The Corner

Back in the Ugly Real World

From our editorial today on Burma:

The last time protests on this scale rocked Burma, in 1988, the junta had killed 3,000 people before the dust settled. This atrocity turned Burma (or, as the junta has rechristened it, Myanmar) into something of a pariah state — though not quite, for China, which covets Burmese ports and energy resources, has gladly become the junta’s chief arms supplier and diplomatic advocate. China’s complicity in Burmese abuses is comparable to, though less well-known than, its hand in propping up the genocidal Sudanese government.

But the Chinese role in Burma is both a moral outrage and strategic threat. Through Burma, the Chinese military has access to the Indian Ocean, and is positioned to bully the other nations of South and Southeast Asia. And the Burmese junta is itself emerging as a danger not just to its neighbors, but to global security. It shows one telltale sign of a would-be nuclear proliferator, having purchased an experimental reactor from Russia. And its army of 400,000 is large enough to make nearby states think twice before crossing it — which in turn complicates U.S. efforts to forge alliances in the region.

More here.

Media Blog is keeping an eye on the coverage.

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