emergence of mutant viruses in many countries brings new challenges to vaccines.
At a time when the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 around the world exceeds 80 million, vaccine production should not only seize the opportunity with the disease, but also secretly compete with “vaccine nationalism” on distribution. In the forecast of The Economist magazine Global Trends 2021, the “vaccine battle” ranks first in the most noteworthy event.
Under the epidemic, no one can be alone. UN Secretary-General Guterres said that the future of mankind depends on solidarity and cooperation, and he called for the elimination of inequality through the “New Social Contract” and the “Global New Deal”.
Only in this way can mankind welcome the time of shaking hands and hugging hands as soon as possible.