Monday, September 30, 2019

Commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China

Statement by the Central Committee of the CPA (M-L)                        1 October 2019

Today, October 1 2019, marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

Led by Chairman Mao Zedong and the Communist Party of China, the heroic people of China stood up and put an end to the oppression of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat-capitalism.

The path was opened to collectivisation, socialisation and national independence. China practiced proletarian internationalism, and abstained from interfering in the internal affairs of other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.

Ostracised by the powerful imperialist bloc led by US imperialism and its lackeys like Australia, the Chinese attitude of self-reliance, of plain living and hard work won the respect of peoples around the globe. Although isolated diplomatically, China had friends all over the world.

The victory of revisionism in the Soviet Union following the death of Stalin saw a deterioration of relations between the Soviet Union and China. China continued to embrace the revolutionary essence of Marxism-Leninism in the face of Soviet attempts to appease US imperialism and to revive a profit-based private economy.  The Soviet leadership professed adherence to “Marxism” and to “socialism” but actually pursued great-power ambitions and became social-imperialist (“socialist in words, imperialist in deeds”).

The great Chinese example of exposing and opposing revisionism inspired Communists throughout the world to question and repudiate revisionism in their own parties. Formed in 1964, the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist) was a product of those struggles.

Chairman Mao initiated the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in 1966 in an attempt to prevent a repetition in China of the political and ideological degeneration that had occurred under Khrushchev and later, Brezhnev, in the Soviet Union.

The Cultural Revolution sought to place Party and government leaders under the supervision of the masses, to firmly instill a Communist ethic of service to the people throughout society, and to make criticism of revisionism a mass question rather than something confined to a handful of Party theoreticians. Essential services such as health and education, previously benefitting big-city populations, were made available to all.

After Mao’s death, unrepentant capitalist-roaders seized party and state power and began to reverse the process of collectivisation and socialisation and to promote spurious and self-serving interpretations of Marxism-Leninism. Borrowing from Milton Friedman and the neo-liberal school of economics, a trickle-down theory of it “is glorious to get rich – let some get rich first” was pushed from the very top of the Party; the difference between the capitalist road and the socialist road was deliberately obscured by the nonsense that “it doesn’t matter whether the cat is black or white so long as it catches the mice”; and the nature of the Party as a proletarian vanguard was replaced by the “Three Represents” which allowed millionaire capitalists into the Party.

Having embarked on the capitalist road, it was inevitable that the Chinese Party would itself move onto the highway of social-imperialism.

We have not allowed these developments to dishearten or discourage us. What many now see as a major tragedy and set-back in the betrayal of socialism in both the Soviet Union and China will, with the passing of time, be seen as a necessary and useful lesson in further advances by humanity along the road of socialism and Communism.

We shall strive to continue building a revolutionary movement capable of meeting the challenges of the future.  We shall continue to uphold genuine Marxism-Leninism (within which the many writings of Comrade Mao Zedong are an inseparable component) as the ideological basis of our political and organisational character.

Commemorate the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the People’s Republic of China.

Long live the friendship of the Australian and Chinese peoples.

Down with imperialism and social-imperialism.

Independence and socialism for Australia.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Many thousands more drawn into action on climate change

30 September 2019

On September 20, 2019, three days prior to the United Nations Climate Action Summit, over 4 million workers and students from across the world took part in a series of massive demonstrations in which they called upon world leaders to take decisive action against climate change. This latest wave of climate strikes has been the largest of its kind to date.

In Australia, rallies were held in 115 locations across the country, with an approximate total of 350,000 demonstrators in attendance nationwide, almost doubling the figures seen on March 15 earlier this year. While many participants flocked in vast numbers to join rallies in the country’s major cities, a considerable number of smaller demonstrations were held by activists throughout Australia’s more remote communities and townships in an encouraging display of international solidarity in favour of climate action.  

