China’s Support Is Emboldening Myanmar’s Military

China’s Support Is Emboldening Myanmar’s Military
A protester holds a placard with pictures of Min Aung Hlaing and Xi Jinping near the embassy of China during the demonstration (SIPA photo by Simon Shin).

This week, Myanmar’s military regime announced that it had executed four people, including two well-known pro-democracy figures. The executions, believed to have happened over the weekend, were the first in the country in more than 30 years. They offered an ominous sign of what lies ahead for Myanmar, where the military junta continues to fight for control after seizing power in a February 2021 coup, a move decried by much of the international community.

Much of the international community, that is, with the crucial exception of China.

For Beijing, Myanmar’s return to the familiar position of international pariah has created a new opening to boost China’s regional influence and secure access to vital natural resources, moving in where the West, reeling from the junta’s shocking human rights abuses, has been reluctant to step in

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