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Keep Your Friends Close And Potential Commiters Of Genocide Closer

  • China’s President Xi Jinping was in the Southeast Asia nation of Myanmar over the weekend, the first visit by a Chinese head of state in almost twenty years.
  • Xi met with the country’s main civilian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi; the two signed a raft of agreements to advance the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor — a multibillion-dollar package of infrastructure, trade and energy projects designed to link landlocked southwestern China to the Indian Ocean.
  • The move should cement Beijing’s role as Myanmar’s closest international partner, as Western governments continue to hold back over human-rights violations.
  • Myanmar is facing allegations at the International Court of Justice that its security forces committed genocide against its Rohingya Muslim minority. China has backed Myanmar through the crisis and now is pushing to secure the strategically located nation as a major partner in the region. Myanmar has traditionally been cautious in embracing Chinese investments.
  • In her remarks Friday, Suu Kyi emphasized the need to prevent environmental degradation and consider development for the people in implementing new projects. (WSJ)

Wish You Weren’t Here 

  • The North Korean economy relies heavily on tourism. But a leading tour operator, Young Pioneer Tours, which specializes in taking tourists from China to North Korea, reported on its website that beginning Wednesday, North Korea’s borders are temporarily closed and foreign tourists are banned from entering the country.
  • Practically all foreign tours to North Korea come through China and the vast majority of tourists are Chinese. The move is a protection against the mysterious coronavirus from China that has so far killed six and sickened almost 300 people. The virus has been spreading rapidly from the central Chinese city of Wuhan.
  • The US has now seen its first case, a traveler from China who was diagnosed in Seattle. The CDC, which has developed a new test to identify the virus, said it expected to see more cases in the US, and was in talks with the National Institutes of Health about developing a vaccine.
  • The World Health Organization will meet Wednesday to consider whether the outbreak is an international public health emergency. (NYT, Reuters)
  • Risky Viruses: Health Officials Debate How Much To Reveal About Research : Shots – Health News (NPR)
  • Deadly Coronavirus Outbreak Poses a Test to China’s Leadership (NYT, $)

Additional World News