The internationally co-ordinated demonstrations are the latest and most significant in a growing youth-driven movement to pressure governments across the world to implement substantive measures to mitigate the effects of anthropogenic climate change, a problem which proceeds largely from our species’ reliance on fossil-fuels. The movement’s central demands include the enactment of a ban on any new coal, oil and gas projects, a transition to 100% renewable sources of energy by 2030 and the provision of adequate funding for its facilitation, as well as for the redeployment of workers employed in the fossil-fuels industry to the renewable energy sector.


Such a considerable mobilisation of the population in defence of their common interests offers hope for the further development of independent mass political movements which are prepared to challenge and defy established political forms and relations of power, rather than being circumscribed to their narrow parameters. The discovery of collective power through direct action and mass mobilisation is a critical step in the formation of this process and will prove decisive as struggles for social and environmental justice intensify. 

Also promising is the fact that supporters and spokespeople for the climate strike movement are particularly oriented toward a systemic analysis of the climate crisis as opposed to primarily appealing to individuals to alter and amend their consumption patterns. The demands of the movement make very clear the necessity for a complete overhaul of the global energy-industrial complex if the threat of extreme weather, global warming, rising sea levels, the breakdown of the planet’s ecosystems and ensuing loss of biodiversity are to be averted.

Acute class antagonisms run to the very heart of the climate crisis; the energy-industrial complex which constitutes a monumental pillar of global capitalism is the driving force behind the present climate crisis, the implications of which threaten to directly and severely compromise the wellbeing of the world’s population, the vast majority of whom are working people.

Governments across the world are complicit in this gross perversion of social and environmental justice by allowing major mining, rigging and hydraulic fracturing projects to proceed in the face of staunch public opposition, by granting taxpayer-funded subsidies to these projects, as well as by repealing environmental protection legislation.

In Australia, two recent instances exemplify this process by which supposedly ‘democratic’ institutions are usurped and subordinated to the interests of powerful multinational energy corporations: the approval of the Adani coalmine project in Queensland, and the lifting of a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in the Northern Territory in 2018.

The profit motive itself provides a substantial impediment to the urgent development of infrastructure needed to provide sustainable, renewable forms of energy. With projections of a ‘climate deadline’, i.e. the point at which major changes to the Earth’s climate are unable to be reversed, ranging from 2020 to 2030, the capacity for those entities comprising the global energy-industrial complex to effect such a drastic, extensive and costly transformation within the parameters of capitalism’s relations of production will remain an impossible dream.

Despite the emergence of some promising technological advances in the production of renewable energy under capitalism, leaving its distribution to be determined by market-forces would afford only a very gradual, uneven proliferation of such technology.

The present climate crisis, in which the capitalist mode of production is irrevocably bound up, calls into question the very utility of a system which prioritises the acquisition of profit and the accumulation of wealth above even existence itself. Communists have a significant role in illustrating the class antagonisms which perpetuate the climate crisis and impede its reversal by injecting a revolutionary and class-conscious perspective into the discussion surrounding the crisis, and in projecting a vision as to how socialism, nationalisation of the energy sector, and a planned economy would provide the means to circumvent this impending catastrophe.

Consequently, there also arises the need to resist reformist tendencies within the environmental movement which are aimed at preserving the very structural properties of capitalism which produced and perpetuate the climate crisis. Similarly, pervasive attempts by right-wing fanatics and mouthpieces of the fossil-fuel monopolies to allege a ‘climate hoax’ as part of a ‘globalist conspiracy’ for ‘world government’ must also be engaged and combated. Such ideas do continue to hold sway over some sections of the working class and every effort must be made to illustrate, uphold and appeal to the class interests of those workers who have been taken in by such reactionary propaganda and, through material analysis, to reveal the class antagonisms which actually do pervade the existing social order.

The affiliation of progressive trade unions to the environmental movement offers some degree of impetus to a further proliferation of a class-based analysis of the climate crisis. September 20’s wave of climate strikes attracted wide support from up to ninety trade union organisations across the world, as well as four international federations of trade unions. In Australia, members from up to 33 unions participated in demonstrations across the country, continuing a tradition established decades ago by the militant Builders Labourers Federation which supported a multitude of progressive and environmental causes and which led a series of controversial conservation-oriented strikes throughout the 1970’s referred to as ‘green bans’.

