As the unrest in Egypt continues and Hosni Mubarak’s dictatorial power weakens, the country may well be at the point of great change. But while that future is uncertain, the unrest has sparked off other consequences. Oil prices hovered near $100 a barrel on Monday, with investors afraid that crude supplies through the Suez Canal may get affected. With no signs of the turmoil abating, those fears may heighten.
Separately, China has quietly clamped down on Internet coverage of the events in Egypt. After Tunisia’s ouster of its dictator, Egypt’s uprising must represent a worrying trend for Beijing.
But of more immediate concern are reports that Egypt’s ancient sites may be in danger of plunder as looters look to make hay amid the chaos. That would be unfortunate. Markets can recover, and a dose of popular noise won’t harm China’s mandarins. But for Egypt, losing its heritage artifacts will mar the future that its uprising seeks to build.