Let’s face it, China is on the move in the Pacific and expanding using its soft power of money and promises of building infrastructure in many of the Pacific Island nations, in particular, Bougainville but also many others as well, including Fiji & Samoa.
Bougainville Island in the Solomon Sea is the main island of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville of Papua New Guinea and is currently seeking independence. A polling period begins this Saturday for Bougainville's referendum on independence from Papua New Guinea. This is a non-binding referendum that is a provision of the 2001 Bougainville Peace Agreement after the civil war.
A few weeks ago the Island nation of Kiribati switched its allegiance from Taiwan to Communist China. Most likely with the promise of money and infrastructure being built. The Solomon Islands, and PNG, Bougainville and many other Pacific Nations are all being swayed. In particular, Kiribati has a pretty large territory it claims and controls. This territory is needed for China's master plan of having a secure sea lane all the way to the Antarctic. The Blue Economic Passage, basically a sea version of the old silk road.
China's master plan of having a secure sea lane all the way to the Antarctic. The Blue Economic Passage, basically a sea version of the old silk road.
Why does this matter? Simply put resources. It will start with fishing fleets, depleting fish stocks and then move on to other resources in the area and slowly encroaching on New Zealand's domain and EEZ.
Some of the infrastructures that have been built is a new harbour and wharf, large enough to berth china's aircraft carrier and leased enough land around the wharf to have a sizable base there if they wanted to and I would say that is the plan.
China has tried to lease an entire island of Tulagi for the next 75 years. 10 square km's including the deepwater port, oil and gas rights and fishing rights, forestry rights and even tourism. If they do, then China would have the rights to island resources, to build whatever they want, a naval base, army and air force base. The good thing with this is the locals of the island are not happy with that. And are saying it is an illegal document.
- The Tulagi turning point
- NZ academic Anne-Marie Brady in global demand for insight into China's influence
- Why do I think the Endurance 170 LHD is a good choice for the RNZN.
- The All Singing All Dancing National Security Strategy Doesn't Exist
- Spy within Five Eyes describes NZ's political system as 'compromised' by Chinese influence
- Bringing things in to perspective
There was no consultation with locals and the way land rights work in Tulagi Island is that it is matrilineal and the people of the land, they do not want this.
This has been happening for many years now, and I have been saying it for years, China using it's soft power and bags of money buying what they want from land to the various ministers and strong-arming their way in making promises. Making all this very sinister and illegal. And is slowly happening in New Zealand right under your nose. Think about China and the water deal...
Screenshot from 60 Minutes Australia showing a map of the Pacific where China is using its soft power. Add into this, possibly the soon to be independent state of Bougainville.
But is it too little too late?
When China then asks for a favour back or asks for the loan to paid, and the broke pacific nation can not or reneges on the deal, China then will most likely say something like, that wharf we built, well we would like to now build a naval base there, or the likes thereof. Before you know it both Australia and New Zealand will be blocked in. China will control sea lanes and trade and we can not let that happen. If that doesn't scare you, or at least show you to start taking notice of what is happening and why the Defence Minister says things like he 'hopes China 'adheres to openness and transparency like we do' it now hopefully makes sense.
- New Zealand’s China Challenge
- Why is China on the move in the South Pacific?
- Defence paper seen as pushing back on China's Pacific influence
- China watching as New Zealand unveils military buildup in Pacific
- NZ strikes deal on China FTA upgrade after years of talks
When National announced the 20 billion dollar defence investment over 15 years when they were in power, was it because they finally started to see that we need to start to push back and resist. When the labour government and coalition came into power getting the full details they agree to continue with the Defence plan. But is it too little too late? Most likely. The problem is we have a fine line to tread as we do actually trade with China. But me being me don't care about our trade deal with China. I would rather do the right thing and actually help of pacific neighbours not put them in debt.
New Zealand politicians haven't got the balls to stand up and actually say we truly need to upgrade our defence force and keep it updated... before it is too late.
Australia has been building it's armed forces up for a while now (at least they have their head screwed on), while New Zealand politicians haven't got the balls to stand up and actually say we truly need to upgrade our defence force and keep it updated... before it is too late. Our politicians are only worried about the next election, and not the true defence of the country. I have been saying for years and years that the NZDF has been far too underfunded and don't have the right tools for the job anymore. With the DCP 2019, this is a step in the right direction, but we are far too far behind. But this attitude is starting to slowly change and I guess that it is because China is on the move.
- 4 Frigate Navy
- Could New Zealand join the Type 26 Frigate programme?
- The Cost and Benefit of Frigates
- What upgrades are our frigates getting.
Think of the defence force as the NZ Police or Fire Department, St Johns etc, they are there to protect you from the internal threats, from crime and aggression and disasters, and to give aid when you need it, if they were underfunded (which they are by the way) there would be a major outcry. Like insurance, you are covered and you pay a monthly fee to keep that plan updated, you hope you don't have to use it, but if you do you are glad you paid the fees and kept it updated.
But this attitude is starting to slowly change and I guess that it is because China is on the move.
The Defence Force could be seen in the same manner, but from external threats from poaching in our EEZ to policing aggression in our area of influence to giving aid or HADR in natural disasters even Search and Rescue and they are willing to fight and put their lives on the line to keep your freedoms and your way of life, so you can buy that cheap car from Japan or that stereo from Taiwan. So you can buy all that cheap stuff off the internet, it all has to be shipped to you and NZDF help protect those major shipping lanes, and if a natural disaster hits your area you know the NZDF will mobilise as they did for ChCh and Kaikoura Earth Quakes. The NZDF is willing to deploy to help stabilise a country and help its population get back to some sort of normal life amongst the chaos. But to keep those freedoms it cost money with a decently equipped defence force that is not continuously cutting back.
I haven't got the answers to what equipment we truly need, I have to make do with reading between the lines like everyone else, but I do know and have always said the NZDF are underfunded, under-equipped. China is on the move and we are doing sweet F.A to help our ANZAC cousins across the ditch to sway that expansion.