Support from among particular sections of the business community was another prominent and highly publicised aspect of the climate strike. In Australia and New Zealand, approximately 2400 companies, consisting largely of not-for-profit organisations, legal firms, start-up companies, tech firms, small lenders and consultancy firms among others, pledged their support to the ‘Not Business As Usual’ campaign, permitting their employees time off to attend the strike or closing for the day altogether.

Petit bourgeois support for such progressive causes is not uncommon and offers some promise with regard to the prospects for advancing certain minimal or preliminary demands of the socialist program. For instance, there is the possibility of significant potential among this more progressive stratum of the petit bourgeoisie to be mobilised in support of a campaign to nationalise the energy sector on the grounds that it would enable the implementation of necessary measures to curb the effects of climate change, while also dealing a blow to imperialism.

The potential for such alliances to facilitate the advancement of temporary or preliminary goals both in the struggle for climate action and against imperialist hegemony is something to be given due consideration with respect to the building of a united front: “Narrow the target, broaden the base”.

The Program of our Party makes our tasks clear:

“The only two sources of wealth are human labour power and nature. Capitalism attacks, devalues and destroys both…Imperialism is based on growth at all costs and puts profits before the needs of people and the environment. It must be overthrown and a socialist society established. Only this will make it possible for humans to be able to live in an environment that is sustainable long-term.

“The Party and the working class must exercise leadership in protecting the environment and ensure that a socialist society works not to “conquer” nature, but to co-exist with it, restoring the balance between humanity and nature.

“The First Peoples of this continent and its islands survived at least 60,000 years prior to invasion. They have the answers to restoring balance and must be listened to.”

Friday, September 27, 2019

South Pacific: Tide turns for Taiwan and US imperialism

(Contributed)                          28 September 2019

The announcement that Kiribati was switching its diplomatic ties from Taiwan to China has sent alarm bells ringing in Canberra and Washington.


Coming so soon after the Solomon Islands made a similar diplomatic move has added to the fears of declining US-led regional domination.


A further announcement that Tuvalu was also considering similar diplomatic initiatives has met with official silence; it has been the only tenable position for US-led regional diplomacy.
Taiwan has long been regarded as a US-led bastion against China. The moves signify a nightmare scenario for US-led military planners; diplomatic positions, in their circles, rest upon clear military considerations.
It remains to be seen how the US will eventually respond to the situation, although recent US-led military exercises include provision for 'real-war' scenarios.
Diplomatic defections an embarrassment for Trump….
The announcement on Friday 20 September that Kiribati, a strategically-placed small country in the south-west Pacific, was abandoning its diplomatic ties with Taiwan in favour of China came like a shot out of the dark. It had not been expected by Canberra or Washington. To add insult to injury for US-led regional diplomacy, the following day Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi with his Solomon Islands counterpart, Jeremiah Manele signed a joint communique 'formalising the establishment of diplomatic relations'. (1) The Solomon Islands had long been regarded as loyal to Taiwan, having initially establishing full diplomatic ties soon after independence in the 1970s. A recent change of government in Honiara, however, saw a significant shift in foreign policy planning after 36 years.
The development has taken place at a particularly embarrassing time for the Trump administration which has recently approved a huge arms deal with Taipei. It was subsequently noted by the Taiwanese Foreign Ministry that the country 'stands in the forefront' of US-led regional military planning against China. (2) The $2.2 billion deal is intended to arm the Taiwanese military against China, intensifying rivalries across the Straits. The US arms deal has also coincided with increased naval patrols in the Taiwan Straits as part of their US-led wave of regional militarism. (3)
….and “Titanium Man” Morrison
While the diplomatic switch with the Solomon Islands received some coverage in mainstream Australian media outlets, similar moves in Kiribati received very little, indicating apprehension and hesitancy on the part of Canberra. The fact that Prime Minister Scott Morrison was in Washington at the same time personally involved in high-level diplomacy with President Trump might offer a partial explanation for the behaviour. While the matter arising was not specifically addressed, Morrison was quoted in a meeting of the Chicago Institute of Global Affairs saying that 'we are substantially increasing our economic, security and infra-structure co-operation in the south-west Pacific'. (4)

