The Solomon Islands Repress Freedoms and PNG Territory is Under Threat

The Solomon Islands recently went into a deal with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) that would allow the PRC to send “police, armed police, military personnel and other law enforcement” to the country for various reason including “maintaining social order” and “protecting people’s lives and property”.

The Solomon Islands have tried to downplay the worries many in the International Community and especially at home have displayed in the Solomon Islands.

The Pacific is very Christian and pro-democratic. Most people here are against the increasing advances of the PRC to gain a hold of the political and business spheres in these island nations because they fear communist control and eventual corroding effects it will have for their freedom to worship, and their freedom to speak, amongst many other rights such as their de facto and de jure ability to elect their leaders.

Yet, the Solomon Islands have recently upped their media censorship by threatening to ban foreign journalists who are not “respectful” by claiming many engage in “racial stereotypes” when documenting the Chinese question. They claim this is due to Sinophobia and are waged at those who wish to engage non-White nations and cultures that are not democractic.

But, many in the Solomon Islands have been pushing back against their government since they switched their One China Policy from recognizing the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the PRC. And the government has been consistently suppressing the freedom of the press to usurp control. They do not want others in their maritime territory like the Malaitans to have more power than they already do, but they also wish to curb other dissent. The Malaitans come from the second island in the country, Malaita.

This recent example of media censorship wishes to curb dissent on what is most likely, corruption by the Solomon Authorities that most Solomon Islanders are against.

The reaction against the Chinese does not come from Sinophobia, rather it comes from legit abuses of power by the CCP. For example, the people have no issues with the Taiwan Chinese having influence. The framing of this as Sinophobia is a way to justify their repression by clouding their true motives. And, by stating that foreign reporters are concerned because the PRC is a non-White country, they will have to explain why Solomon Islanders themselves feel the same way and are not concerned about “Whiteness”. And, their allegations that these journalists are concerned with a non-democratic culture is true and very alarming for the Solomon Islanders who wish to preserve their democratic institutions. These allegations should not even be addressed, but have to be because many will play into these allegations of Sinophobia.

Lastly on the topic of the Solomon Islands is the fact that the Solomon Islands Prime Minister used language that suggested that democracy and Chinese culture are incompatible, thus already displaying his use of CCP language to communicate. This is despite the fact that Taiwan is fully democratic and functions much higher per capita.

But, now we move onto Papua New Guinea and the threats there.

There are now reports coming out of Australia about an Australian billionaire wishing to sell his private islands, the 21 atolls of the Conflict Islands, a part of Papua New Guinea.

Currently, he wishes to sell to Australian interests at a reduced price, but people connected to CCP interests are among the prospective buyers, and Australia is not engaging as much and nor are any allies or individuals with ties to allied nations.

This is a bid deal. If CCP aligned forces would be on these islands now, the current Australian owner would raise complaints and Papua New Guinea would simply state they are following the law. But, with a CCP aligned owner, the Papua New Guinea government would most likely have to fight in court, and it would be seen as Papua New Guinea fighting the CCP and be framed as Papua New Guinea engaging in Sinophobia, instead of Papua New Guinea simply administering their neutral private property laws.

While a CCP aligned individual would not mean these islands become PRC owned or ruled legally, it does mean that effectively, there could become legal standing for CCP aligned security forces to be allowed onto the islands such as private security. And while Papua New Guinea may seek to fight this, it would effectively create a conflict Papua New Guinea will want to avoid. Enforcing the law against an Australian billionaire and a citizen of an ally nation is much easier than against a citizen and effective representative of a foreign foe.

Even if Papua New Guinea wished to enforce their rules, the CCP-aligned ownership could allow CCP-aligned forces on the islands before anyone knew anything, and by that point, it would become too difficult to move them out.

There could also be mass pro-CCP immigration which could affect voting or business ventures. This happens in the USA, but the US has a much larger population.

Lastly, it could just become a port for CCP exploitation, and without forces on the islands, could prove too difficult to control.

And in any of these events, the amount of time it would take the courts to settle these disputes may give the CCP enough time to accomplish their goals and make any previous situation impossible to revert back to.

One of these events at the very least is likely to happen and that is why many are worried. These islands are close to the Solomon Islands and Australia and thus provide an immideate security risk to others as well.

Therefore, despite private islands being the equivalent to owning a house in legal terms, in reality, it is the fact that they become so remote making law enforcement difficult. And, powerful nations can exploit this as powerful people do by calling out countries like Papua New Guinea’s bluff. If there is no bluff, this could push for more intervention by the PRC into Papua New Guinea and other Pacific nations, and potentially could lead to a battle, at the very least in court. Or, if there is a bluff, it could lead to effective PRC control of islands in the heart of a region traditionally tied the the USA and Australia post World War Two.

These islands would allow CCP to have a deep port too for military ships which is unique for private islands.

And even a greater worry for environmentalists is how important this region is for turtles and plenty of fish populations. From a purely Earth perspective, a change in the status quo is worrying.

In conclusion, these developments this week are troubling because it creates a situation whereby the Solomon Islands may be already losing their freedom of the press due to CCP interests, and a part of Papua New Guinea may become owned by CCP interests. Little by little, the Pacific is losing its American-Australian hegemony, unless these two really start clamping down on these attempts to turn these nations into CCP allies.

Published by CK 22

I like history, politics, foreign diplomacy, sports, and more. Basically, the most popular things, plus also geography.

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