I used to know Gavin in London, where he worked as an EMT before returning to his native New Zealand. He has been in touch recently, and sent me this short guest post about his trip to Samoa.
A decade ago I visited Samoa, a four hour plane ride from New Zealand, to visit the place where my mum and dad met. That story is interesting. Dad was an armed NZ policeman during WW2 and mum a NZ nurse. On arrival, dad had to line up to get his vaccination and mum gave it – literally I’m the prick as a result.
The Samoans have no armed forces. The church protects them.
I got the clear message that China was muscling in back then. They had paid for a hospital, provided new ambulances (over NZ second hand ones) and proposed to build a deep water port and lengthen the runway. It was obvious to me why. But the world stood unconcerned.
The South Pacific spans over 15% of the world’s surface with a small population spread over many sovereign nations, some French, some New Zealand including being in the British Commonwealth – such as Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Caledonia, Solomons, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and technically New Zealand. If the 2 ice caps melt much more, then the Pacific will rise and flood these nations out of existence. Many of these islanders are moving to New Zealand now – look at the make up of our All Blacks team. The west has done nothing because it doesn’t learn about the Pacific at school.
China has just done a full security deal with the Solomons, including providing their police force. This is a total threat to neighbour Australia. Like a pack of cards, China has today signed a deal with Samoa and Fiji. The rest will follow. Plus of course getting Taiwan back.
China has clear intentions of establishing multiple air and sea bases in the Pacific. Ironically, while Britain had no maritime air patrol from 2010 to 2020, Canada, Australia and New Zealand did the patrolling for Britain. Britain may have to return the favour.