The accompanying official media release of Morrison in the US, likewise, also included reference to a statement from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and their US counterparts, for 'a new focus on the Pacific Islands'. (5) 
Part of the revamped Australian regional planning has included a call for businesses and financiers 'to boost investment in the South Pacific', in line with a defence and security plan where 'Australia has a fundamental national interest in a Pacific that is secure strategically, stable economically and sovereign politically'. (6) The position adopted in Canberra was little other than an attempt to revive already failed neo-colonial policies across a region, where economic considerations underpinned defence and security provision. The planning also included reference, for example, to a corporate organisation Scope Global, which had already been awarded multiple contracts and provided advisers to nations across the Pacific. (7) 
As if to play down another problem arising, the media releases used only a five-line reference to recent elections in Tuvalu where the pro-Taiwan Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga lost his position to Kausea Natano. (8) It did note, nevertheless, that the 'focus was now on Tuvalu', without providing any further details or information. (9)
It is not particularly difficult to establish why both the Solomon Islands and Kiribati have switched their diplomatic allegiance to China from Taiwan. The ruling Taiwanese presidential administration of Tsai Ing-wen has included a number of highly vocal personnel who have campaigned for Taiwan to seek full independence. The moves have back-fired; following her election in 2016, President Tsai Ing-wen has seen seven countries sever diplomatic links with Taipei. Taiwan now has only fifteen countries with full diplomatic links. China, by contrast, has 180.
The likely explanation for the diplomatic development has been concern that if Taiwan does opt to seek full independence, those countries with diplomatic links with it will be drawn into conflict with China; not exactly an enviable position for small, isolated countries in the Pacific, Latin America and Africa. Some also have extensive investment from China, channelled through overseas Chinese ethnic groups which have been resident for centuries.
It has also not been particularly difficult to establish why recent moves in the Pacific raise a serious concern for US-led regional diplomacy.
Australia has provided an important contribution toward US-led regional military and security planning and is regarded by the Pentagon as 'a valuable strategic asset by the US in its military planning'. (10) Australia is regarded by the US as a strategic hub for 'US interests' in the southern part of the region: Japan, in the northern part, is regarded as a counterpart; both hubs host strategically-placed US-led intelligence facilities providing the Pentagon with real-time surveillance.
While all the Pacific Islands have their own intelligence agencies, they tend to be small and primarily concerned with localised issues including illegal fishing and drug-trafficking. They, nevertheless, provide a point of immediate reference for the larger, Australian-based facilities with the provision of localised information. 
Over the two rest the dominant US-led military and security facilities. 
It has not been difficult, therefore, to assess the official US position toward recent developments. Criticism was noted from US vice-president Mike Pence who cancelled a meeting scheduled to have taken place on the sidelines of the UN general assembly with Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogayare next week. (11) The cancellation can be best viewed along lines that the US had little, if anything, of significance left to say. The deed had been done.
In such a light, three important factors have arisen in recent times:
• the generation of political leaders who took Pacific Islands to independence decades ago, have now largely gone. In their place a new generation of better educated and politically more astute leaders have taken their place. They are naturally reluctant to accept US-led directives at face value; many have experienced their countries being pillaged and plundered by foreign capital while the mass of their subject populations continues to live in poverty;
• the rise of China has provided a direct challenge to traditional US-led hegemonic positions across the region. The new generation of political leaders are well-aware their future lies with diplomatic positions and favourable trade with Beijing, even if the move is regarded in a dim light by Washington;
• the Pacific Islands are tending to assert their ability to manage their own affairs, not necessarily following the US-led neo-colonial directives issued through Canberra.
The development has far-reaching implications for US-led military and security provision.
A great deal of the Australian neo-colonial position toward the Pacific Islands, for example, rests upon economic considerations together with military planning. China's diplomacy, however, has been highly successful at winning mutually beneficial trade; while Australia has pumped aid money into the Solomon Islands, its trade with Honiara is extremely limited. China, in recent years by contrast, has become the most important trading partner for the Solomon Islands. The switching of diplomatic links with Honiara to Beijing, is therefore the natural progression of mutually beneficial economic considerations.
War games against China
It is against this backcloth that recent US-led military planning and exercises have left little to the imagination about possible future real-war scenarios as they attempt to deal with what they have assessed as a threat to their traditional hegemonic position.
The recent Talisman Sabre exercises last July included 34,000 US, Australian and Japanese troops, with eighteen other observer countries. It included the staged liberation of a fictional island, Legais, which had been occupied by a larger country, Kamaria. Emphasis was placed, throughout the exercise, upon the 'interoperability' of the US, Australian and Japanese forces, in line with US-led regional defence and security provision.
The fact Kamaria was modelled upon China, was dismissed in official media releases although elsewhere it was noted the exercises had taken place 'in a measure of how the rise of China is upending the strategic order'. (12) No clear definition of what actually constituted an 'occupation' was provided; whether it was a straightforward military occupation or some level of control achieved by economic means with 'foreign advisors and government officials' was intentionally left unclear.
The media release also drew attention to Australian-based intelligence facilities throughout the exercise maintaining close co-operation with their Pacific Island counterparts. The exercise, for example, included a 'pre-landing force deployed 48 hours earlier.... feeding vital intelligence about enemy troop locations to their colleagues off-shore'. (13) The pre-landing personnel were presumably of the same ethnic backgrounds and also disguised as local people to avoid detection.
References to 'our plans for the Lombrum naval base on Manus Island' in Papua New Guinea, likewise, reveal how US-led military planning pursued through Australia, has come to rely upon the Pacific Islands for hosting facilities intended for rapid deployment within the countries concerned and elsewhere across the region. (14) We are entering into dangerous and troublesome times where the peace and stability of Australia is being threatened by US-led military planning and manoeuvres.
Subsequent accompanying media release about the Talisman Sabre exercises included reference to the mind-set of the military planners: it acknowledged they were fictional, but, 'only just', their purpose being described as 'realism', in a struggle waged 'for mastery of the air, sea and land'. (15) The aim of the military planners was noted as, 'throughout the exercise, we will be focussed on combat readiness'. (16) Such military planning remains totally unambiguous and clear about stated intentions, with no room for any imagination.
With such forces at work in Australia: we need an independent foreign policy!

