The Year in Photos: Asia

The Year in Photos: Asia

The historic summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the riveting drama that unfolded in a cave in northern Thailand and a deadly earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia were just some of the memorable stories from Asia in 2018.

Associated Press photographers across the region captured remarkable images from these stories, as well as others, including the plight of hundreds of thousands of Muslim Rohingya who fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh and the move by China to abolish presidential term limits that could allow Xi Jinping to rule for life.

The dramatic rescue of 12 Thai boys and their soccer coach who were trapped in a cave for more than two weeks captivated much of the world — from the heart-sinking news that they were missing, to the first flickering video of the huddle of anxious yet smiling boys when they were found by a pair of British divers.

Rescuers and villagers wait for news for their missing loved one's as recovery efforts continue after liquefaction hit the neighborhood of Balaroa in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, on Oct. 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

Indonesia suffered a major earthquake that spawned a devastating tsunami, killing more than 2,000 people. The magnitude 7.4 quake and 11-meter (36-foot) -high tsunami waves, which devastated miles of coastline, also left thousands of others unaccounted for.

Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya who had fled from western Myanmar to Bangladesh to escape brutal persecution by Myanmar security forces remained in Bangladeshi refugee camps, as officials continued to assess whether it is safe for them to return home. The military in Buddhist-majority Myanmar is accused of raping, killing and torturing Rohingya and burning their villages.

"S" holds her baby boy as she sits in her shelter in Balukhali refugee camp in Bangladesh on June 25, 2018. "S," a widow, was so worried about her neighbors discovering her pregnancy that she suffered silently through labor in her shelter, stuffing a scarf in her mouth to swallow her screams. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

Chinese President Xi Jinping, center, arrives with Premier Li Keqiang, left, for the opening session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference in Beijing's Great Hall of the People on March 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Xi, already China's most powerful leader in more than a generation, received a vastly expanded mandate as lawmakers abolished presidential term limits that had been in place for more than 35 years and wrote his political philosophy into the country's constitution. In one swift vote, the rubber-stamp legislature opened up the possibility of Xi being president for life, returning China to the one-man-rule system that prevailed during the era of Mao Zedong and the emperors who preceded him.

The following is a selection of some of the best AP images from the year in Asia.

NEWS

FEATURES

SPORTS

From scorching tennis courts in a summer Down Under, to the ice and snow of Pyeongchang, the surf and sand of Australia's Gold Coast and the humid, hectic heart of Jakarta, a rich diversity of Asia's venues have been showcased for a global sporting audience in 2018.

Roger Federer started the year by winning an unprecedented 20th Grand Slam singles tennis title at the Australian Open in Melbourne, where Caroline Wozniacki won her first major title in what really was a great day for the Dane.

International sporting attention quickly shifted to Winter Olympics, where a shirtless Tongan cross-country skier stole the show at the opening ceremonies. But it was a thawing of tension between the Koreas, highlighted by an historic joint team in the women's ice hockey, that largely took some focus off the high-profile figure skating and Alpine skiing in the games that were hosted by South Korea.

The Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games were the two major, multi-sports showpieces of the year and were held on either side of the soccer World Cup in Russia.

Athletes from as far afield as Antigua and Zambia competed in April on the Gold Coast at the Commonwealth Games, featuring a collection of countries and territories that comprised the old British Empire. The Aussies regained top spot on the medals table from England, and India moved into third.

Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia co-hosted the Asian Games, the regional Olympic-style event that gathers 10,000 athletes from across the continent every four years. China finished atop the standings in August, but Japan narrowed the gap and achieved a significant goal in the process: preparing young athletes for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.