Beijing is taking some heat for blocking, along with Russia, a UN security council resolution condemning Burma, but the Communist party has other things to worry about besides international opinion and an Olympic boycott. The friendly junta that gives China an outlet to the Indian Ocean is facing a big challenge. Worse, the Chinese people are watching their neighbors--not far off Europeans--protest bravely in the face of overwhelming force.
Last night, my friend Kejian in Hangzhou skyped me. He says popular Chinese internet bulletin boards are dominated by statements of support for the democracy protests in Burma. Volunteers are translating news from English sites that are not blocked by censors. And, my friend pointed out, photographs don't need translation. Later he reported that censors were starting to block and delete a lot of Burma postings.
One hopes it is no coincidence that President Bush announced he would attend a ceremony next month to honor the Dalai Lama, whom Beijing regards as an "evil splittist," and button-holed Chinese foreign minister Yang Jiechi in the Oval Office to press him on Burma on the same day.
Meanwhile, the crackdown continues. You can read an eyewitness account at Radio Free Asia, a list of Burma's pro-democracy blogs at Pajamas Media, and a lot of other news at Michelle Malkin's site. And here's the video of the murder of Japanese journalist Kenji Nagai.