1.     Taiwan leader under pressure as friends jump ship, Australian, 23 September 2019.
2.     US bid to sell tanks, missiles to Taiwan, Australian, 10 July 2019.
3.     Keep out of China's business, US warned, Australian, 11 July 2019.
4.     PM's 'practical' green plan, Australian, 24 September 2019.
5.     Ibid.
6.     Business urged to dive into the Pacific, Australian, 19 September 2019.
7.     Ibid.
8.     Australian, op.cit., 23 September 2019.
9.     Ibid.
10.   Strategic alliance in north enthuses visiting US chiefs, Australian, 22 August 2019.
11.   Solomons 'not paid' to break Taiwan ties, Australian, 25 September 2019.
12.   Battle of the Pacific begins at home as allies flex muscles, Australian, 7 July 2019.
13.   Ibid.
14.   Morrison seeks to turn the tide of neighbourly states, Australian, 5 June 2019.
15.   Red, might and Blue to keep it real, The Weekend Australian, 13-14 July 2019.
16.   Ibid.

Congratulations on 25th anniversary of the MLKP Turkey/Kurdistan

28 September 2019

Dear Comrades,

On behalf of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist) please allow me to express our congratulations on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party Turkey/Kurdistan.

Founded on September 10, 1994, the creation of your Party was a timely rejoinder to neo-liberal ideologists like Francis Fukuyama who had declared “the end of history”.  History never ends, and is continuously created by the revolutionary response of the advanced human elements to the major social contradictions of the day. In our era, those elements are the proletarians and their allies among the exploited and oppressed.

Comrades, we rejoice in your victories over the Turkish fascists, all imperialists and the despicable ISIS/Daesh terrorists. You are standard-bearers in the fight for women’s emancipation.  Your women are exemplary and courageous. We also honour your slain comrades who have made the ultimate sacrifice in every field of struggle.

