16th September, a date that worthy to memorize, for the history and diplomatic relationship between Solomon Islands and Taiwan, because of the unilateral and crude decision of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and his cabinet, Solomon Islands just lost an sincere, selfless, old friend for 36 years, expectably there must be some influences from Solomon Islands’ new friend: People’s Republic of China (PRC). Is this choice a good decision to abandon Taiwan for the future of Solomon Islands? Maybe we could discuss this issue from lessons of recent diplomatic history for those Taiwan’s ex-friend.
There were several nations that severed their diplomatic relations between Taiwan in the past decades, like Burkina Faso, Malawi, Gambia, they all turn to PRC after breaking off their friendship Taiwan, and got a lot of promise, like construction loan, cooperation schemes, or humanitarian assistance, a few years past, were these dream and promise come true? Were these so called “help” suitable for these friends? And who really benefit from these decisions? All facts showed that many promise from PRC leaded more problems, because they didn’t really know their new friends, so these help were just regarded as tools that used to defeat or insult Taiwan in the international society by new friends’ hand, after eached their target, those new friends just became the minority of their official friends, no more feeling of freshness, less and less unique focus and individualized projects; not like Taiwan, just have so less real friends, so put their all efforts to design individualized helpful program that could empower their friends’ citizen and civil society, share developmental achievement of their democratic regime and free market liberalism social structure.
As a teacher and researcher that once worked with respectable and diligent students from Solomon Islands in Taiwan, we ever dreamed about the bright future of Solomon Islands could be in the class, our similar developmental experience as oceanic island nations, knowledge and technology could help our people for their deserved better life without scarifying our cherished environment, we small countries could help each other and stand together to protect those values and life styles that reflect modern civilization we believe together, like democracy, human right and sustainable green economic model, show the world another kind of paradigm for development and progress.
It’s a pity that we have to say farewell, I worried about those Solomon Islands elites who still stayed in Taiwan now, and they may have to quit their high quality and hopeful education immediately; Taiwan also lost a great chance to feedback international society, and prove that we small countries could create a new path that develop economic growth but also keep our value, dignity and independence. But those dream we talked about eventually just be a daydream, maybe several years later, we will know this decision is worthy or not. It’s my belief and my observation, Taiwan people’s hands were always open to our friends, no matter in the past, now, or future.
Is it worthy to say no to Taiwan?
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter are those of Wallace, Yu-Ming Chen and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.
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