Shuffling for influence in the Pacific- colonialism, a matter of perspective

Words from Orakidorm —-  

The shuffling for influence in the Pacific whether it would be political, economics, military or social influence is actively taking place. The main players are obviously the United States and China dictating the dynamics of East Asia and the western bayou of the Pacific. The stresses along the corridors of this region including North and South Korea, the Taiwan Strait, ownership disputes between Japan and China, between the Philippines and China are all intertwined in this mesh of shuffling for influence.

An article titled, “Tourism in Yap and Micronesia: Will China Run the Show?” written by Adam Thompson and published in the Asia Pacific Bulletin (East-West Center) speaks about such influence in the social sector. The article is interesting because Mr. Thompson is an archaeologist working for the Federated States of Micronesia National Archives, Culture and Historic Preservation Office. I suspect that Mr. Thompson in using “Micronesia” meant, Federated States of Micronesia, because Micronesia is much bigger than that perspective, and include many other island nations and territories within the region. The point is, inevitably all the islands of Micronesia (broader than FSM) are pulled into this shuffling for influence and starting with the issue across the Taiwan Strait. 

I am naïve enough to be convinced that when it comes to Palau, “Palau is running the show.” At least that is what Mr. Thompson says in the article. But really? Colonialism is a matter of perspective and to whose interest is the flavor of the day. The assumption of making the Yapese “stone money” a cultural heritage site will some how bring about cultural salvation is as naïve as I am. The Republic of the Marshall Islands (another Micronesian island nation) is running out of water. Global warming leading to the rising tide level is affecting the western Pacific more any other parts of the Pacific. The effects of climate change has arrived and threatening the survivability of many Micronesians such as the people of RMI and Kiribati. So who are the polluters of the world? China and the United States, the main players shuffling for influence in the Pacific.

Perhaps a future article and the Asia Pacific Bulletin should be titled, “Climate Change in Micronesia: Will United States and China run the show?” The future of Micronesia (not just FSM) is inevitably dependent on other forms of colonialism including the ones taking place now- economics, political, social (language, food), religion, education and others. Who shall run the show? It is just a matter of perspective. Salamat po! 


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