Comrades, we thank you for your excellent International Bulletin, and the information you provide on the struggles of the Kurdish people in defence of the Rojava revolution.

We are convinced that your struggle will be crowned with fresh success and make further contributions to the world-wide front against imperialism, fascism and capitalism.

With warm revolutionary greetings.

Nick G.
Chairperson, Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist)

Saturday, September 14, 2019

US fears Solomon Islands may switch to Beijing

(Contributed)                        15 September 2019

The announcement by Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare of the Solomon Islands that his government was seriously considering switching diplomatic allegiance from Taiwan to China, has far-reaching implications for Australia and US-led regional military and security provision.

If the diplomatic shift goes ahead part of the present status quo in the South Pacific will be altered; a significant shift in the balance of forces will have taken place in favour of Beijing 

Shortly after re-election in April, PM Sogavare established a task force to evaluate the continued significance of the Solomon’s 40-year diplomatic recognition of Taiwan. It was not a low-ranking collection of government advisers from the small South Pacific country; to the contrary, the task force included eight government ministers and the PM's private secretary. The nine-personal delegation was sent to Beijing in August for high-level diplomatic meetings, as evidence that the new, incoming government in Honiara was taking the matter very seriously. (1)

The Solomon Islands has, historically, formed part of a three-country bloc of Melanesian countries to the north of Australia, strategically-placed between Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu in the South Pacific. In recent times the small area has become highly sensitive for US imperialism’s miitary and security considerations: the Australia-US Ministerial Consultations last year included several contributions dealing with the perceived problem. The then Australian Foreign Secretary Julie Bishop stated the South Pacific was regarded as 'Australia's part of the world'. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo subsequently raised serious concerns about the area and the need for 'greater US-Australian co-ordination and engagement across the region, including the noted Pacific Islands' to deal with matters arising. (2) 

Shortly after the completion of the AUSMIN meetings, a media release from Canberra announced that 'Australia's intelligence and analytical agencies believe that the South Pacific now presents the greatest strategic threat to Australia', following assessments about China in the region. (3) 

Sensitivities by Canberra about the region were also later revealed in a short media release which accompanied references to the removal of PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill, who had been held responsible for elevating his country’s diplomatic relations with China, which raised serious concerns with Canberra. (4) The accompanying article, concerned specifically about the Solomon Islands, drew attention to the Pacific which was regarded as 'front and centre of Australia's strategic outlook'. (5)

The Solomon Islands has also, historically, been part of a small group of countries maintaining diplomatic links with Taiwan. Its strategic position in the South Pacific, has been closely linked to five other Pacific countries to the north: Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Tuvalu. The geographical positions of the five northern countries across Micronesia and Polynesia, all retain enormous strategic importance for US imperialism’s regional considerations. (6)
The fact the Solomon Islands lies on the dividing and demarcation line for the US Naval 7th and 3rd fleets, has revealed its strategic significance in wider military considerations: the straight line, drawn by the Pentagon, effectively dissects the region from the Frontier for the Northern Sphere, the Arctic, to the Frontier for the Southern Sphere, Antarctica, and also cuts directly through the highly sensitive Micronesia region. (7)

In recent times the military facilities based on Guam have been developed into a hub for military operations in the wider region, coinciding with similar moves on US facilities elsewhere on Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. There has been little ambiguity with the US-led military planning: both Guam and Diego Garcia rest upon the same arc from Pine Gap, a US intelligence facility in central Australia. (8)

The two hubs, likewise, have also been linked to the development of Darwin harbour as a military support centre in northern Australia, which has also included two further considerations (9): an increased number of US military personnel rotated through Darwin in preparation for deployment elsewhere in the region; the Australian Defence Department planning a new military force based in Brisbane 'to work with key regional neighbours', including those in the South Pacific. (10)

The developments involving Australia are directly linked to wider considerations.

