Thank you Mata’afa for your editorial titled “You have been warned, Samoa!”
China is a powerhouse of the modern era. An ambitious communist regime eager to correct what it calls the “Century of humiliation” between 1839 to 1949.
China lost almost all of the wars it fought and was forced to pay large amounts of reparations, open up her ports for trade, lease or cede her territories to foreign powers Britain, France, Germany and Japan.
And now China has reversed that role and has become the world’s new colonial power. China desires to be a major economic and military superpower of our time. And the Chinese are spending billions building it’s “one belt, one road” route linking the world back to China. Achieving all this without firing a single shot.
Most countries involved in this rail, road and seaport freight network are granted loans from China to help build infrastructure. The problem is when some countries default on loans the Chinese move in and take over assets through a debt for equity agreement.
Usually in the form of a multi-million dollar 99 yr lease agreement.
This may seem attractive to some politicians in terms of income but their nation will lose it’s Sovereignty to a foreign power and hand over control of it’s most important assets or infrastructures.
China is using checkbook diplomacy to hold developing nations to ransom and bending them to their will when needed.
Our government says China only wants our vote and alliance in matters of the United Nations. That maybe true but judging by what has happened already to some countries who are indebted to China, I’m not so sure anymore.
The pro-government supporters will jump in and point out the “one belt, one road” does not come through the Pacific but I am telling you now it is on their radar. It may not happen now but eventually it will.
Think about it they’ve already covered almost half the world with their network of railways, roads and seaports in strategic locations so it would make sense to try and cover the other half as well.
Our beautiful island nation Samoa is smack bang in the middle of the Pacific ocean and would be ideal as a strategic hub for the Chinese to serve Canada in the north and all the way down to Brazil in the south, the whole Pacific including Australia and New Zealand.
Not only does it make good economic sense it also makes good military sense.
If the Chinese are to build the Vaiusu wharf, I stress this because they will provide the loan, materials and labour to do it and if our government default our loan.
What do you think would be more beneficial to the Chinese when they come knocking? A government building or school? A hospital or bridge? An Airport or a seaport?
There are political analyst and writers who have reported China’s true intentions and how it uses debt entrapment to achieve it’s “one belt, one road” plan.
But still the lure of so-called easy money and high level corruption for politicians is like flies to a pile of s***.
I believe China is interested in our infrastructures and our customary lands. A Chinese air-force base at the lava plains north of Aópo or a naval base at Vaiusu may seem like a pipe dream to a lot of people but with the huge debt our government is racking up it may become a reality.
Our government says it has the capacity to service our foreign debt, maybe it does, but with every dollar added the more money our nation has to pay back with interest.
And the politicians responsible for our ever-increasing foreign debt, will they and their families be around to help pay it off?
Or will they move their whole families overseas and retire in luxury while the rest of us are enslaved to repay loans?
“My words will either attract a strong mind or offend a weak one”.