Monday, April 25, 2022

The Power Struggle Over the Pacific Ocean - Washington's Carrot and Stick Approach

Recent events in the South Pacific have clearly exemplified the globalist narrative of Washington.  As usual, let's start with some background.


The Solomon Islands are a sovereign nation located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean as shown on this map:


The Solomon Islands consist of two parallel chains of islands and with the northern chain including Santa Isabel, Choiseul and Malaita and the southern chain including Vella Lavella, Savo, the New Georgia Islands and the iconic Guadalcanal, the site of one of the major battles of the Second World War with both chains converging on San Christobal.  Most of the 686,878 citizens of the Solomon Islands live in rural communities with only 23.7 percent living in urban areas and 95 percent of them are ethnically classified as Melanesian with the overwhelming majority practicing Christianity.  The Solomon Islands are a constitutional monarchy and are a member of the British Commonwealth but gained their independence from the United Kingdom in 1976, becoming a self-governed parliamentary democracy with total independence gained in 1978.  The governor-general who serves as the formal head of state, representing the British monarchy.  Members of Parliament are elected to serve four year periods with power lying with the Prime Minister who is elected from the parliamentary membership.  


The islands are one of Asia's poorest nations despite the fact that the islands are rich in timber and bauxite and have significant undeveloped resources of lead, zinc, nickel and gold.  Most manufactured goods and petroleum products must be imported.  Exports consist primarily of timber, fish, copra, palm oil, coca and coconut oil.  According to the 2022 Index of Economic Freedom. the Solomon Islands have a relatively low economic freedom score ranking 22nd among 39 nations in the Asia-Pacific and 110th in the world.  Scores for investment freedom and financial freedom are among the lowest in the world with the economy reliant on the assistance of international donors for its fiscal health.  Corruption in the judiciary, mining and fishery sectors is rife and conflicts over land tenure have been a major source of civil unrest which is tied to ethnic violence.  In 2003, a multinational force led by Australia disarmed ethnic militia and restored law and order at the requires of then Prime Minister Sir Allan Kemakeza.  The islands have no regular military force.


Here are key economic indicators for the Solomon Islands:



It is important to note that the Solomon Islands importing partners include China (25.3 percent), Australia (15.5 percent), Singapore (9.6 percent), Malaysia (9.5 percent), Japan (5.2 percent), South Korea (5 percent) and New Zealand (5 percent).


With that background and keeping in mind the close economic relationship with China, let's look at recent news.  On April 22, 2022, a high-level United States delegation led by National Security Council Indo-Pacific Coordinator Kurt Campbell, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink, Deputy Commander INDOPACOM Lieutenant General Stephen Sklenka, and USAID Acting Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator for Asia Craig Hart met with the Solomon Islands' Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and key members of his staff and cabinet:

Here are key quotes from the statement released by the White House regarding the visit starting with what the United States will do for the people of the Solomon Islands (i.e. the carrot) with my bolds:


"In the meeting with Solomon Islands’ Prime Minister Sogavare, the delegation reiterated the key priorities animating the trip and also outlined specific steps the United States would take to advance the welfare of the people of Solomon Islands. The United States will expedite the opening of an embassy in Solomon Islands; advance cooperation on unexploded ordinance; launch a program on maritime domain awareness; dispatch the Mercy hospital ship to address public health; advance a dialogue on the return of the Peace Corps; deliver additional vaccines; and advance initiatives on climate, health, and people-to-people ties.


...followed by the threats (i.e. the stick):


"The United States respects the right of nations to make sovereign decisions in the best interests of their people. The two sides engaged in substantial discussion around the recently signed security agreement between Solomon Islands and the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Solomon Islands representatives indicated that the agreement had solely domestic applications, but the U.S. delegation noted there are potential regional security implications of the accord, including for the United States and its allies and partners. The U.S. delegation outlined clear areas of concern with respect to the purpose, scope, and transparency of the agreement.


If steps are taken to establish a de facto permanent military presence, power-projection capabilities, or a military installation, the delegation noted that the United States would then have significant concerns and respond accordingly. In response to these enumerated concerns, Prime Minister Sogavare reiterated his specific assurances that there would be no military base, no long-term presence, and no power projection capability, as he has said publicly. The United States emphasized that it will follow developments closely in consultation with regional partners."


I like the irony here - "The United States respects the rights of nations to make sovereign decisions...".  Since when exactly?


Apparently, it is perfectly acceptable for the United States to have its own military presence located throughout the world as shown on this graphic from the Watson Institute:



...and this map:


...but a sovereign nation like the Solomon Islands is not allowed to host a Chinese military presence of any sort without guaranteeing that Washington will "respond accordingly", a threat that is particularly fascinating given that the American powers that be have pretty much ignored the Islands since the end of the Second World War.


And, of course, given its proximity to Australia, the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had to weigh in as well because we all know that China greatly fears Australia's military capabilities:



Apparently, the powerbrokers in Washington are "irony impaired".  They seem incapable of seeing that they have been projecting their military power around the globe in the same way that they are accusing China of doing but when China does it, it's a bad thing.


  1. A Chinese military base in the Solomons could potentially interdict air and sea transport between the US, Australia, and New Zealand. That is why the US 1st Marine Div. was dispatched to Guadalcanal, and why there were massive land, sea, and air battles there. The Slot is also called Iron Bottom Sound, because of the large number of Japanese and American warships sunk there. The Battle of the Coral Sea was also directed to preserve maritime communications.

    China is looking for bases and refueling/reprovisioning stations all over the Pacific. Whether they can develop bases capable of really threatening US interests remains to be seen. But one important side effect of the Chinese bases is the resulting political influence in the bases' countries. Already, the Solomons dumped Taiwan for China.

    One might also note that there is a significant anti-colonial element to China's expansion. Australia, in particular, has invaded and punished various movements in both the Solomons and East Timor. That plays into China's long term plans for the region.

  2. We need a dollar collapse.
    Tired of the globalist boot lickers running the show!

  3. "The United States rejects the right of nations to make sovereign decisions in the best interests of their people"
    Correct version. The other one was a printing error.

  4. Strange, the USA supports the right of Ukraine to make sovereign decisions (cough) but seems to be going into hysterics over a small island nation thousands of kilometres from mainland USA.

    As an aside was the Mercy the ship that finally got to Puerto Rico and treated several patients after that devastating hurricane? If so, I am sure the people of the Solomans are awaiting its arrival with bated breath. I hope they can hold their breath for a long time.

    Australia is starting to sound like my neighbour's Chihuahuas. Scotty from Marketing is not too swift on international issues.