PNG leaders need to be sensitive to China’s opportunism
28 November 2014
POSITIVE engagement between Papua New Guinea and China is necessary and inevitable, as indeed it is for Australia.
However, President Xi's references to "a natural sense of amity" and "a long history of friendship", reported in PNG Attitude, ought to be viewed within the context of relations between nation states as distinct from personal relations.
Lord Palmerston (1784-1865, pictured), a former prime minister of Great Britain, famously observed that: "Nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests".
This very pertinent observation has been proved true time and time again and it is folly to imagine that China, a vast and growing power, will not demand "favours" as a quid pro quo for the beneficence it shows towards the South Pacific's small, poor and very inexperienced nations.
China has 5,000 years of history as a highly sophisticated, subtle and very self contained power.
Its current leaders did not arrive in their current positions except by manifesting exceptional qualities of intelligence, opportunism, ruthlessness, stamina and statecraft.
PNG's leaders need to bear this in mind when they assess or accept assistance from China, just as they should for any other actual or putative "great power".
Can't agree more. Essentially it all boils down to one thing and that is "greed".
Political leaders who engage with countries like China often do it for their own interest or China's so-called "soft loans" that care little about accountability and transparency but aim at making the smaller impoverished countries become financially dependent on her.
China is prepared to step in and take the risk when other developed countries are weary of risks and corruption that could impede the good work that their money is meant for.
This unfortunately seems be "a magic charm" that is blindly leading these countries to China.
China's long history of self-government and societal evolution places them at a position where they can craftily manipulate their way to national glory at the expense of the less experienced and desperate countries of the Pacific.
In saying that China also has a great opportunity to become the leader of a new world order characterised by its sincere concern and push to fight for the interest of the developing countries making sure that developed countries like US and Japan become more accountable to their actions.
China can, on behalf of the poor and smaller countries who are victims of climate change and unfair trade treaties, demand the powerful countries to take a more proactive role in tackling climate change and promote global trade that is fairer and promote growth in poor developing countries.
If it takes such a noble course it can rival or even take over from US as the new hope of the world.
Posted by: Busa Jeremiah Wenogo | 01 December 2014 at 12:02 PM