nazi pacific

Pindostan & Australia ready another regime change operation in Solomon Islands
Patrick O’Connor, WSWS, Jan 11 2020

The Pindo & Australian governments are preparing a destabilisation campaign against the Solomon Islands’ Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, following his diplomatic recognition of China last September. The Pacific state’s diplomatic switch from Taiwan to China was a repudiation of Washington and Canberra. Pindo & Australian boxtops had exerted considerable efforts to dissuade Sogavare from aligning with Beijing, and reacted with fury to the decision. Pence cancelled a scheduled meeting with Sogavare at a UN meeting, while Rubio tweeted on Sep 17:

Pindostan must push back against Beijing’s bullying and efforts to isolate Taiwan I will begin exploring ways to cut off ties with #SolomonIslands including potentially ending financial assistance & restricting access to Pindo dollars & banking.

The day after Rubio’s threat to crash the Solomon Islands’ economy, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs discussed the Pacific country’s diplomatic switch during hearings on “Pindo Interests in East Asia and the Pacific and the FY20 Budget.” Thug Rep Ann Wagner described the Solomon Islands’ recognition of Beijing as a “demoralising event” and declared that the Sogavare government had “just undermined Pindo strategic interests in the Indo-Pacific.” She asked the USAID boxtop Gloria Steele whether Solomon Islands would receive Pindo aid money in 2020. Steele said:

We are reassessing our assistance to Solomon Islands.

Wagner emphatically replied “good.” The Sogavare government aims to capitalise on China’s growing economic power and the international infrastructure projects being developed under its “Belt and Road” agenda. The Pacific country remains among the most impoverished in the world, with many of its 600,000 people remaining dependent on subsistence agriculture and lacking access to basic infrastructure, including electricity, transport and communications systems. At the same time, the Solomon Islands hopes that Beijing will serve as a counterweight to Australian imperialism, allowing it greater room for diplomatic manoeuvres. In July, as the diplomatic switch to China was being prepared, Sogavare spoke with the “Little Red Podcast.” In remarks that he later protested had meant to be off the record, Sogavare said:

To be honest, when it comes to economics and politics, Taiwan is completely useless to us.

The prime minister explained that during a previous term in office, in 2006, Australia had sabotaged his government’s decision to have Solomons police receive weapons training. he said:

I sent 40 police officers to go and train in Taiwan and you know what Australia did? The foreign affairs minister himself went to Taiwan and says stop the training, that area is ours. What I’m saying is if this was China, they wouldn’t give a damn to Alexander Downer if he goes there and says you stop, get out of here. They’d say get the hell out of here. This is a sovereign decision made by a sovereign government.

Sogavare expressed his admiration for the ability of Fiji’s military-dominated government to defy Australian diktats issued in recent years, saying:

Take Fiji. They can flex their muscles and go “You behave yourself, I have another friend here.”

There is no reason to expect that Pindostan and Australia will respect international law and accept the Solomon Islands’ recognition of China as a sovereign decision of its elected government. Around the world, Pindo imperialism is on a violent rampage, attempting to offset its declining international economic standing by utilising its military superiority with brazen disregard for legal and diplomatic norms. Faschingstein’s efforts to counter China’s growing challenge to its domination of the Asia-Pacific include denying the Asian power naval access to the Pacific Ocean. After WW2, Pindo imperialism claimed the vast ocean as a “Pindo lake” and worked with its junior allies Australia and New Zealand to ensure that no rival power gained any significant economic, infrastructure, or military foothold in the region. This is now under threat from China. In Solomon Islands, where in 1942–43 Pindostan fought the Battle of Guadalcanal, one of the bloodiest campaigns waged against Japan, the Sogavare government has signed onto China’s Belt and Road infrastructure initiative. Chinese firms are being invited to exploit the country’s gold and nickel reserves. The Pindop MSM reacted with alarm to an agreement by the authorities in the province of Tulagi to lease a large island to a Chinese company to develop into a special economic zone. The agreement was rescinded by the Solomon Islands government. Pindo boxtops in the Solomon Islands have responded by stoking regional separatism, threatening to reignite the civil war that displaced tens of thousands of people between 1999 and 2003.

