The Trump administration additionally penalized three of his highest-ranking generals and barred their quick members of the family from getting into the US. Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state on the time, declared that “the US is the primary authorities to publicly take motion with respect to probably the most senior management of the Burmese navy.”

The issue is made extra advanced by the truth that Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate from her days as a dissident, defended the navy’s actions in opposition to the Rohingya ethnic minority and denied that the atrocities, together with homicide, rape and arson, amounted to genocide. The navy compelled greater than 700,000 Rohingya to flee throughout the border into Bangladesh, the place they dwell in squalid refugee camps.

For Mr. Biden, the response to the Myanmar coup is a take a look at of his declaration that American international coverage will emphasize American values, from democratization to human rights. The president’s emphasis on the necessity to name out, and punish, those that undermine free elections has a hardly ever spoken subtext — his personal effort to indicate that the US overcame Mr. Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

However there may be one other take a look at underway: whether or not Mr. Biden can use the occasions in Myanmar as an early take a look at of his capacity to work with China whereas additionally competing with Beijing for financial and navy energy within the Pacific.

Kishore Mahbubani, a longtime Singaporean diplomat, wrote in The South China Morning Post that the coup “might quietly jump-start discreet geopolitical cooperation between Beijing and the brand new Biden administration,” as a result of China wouldn’t need to see Southeast Asian nations divided on whether or not to facet with the navy or with Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi.

An remoted Myanmar and a rift within the area would create openings for different powers to divide nations in opposition to Beijing, he argued.

“Luckily, trade-offs amongst nice powers are an previous recreation,” he wrote, “though to be sincere, they’re finest executed beneath the desk with little public scrutiny.”