Throughout the Trump administration, Taiwan has been central to much of the US-led moves to reassert their hegemonic position and counter China as a regional player. In fact, Washington and the Pentagon have pushed Taiwan to the forefront of regional rivalries and used the country as 'a bulwark against China's growing assertiveness in South-east Asia and the Pacific'. (11) It is, therefore, important to note that Taiwan has become an important player for US-led regional Cold War positions against China throughout the wider region.

US-led diplomacy toward Taiwan has, therefore, included three important considerations: enhancing the political status of President Tsai Ing-wen while taking diplomatic missions elsewhere, using the enhanced status for increased influence over her administration, and increased arms sales to bolster Taiwan's military capacity.
President Tsai Ing-wen has been, for example, made a welcome guest in the US and allowed to stay in the country for lengthy periods in transit-flights for elsewhere. The moves have been regarded by Beijing as a serious challenge to usual diplomatic protocol (12).

It has been accompanied by a more audible demand from some of those close to the Taiwanese president for the country to strive for full independence within the global arena, challenging the traditional position of China that Taiwan is nothing more than a renegade province in a matter, as yet, unresolved from 1949.

Increased US arms sales to Taiwan recently included a $2.2 billion consignment including tanks and anti-aircraft missiles, followed by a further sale of 66 new F-16 fighter jets valued at $11.8 billion. (13)

Recent diplomatic moves by the Solomon Islands toward China have, therefore, run counter to the position of the Trump administration and US-led regional military  and security provision. To date, however, there has been no official US acknowledgement of the problem: their diplomatic silence has, nevertheless, been deafening.

Two media releases dealing with the matter from elsewhere were very carefully-worded to avoid unnecessary publicity:

• The first, issued by executive-director of the Australia Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), Peter Jennings, and hidden amongst about ten short paragraphs, noted 'Australia and the US wanted Taiwan to preserve its position in the suits our interests and the American interests if Taiwan has a number of Pacific Island states recognising it rather than the mainland' (14). When Mr Jennings then concluded the ASPI media release noting 'the US absolutely expects us to play the lead role in preserving the status quo in the region', there was little ambiguity about the nature of US-led diplomacy toward the region and the role which had been thrust upon Canberra (15); 

• Secondly, a brief media release from Taipei dealing with the matter included reference amongst five paragraphs to President Tsai Ing-wen urging the Solomon Islands to not switch diplomatic allegiance to Beijing. (16)

In conclusion, it should be noted, the parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee of the Sogavare government in Honiara will be making their final report about the matter on 31 October. Whatever the outcome of their findings and recommendations the whole affair is likely to remain a central military and security consideration for Canberra as attention shifts to a small, and previously almost ignored, small country in the South Pacific heavily dependent upon foreign aid where over half the population live in poverty with no access to electricity. The stakes for the US, and their regional considerations, remain very high indeed!

We need an independent foreign policy!


1.     Honiara weighs cutting Taiwan, Australian, 5 September 2019.

2.     US to lift its Pacific clout to counter China, Australian, 26 July 2018.

3.     Top threat now lies in the Pacific, The Weekend Australian, 22-23 September 2018.

4.     Flip-flopping O'Neill clings to PNG power, Australian, 28 May 2019.

5.     Solomons not prepared for pivot to China: MP, Australian, 28 May 2019.

6.     The South-West Pacific and Sino-US competition, Strategic Analysis Paper, Future Directions International, 23 July 2019.

7.     Fundamental Study of American power, H. Fudzii, (Tokyo, 1986), Chart 2, p.20; and, Map of the World, Peters Projection, Actual Size.

8.     US intensifies military presence in the Indo-Pacific, Global Times (China), 24 July 2018.

9.     Ibid.

10.   More US Marines than ever head for Darwin, Australian, 23 August 2018; and, Australia sets up force for Pacific, Australian, 23 July 2019.

11.   F-16 sales to Taiwan cross Beijing's red line, Australian, 26 August 2019.

12.     Taiwan's leader visit to NY sparks fights, The Weekend Australian, 13-14 July 2019.

13.   Australian, op.cit., 26 August 2019.

14.   Australian, op.cit., 28 May 2019.

15.   Ibid.

16.   Taiwan urges Solomons to reject China, Australian, 10 September 2019.