In August, a team of Pindo boxtops travelled to Malaita and met with the province’s separatist premier Daniel Suidani. The contingent included members of the Depts of State, Defence and Trade, as well as embassy and aid personnel. The CIA was no doubt also represented. Unusually, the visit to Malaita was not accompanied by a single press release or social media post. A few weeks after the Pindo visit, when Sogavare officially announced the diplomatic switch to Beijing, Malaitan Premier Daniel Suidani declared that he did not recognise the decision and would work to block Chinese investment in the province, the country’s most populous. Suidani issued an evangelical Christian anti-communist appeal and helped organise a pro-Taiwan demonstration in Malaita’s capital Auki. He has vowed to accelerate his push to establish the island province as a separate nation. With extraordinary recklessness, the Trump administration is backing Suidani’s campaign as a means of undermining the Sogavare government. Pindo & Australian aid money is being used to finance a new port and supporting infrastructure at Bina Harbour in western Malaita. This has been presented as supporting passenger and commercial ferry services, but may have longer term military implications. Another Pindo government delegation is due to again visit the province next month. Suidani boasted of Pindo support in an interview with Reuters in November, explaining:

We’ve asked Pindostan and Australia to be part of Malaita security, so they can look after the province from Chinese developers.

There has been no official response from Faschingstein or Canberra to this unspecified appeal to contribute to “Malaita security.” The Australian government spent nearly $3b on its neocolonial Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands takeover of the Pacific country between 2003 and 2017. The operation included a highly provocative campaign in 2006–07 to remove Sogavare as PM, involving the illegal rendition to Australia of Julian Moti, attorney general of Solomon Islands, on trumped-up sexual assault allegations. Australia’s High Court subsequently permanently barred any criminal proceedings against Moti, and the government was forced to issue a formal apology and pay him compensation. That Canberra is now readying a reprise of the “regime change” operation against Sogavare was indicated by an article in the Australian last month, headlined thus:

Solomons PM Sogavare urged to sack nephew adviser and consider quitting over cash request.

Billed as an exclusive by Ben Packham, the newspaper’s foreign affairs and defence writer, the piece contained a series of unsubstantiated allegations against Sogavare’s chief of staff Robson Djokovic and Julian Moti. The Australian alleged that in 2016 a consultancy company associated with Djokovic proposed to act on behalf of Axiom Mining, an Australian company that has since been kicked out of Solomon Islands, in exchange for a $700k consultancy fee. Julian Moti allegedly presented the offer. This was presented in the most sinister light, with the Australian falsely claiming that its story had “rocked Solomon Islands politics.” The article prominently quoted the country’s opposition leader Matthew Wale, who is very close to Canberra and has opposed the diplomatic recognition of Beijing, alleging “corruption perpetrated at the highest level of government.” No credence whatsoever should be lent to these allegations, given their source. Journalists at the Australian functioned as stenographers for the Australian government and foreign affairs department during the 2006–07 destabilisation campaign in Solomon Islands. They appear to be playing the same role now, as Canberra desperately seeks to maintain its role as Pindostan’s delegated gendarme of the South Pacific, by again forcing Sogavare out of office.

General election in Taiwan marked by anti-China atmosphere
Ben McGrath, WSWS, Jan 11 2020

Taiwan’s presidential and legislative elections are set to take place today, Jan 11, with Pres Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) predicted to win. Tsai and the DPP have used her campaign to fuel a growing anti-China atmosphere. The last poll released on Dec 31 indicated that Tsai held a 16% lead over the main challenger, Kaohsiung mayor Han Kuo-yu of the Kuomintang (KMT). James Soong, of the People First Party, was a distant third. Some 19% of voters indicted they were still undecided. The DPP currently controls the legislature, known as the Legislative Yuan, with 68 out of 113 seats. The KMT controls 35. There is no guarantee the DPP will hold on to its majority after Saturday, but it is likely to remain the largest party. A number of candidates from the new Taiwan People’s Party, as well as independents, are hoping to capitalize on public discontent with both the ruling and main opposition parties. The Taiwan People’s Party was established by Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je and has been supported by the billionaire head of Foxconn, Terry Gou. None of the capitalist parties in Taiwan have a progressive program for the working class or youth. Instead, they are waging a struggle as the representative of different sections of the big business, with the DPP speaking for the faction that seeks to enrich itself through closer ties with Pindo and Japanese imperialism, and the KMT representing those that have striven to increase relations with the capitalist oligarchy in mainland China. Tsai and the DPP attempted to paint the conflict as a battle against Chinese threats to sovereignty and democracy, as a means of concealing the essential class issues.

