The U.S.-China relationship is fraught with challenges and shot through with uncertainty. As last week’s summit between Secretary of State Antony Blinken, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and their Chinese counterparts underscored, the relationship between the two countries will be defined on a number of fronts, ranging from trade, climate and norms governing technological transfer to human rights abuses, threats to financial stability and an inquiry into the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Yet one situation is presenting a conundrum that few anticipated: the coup in Myanmar, where the domestic protest movement strengthens, the risk of economic collapse heightens and the threat of drastic escalation persists. 

It is a challenge unlikely to disappear anytime soon.

Myanmar was not only the first foreign policy surprise for President Biden, but it is also likely to be a revealing test for the new administration’s…

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