More signs of change in the country formerly known as Myanmar: Today, the government signed a peace agreement with the Karen rebel group, which was part of a decades-long insurgency. Earlier this week, opposition leader Aung Sun Suu Kyi announced she would run for Parliament in April. Her party was excluded from politics for twenty years, until two weeks ago.These are hopeful signs. Reinforcing political openness will bring this once-pariah state into the international community and out of China’s tight embrace. For decades, China was nearly the sole investor and partner of the Burmese junta. With both Hillary Clinton and William Hague visiting in recent months, Japan stepping up aid and investment and India announcing new public works projects in Burma, that is changing.It’s better to have several friends than just one. Perhaps someday the North Koreans will figure this out too.Update: Today, the Burmese junta released hundreds of political prisoners, including the leaders of the 1998 student protests.Update #2: Washington has announced it will upgrade diplomatic ties with Myanmar and will soon send an official ambassador.