At present, cross-strait relations are governed by the 1992 Consensus, in which both Beijing and Taipei agree that there is only one China, of which Taiwan is part. Nevertheless, Faschingstein has maintained close ties with Taiwan and provided it with a security guarantee. The Trump administration has sought to expand the already close relations with Taiwan. It has encouraged more extensive official exchanges and providing it with massive amounts of military hardware in preparation for a war with China, in which the island would be on the front lines. The threat of war is constant, as Faschingstein continually pushes against China’s red line on Taiwan. Beijing has always maintained that it will use force to unite the island with the mainland should it ever declare itself an independent state. While the DPP cautiously leans towards independence, Faschingstein’s support could encourage the DPP to make such a pronouncement, with the goal of backing Beijing into a corner. Faschingstein’s war plans and the ramping up of tensions with China are being kept from the Taiwanese people. Instead, the government is using claims of Chinese interference to prepare for conflict and to suppress domestic opposition from youth and workers. During her New Year’s speech last week, Tsai stated:

Over the past few years China’s diplomatic offensives, military coercion, interference and infiltration have continued unabated. China’s objective is clear: to force Taiwan to compromise our sovereignty.

Tsai and the DPP have pointed to China’s political influence in HK as an example of what would happen should Taiwan ever accept a similar “one country, two system” arrangement. However, at the heart of the protests in HK is deep dissatisfaction with social inequality, in addition to attacks on democratic rights. The conditions in HK are the result of capitalist rule, under Britain and now China. The entire ruling layer in HK including the pan-democrats has benefited as a result. The situation is no different in Taiwan. Both the DPP and KMT have overseen years of declining living standards for the working class and a widening gulf between the rich and poor. When it held power, the KMT claimed closer relations with the mainland would result in improved economic conditions for workers. When these improvements failed to materialize, voters turned to the DPP, but social inequality has continued to worsen. Nearly 12% of youth between 15 and 24 cannot find work, according to the OECD. Wages have been suppressed in order to allow Taiwanese companies to compete with overseas competitors. Taiwan’s minimum wage is only around 2.6 times higher than it was 30 years ago, representing a massive fall in real living standards when inflation is taken into account. It will rise 3% next year by the equivalent of $24, to just $794 a month.

Faced with growing discontent, the Legislative Yuan passed an anti-interference law on Dec 31. It heightens penalties for those accused of acting on behalf of China to influence Taiwanese politics. This includes up to five years in jail and fines up to $300k. The new law focuses on political donations, lobbying, disrupting elections, aiding elections or disrupting social order. The new law could easily be deployed against workers and youth protesting war and inequality. As millions of oppressed around the globe increasingly move into conflict with their ruling classes, they are realizing that their struggles are shared by people around the world. Taiwanese workers organizing joint action with their mainland Chinese counterparts could be arrested under the new legislation. The government could also use it to criminalize and silence political critics by claiming they are Beijing’s pawns. Taipei’s move towards restricting democratic rights has been cheered on by the Pindo establishment and social media conglomerates. The NYT wrote on Jan 6:

Boxtops & researchers worry that China is experimenting with social media manipulation to sway the vote. They fear that doing so would be easy in the island’s rowdy democracy, where the news cycle is fast and voters are already awash in false or highly partisan information.

Facebook, Google and messaging app Line all agreed to crack down on supposed disinformation months ahead of the vote. The NYT is calling for further repressive measures online, not only in Taiwan but in Pindostan, where it is conducting an anti-China campaign along the same lines as the one directed against Russia.

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