did someone muck with the backend here

Re: Hong Kong


This is a case where it would be nice if the west wasn't in a total political shambles so that we could offer aid and comfort to the Hong Kong protesters.

But, at a time when we should be looking to the leadership of the United Kingdom as guarantor of freedom for the people of Hong Kong, Boris Johnson, of all people is Prime Minister. Meanwhile, the President of the United States is actively in favor of authoritarian governments bashing heads.

There is little we can do right now because we are not well.

Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-15-19 9:06 AM
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The geopolitical part of this article about Burma and Aung San Suu Kyi was relevant and depressing:

Whether or not Suu Kyi has changed, the world around her has. Democratizing Myanmar "would have been easier two decades ago," says Thaung Tun. He's right. Twenty years ago, democracy was on the march, authoritarian China wasn't yet flexing its muscles, neighboring India hadn't turned decisively to Hindu nationalism, a liberal United States was the sole underwriter of the international order, terrorism was a peripheral threat, and the Pandora's box of social media had not yet been opened.


The Rohingya crisis presents an opportunity for China. As Myanmar faces Western condemnation, it will become more reliant on China for investment, and for protection at the UN. "If we are rejected by our friends from the West," Thaung Tun told me, "then we will have to look elsewhere." China also offers an autocratic model for dealing with Muslim minorities, justifying poor treatment on counterterrorism grounds: Reportedly at least 1 million Uighurs--a Turkic, predominantly Muslim minority--are being held in what the Chinese government calls "counterextremism training centers" but one UN panel has called "something resembling a massive internment camp," in Xinjiang province.

Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-15-19 9:12 AM
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Most recent to least:
Podcast, recommended.
Opinion survey.

Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-15-19 9:20 AM
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China has been getting very close to Burma for years - since before Aung San Suu Kyi entered office. The PLAN has had a basing agreement for yonks, and there's a lot of cross-border work going on in Wa country with the rebel meth gangs up there IIRC. Back then, of course, it was China desperately looking for an Asian ally that didn't massively distrust it.

Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-15-19 9:25 AM
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2 and 4 are both true; and yet at the same time the PRC is backing at various degrees of removal the Northern Alliance rebels, which are steadily kicking things up; the central government has blocked the Myitsone dam, seemingly permanently, drastically downsized the Kyaukphyu port, and courted Japanese investment in the associated SEZ. As I read it Myanmar isn't a modern state, it's a constellation of overlapping power bases, Tatmadaw, Border Guard Forces, NLD, other civil groups, Northern Alliance, other rebels, all both conflicting and cooperating, all drawing on transnational resources. (Except maybe NLD, post-Rohingya.)

Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-15-19 9:59 AM
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Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-15-19 10:01 AM
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I am of the age that whenever I hear the words "Hong Kong," I add "Phooey
Number one super guy
Hong Kong Phooey
Quicker than the human eye."

Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 4:52 AM
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Got to say I'd much rather be driving a Kilo than a Ming. Mings look nice, though, in a kind of retro 1930s boat-hull way.

Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 5:26 AM
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Michelle Goldberg in the NYT discusses Trump's culpability for various international crises, especially India-Pakistan. I am instinctively averse to this sort of analysis -- there's a lot going on in the world that doesn't have much to do with the US, as Goldberg is careful to note.

But in general, it seems like a bad idea to be anti-competence. And you've got to figure that has consequences.

Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 6:25 AM
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7: Solidarity.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-17-19 9:28 AM
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To underscore 5.

Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-26-19 4:36 PM
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