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Analysis: Myanmar will test Biden’s commitment to defending global democracy

Lengthy-established democratic constructions held firm in the US when an autocratic chief needed to steal an election, however Myanmar’s quasi democracy dissolved early on Monday morning native time, leaving it but once more below the boot of a junta. Aung San Suu Kyi, the nation’s civilian chief because the army structure barred her from serving as President, is again below home arrest, the place she spent a lot of the final 30 years. Professional-democracy leaders have been rounded up. The long run appears to be like bleak once more.
Myanmar’s generals clearly took benefit of Aung San Suu Kyi’s tarnished global reputation. Her staunch denials that Myanmar’s army was responsible of genocide in opposition to Rohingya Muslims revealed a nationalist streak that the West had ignored in its zeal to impose a heroine narrative on Myanmar’s complicated political story.
However “the Woman” stays beloved inside Myanmar. And her current plight is a reminder that fledgling democracies want assist. Washington has misplaced deal with Myanmar since former President Barack Obama’s go to to Yangon in 2012, which noticed lots of of hundreds of euphoric residents pour onto the streets. The Trump administration lacked a coherent Southeast Asia coverage and cared little about democracy anyplace. Its prime officers had been hardly ever seen in a area the place exhibiting up is every little thing. The US stood by because the army in Myanmar’s neighbor Thailand additionally snuffed out democratic rule.
US President Joe Biden now faces a test of his clout in Asia. He is already threatening sanctions, however strangling the financial system amid the pandemic would trigger extra ache for its individuals. Because the Myanmar army turns off web and communications networks, closes banks, and sends soldier patrols into metropolis streets, can Biden corral India, Japan, Australia and the 9 different Affiliation of Southeast Asian Nations members to mitigate the severity of the crackdown?  

In the end, the US response will present how far Biden will go in pursuit of his vow to revive international democracy, or whether or not he’ll maintain strains open to the generals in capital metropolis Naypyidaw as a part of the good geopolitical recreation of countering Chinese language affect.

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