As another new year is ushered in, many of us are still reeling from the spate of shock events that defined 2016, from the British public’s decision to leave the European Union, the attempted coup that almost toppled the Turkish government and the election of rank outsider Donald Trump to the US presidency.
At Asian Affairs, we covered all these stories and many more, exploring and analysing global developments from an Asian perspective. But amidst the political upheaval and excitement, we suffered our own, more personal shock in the death of David Watts, the magazine’s long-time editor who had been with us from the start. David passed away in April last year after undergoing treatment for cancer and we still miss him as a team member and a friend.
Another, though perhaps less surprising loss was the death, last November, of Sir Mota Singh at the age of 86. Sir Mota was the vice-chair of Asian Affairs’ sister organisation, The Democracy Forum, and I shared with him a warm, brotherly relationship that endured many years. For all his help, both professional and personal, I am deeply grateful.
Yet life, and journalism, goes on. Raymond Whitaker, Asian Affairs’ new editor and a former Asia Editor at The Independent, has brought his own sharp focus and vision to the magazine, introducing a fresh look and a batch of insightful new contributors.
Asian Affairs is now 22 years old. It has faced numerous growing pains along the way but I believe today it is an excellent journal, full of keenly observed, finely crafted and very readable articles, which can proudly take its place among other respected publications of its kind. We hope to be around for a long time to come.
Along with the rest of the world, in 2017 Asian Affairs will be avidly watching the international stage to see how the unforeseen and sometimes bewildering events of 2016 will play out. There is scope for both optimism and pessimism, but whatever happens, we will be there to report, reflect and evaluate.
All that remains now is for me to wish all our readers, staff, writers and advertisers a happy, healthy and peaceful new year.
With all good wishes for the present and future,