This tiny island nation proves that the West only believes in its own ‘spheres of influence’ — Analysis

Australia and the US disagree with the Solomon Islands being allowed to be partnered up China. It is showing selective respect for self determination

By Timur FomenkoA political analyst 

Russia is evil. There is no excuse for invading Ukraine, and the argument that it was a strategic imperative to stop NATO’s encroachment is just propaganda, right? That’s what every source in the mainstream media will tell you. But oddly enough, that logic never seems to apply when western countries perceive rival states to be encroaching on their own peripheries, and there’s been no bigger example of that than as to how American and Australian political classes have reacted to the now signed “Bilateral security agreement” between China and the Solomon Islands, a small archipelago which exists not far from Papua New Guinea. 

While Australia and the US had made a lot of attempts to halt the agreement, it was finally confirmed. The media has combined this narrative with extreme paranoia, claiming that China plans to establish a naval base in the islands, posing a direct threat to Australia. Some have even called for regime change and bombing in this island nation.

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It seems strange that the same countries who said that Ukraine has a right to “choose” its allies, or in other words self-determination, do not seem to apply that logic to countries who choose to tilt towards perceived rival states, and there’s plenty of historical examples to back it up with. The consensus is, whether expressed in moderate or explicit terms, that more must be done to “remove” the influence of China from the Solomon Islands, with the assumption that only the US and its allies act in the true interests of the state and its people. It’s as if there is no comprehension whatsoever as to why the Solomon Islands may not consent to be under the hegemony of Australia and the United States, and why it is obviously going to prefer a strategy of “hedging” to maximize political space and opportunity for itself, rather than being forced to exclusively pick one side. These countries are dominated by an elitist mentality.

Butter wouldn’t melt in Australia’s own mouth. Canberra portrays itself as a kind and generous country. It serves the interests of Pacific islands nations and not American imperialism. This is de facto a presumption it can have the power to rule these nations and influence their politics. At no point does it understand that, as a colonial state, one which for most of its existence espoused openly racist policies against non-whites and decimated its indigenous population, why the island nations of the Pacific may actually not really want to be under their “benevolent hug” after all. Rather, Canberra is lost in the discourse of its own longstanding “Yellow Peril” legacy racism concerning China, its obsession with following US policy at all costs, and in turn projects this as somehow standing to protect these islands, branding China as the threat to the region and itself as the hero. 

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However, Solomon Islands and other countries don’t have any reason to think this. Because they have very little population and are extremely small, their sovereignty is at risk. For example, take Nauru. It has been a client of Australia since its economy crashed and its resources ran out. They are now forced to use their currency, as well as hosting illegal migrants who have been turned down by Australia. This is why it makes sense that other islands countries want multiple economic and political partners. 

Australia doesn’t understand why Solomon Islands (a former British protectorate that is non-white) might not wish to be completely controlled by Canberra and, by extension, by the US. This is why scores and scores of US and Australian officials visiting the island and mounting diplomatic pressure haven’t been able to change the mind of the Islands’ government. Anglophone exceptionalism has been a constant feedback loop, causing them to lose touch with others. The same principle applies to the Western powers’ insincere concern for Ukraine and their hypocrisy in believing that only they themselves are entitled to “spheres of influence” and they must have an infinite right to encircle rival countries without any right of reply. Russia’s narrative about the threat emanating from Ukraine is simply “propaganda,” we are told, yet China making an ambiguous deal with a tiny island nation of just 700,000 or so is somehow deemed an imminent and escalatory threat to Australia itself. It is high time to question the narrative.

These opinions, statements and thoughts are the sole opinion of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of RT.

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