Asia, events in 2023
Many political elections and many anniversaries but few international events currently on the agenda of the Asian nations for 2023: here are all the appointments.
With the arrival of the new year, the presidency of Asean (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) has passed from Cambodia to Indonesia. The G20 will instead be held on 9 and 10 September in New Delhi, the Indian capital, while after passing through Egypt, the United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (Cop28) will be hosted by the United Arab Emirates.
There are many electoral appointments: among the most important are the general elections in Thailand on 7 May, where a political clash is expected between the conservative supporters of the monarchy and the younger generation that took to the streets in 2020 demanding democratic reforms.
On 18 June, presidential elections are expected in Turkey: Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been in power for two decades, but his party's popularity has declined in recent years and an opposition coalition called the 'Table of Six' will present its own candidate.
Presidential elections will also be held in Singapore in September, while in October in Pakistan citizens will elect new members of parliament. In order to curb former prime minister Imran Khan, the current premier Shahbaz Sharif has allied himself with the historical enemies of the Bhutto family.
Turmoil is also brewing for the elections in Bangladesh, where clashes have already begun: in the past months, opposition forces and several citizens, tried by economic conditions, demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
In July, general elections will also be held in Cambodia, but observers do not expect any major surprises: at the moment, all seats in parliament belong to Cambodia's People's Party from which Prime Minister Hun Sen, in power since 1984, comes. The Burmese coup junta had also announced general elections, initially scheduled for August. However, even if they were to take place, they could not be free and democratic due to the ongoing civil conflict.
In mid-March, the annual session of the Chinese parliament opens, with the formal appointment of the new government: Li Keqiang leaves office after 10 years, replaced in all likelihood by Li Qiang, the former head of the Chinese Communist Party in Shanghai and a trusted ally of Xi Jinping, who won a third term in power in October. Spotlight on the pandemic emergency and the state of the economy.
October will mark the centenary of the birth of modern Turkey after the end of the Ottoman Empire.
In the rest of the Asian continent, anniversaries will almost all be linked to the end of colonial rule and the national independence achieved 75 years ago in 1948: the first to celebrate will be Myanmar, which gained independence from the United Kingdom on 4 January, and then Sri Lanka a month later, on 4 February.
In August and September the 75th anniversary of the birth of the two Koreas will be commemorated, while in May the birth of the State of Israel will be celebrated. On 6 October, it will be 50 years since the Yom Kippur war. Finally, on 30 January, it will be 75 years since the death of Mahatma Gandhi, who was killed by a Hindu extremist.
RELIGIOUS FESTIVITIES AND SPORTING EVENTS
From 24 to 26 February, the Asia Continental Synod Assembly will be held in Bangkok, Thailand, in which the presidents of the continent's bishops' conferences will take part.
Finally, we would like to point out some religious holidays: Chinese New Year will be celebrated on 22 January, which will start the year of the rabbit, while Ramadan will begin on 22 March. Diwali will be celebrated on 12 November.
Between October and November, India will host the Cricket World Cup, while the Asian Games, scheduled for 2022 in Hangzhou, China, have been postponed to late September 2023 due to the growing number of Covid-19 infections.