Sunday, April 23, 2006

Solomon Islands' Kacang Putih Exodus

The Solomon Islands is among a handful of Pacific island countries which recognise Taiwan rather than Beijing. Taiwan provides lots of aid, either financial or in kind, to such kacang putih (small & insignificant) nations to secure their recognition and support, just like Japan has done in similar fashion to secure support for its whaling ambition, where the International Whaling Commission now has many members from even land-locked kacang putih nations, all sponsored and aided by Nippon.

One wonders to what extent has the Solomon Islands’ non-recognition of China led to accusations by protesting native mobs, who burnt down Honiara’s Chinatown, that local Chinese had been funding new Prime Minister Snyder Rini and bribing other MPs.

The Chinese Embassy in neighbouring Papua New Guinea (PNG) had denied any Chinese involvement. I just wonder whether faraway Chinese politics had brought about the ‘other’ China playing the role of ‘batu api’ (instigator) or even providing 'intelligence'?

Anyhow, The Chinese Embassy in PNG has arranged the evacuation of 300 Chinese nationals from the Solomon Islands on chartered aircraft provided by Beijing. Those residents have been sheltering at a police club in Honiara since the recent p’ai wah (anti-Chinese pogroms) began on Tuesday.

The Chinese had to be escorted to the airport under armed guard. They are being flown to Port Moresby, capital of PNG, and then on to either Hong Kong or the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou.

A Chinese diplomat explained the evacuation: "How can they stay if they don't have a house, property, a business, nothing to live on? They can not stay here anymore. They have nothing. They lost everything."

However, there is another small group of Chinese, citizens of Solomon Islands for generations, who obviously won’t be evacuated by the Chinese government. Many have talked about seeking refuge in Australia or New Zealand. They have expressed their fears of staying on in the Solomon Islands.

Their population size are of kacang putih dimension which may worked in their favour, as they won't be representing those waves of Asiatic illegal migrants (yellow peril) that Australians dread. They might just stand a chance.

Related: P'ai Wah in Solomon Islands

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