Ummmmm, this is quite serious…
China and Solomon Islands are set to sign off on a security deal that will see Chinese warships based in the Pacific and shift the balance of power in Australia’s region.
The agreement will give China the power to use its military to protect the safety of Chinese personnel and major projects in Solomon Islands and give Beijing a base for its navy less than 2000 kilometres off Australia’s coast.
The base would be the first time Australia has had a strategic adversary within striking distance of its coastline since World War II.
“China may, according to its own needs and with the consent of Solomon Islands, make ship visits to, carry out logistical replenishment in and have stopover and transition in the Solomon Islands,” the draft framework agreement states.
…this is our Economic Overlord encroaching directly into our Pacific neighbourhood with a military expansion and a surreptitious ‘security’ agreement that protects Chinese interests in the Solomon Islands.
The recent unrest there saw Chinese businesses burnt down by the locals who resent Chinese migration and political influence. By propping up the Government with ‘security’ offers and a Military base to protect those interests, China is stepping into our sphere of influence through insidious means masquerading as security.
It is a bold expansion to announce at a time of geopolitical instability aimed at testing America’s resolve.
None of this can be discussed in NZ because the Woke decry any mention of China in anything other than glowing terms as Xenophobic racism. Say something critical of China in NZ and it spawns a dozen columns on Stuff decrying anti-asian racism and hate for migrants etc etc etc.
But this move by China is a dangerous escalation and shows very clearly why it is a national security issue for NZ to decouple its economy from China has soon as fucking possible.
They are an authoritarian, mass surveillance State committing genocide and body organ harvesting for Christ’s sake, I don’t care how much fucking butter and wood they buy, we want to be very much at arms length here.
Likewise, we don’t want to be a stooge for the American Military Industrial complex either!
We need to chart an independent foreign affairs perspective that isn’t beholden to Beijing OR Washington!
With China flexing its military muscle and chequebook diplomacy again, NZ must reconsider its avenues for influence in the Pacific.
We should be looking at long term issues of climate change for the Islands, financial aid tied directly to core civil society assets, a Journalism school for the Pacific and Rugby diplomacy.
Auckland is the largest Pacific Island City and we do little to celebrate or leverage off that. We need to look at offering fundamental migration opportunities for Tuvalu, Tokelau and Kiribati who face the worst impacts of climate change but we also need to think outside the square in terms of not only countering Chinese influence but beating it.
I think two ways NZ could uniquely promote its interests into the Pacific against China could be via Rugby Diplomacy and Journalism.
The All Blacks doing a tour of the South Pacific would actually be of huge cultural and sporting importance and something the Government should sponsor with taxpayer dollars to help subsidise the costs to the All Blacks as a sign of respect to the sporting and cultural contribution Pacific Island nations have provided NZ.
Why shouldn’t we use Rugby as a diplomatic tool to build standing throughout the Pacific? It’s something China couldn’t match and something NZ could excel at.
Likewise Journalism. AUT run the excellent Pacific Media Centre to promote quality Journalism throughout the Pacific. What if NZ saw the promotion of quality Journalism as a craft throughout the Pacific as a strong way to counter corruption and Chinese influence? Scholarships, Pacific News Media websites, support of local ethical journalism these could be the pillars of promoting corruption free politics and holding those Governments to account.
Rugby diplomacy and promotion of Journalistic standards throughout the Pacific could counter China and promote NZs strategic interests.
We can’t outspend China, but we can play a far smarter game.
With China taking an aggressive approach to militarising bases in the Pacific, we need to start thinking that smarter game now.
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