US is suspicious of Solomon Islands because it has a sense of guilt: Global Times editorial
Published: Aug 31, 2022 11:29 PM
Asia-Pacific Illustration: Chen Xia/GT

Asia-Pacific Illustration: Chen Xia/GT

The failure of US and UK military vessels to dock in the Solomon Islands, a Pacific Island country, due to some technical reasons, has been made into a big issue in the US and Western public opinion. A New York Times report claimed "The move appeared to be a rebuke of the United States." It's not difficult for us to sense some people's complicated feelings of shame and anger. For Washington, this not only is a matter of losing face, but also indicates it actually feels guilty of its "coercive diplomacy."

Washington elites who are stuck in a Cold War mentality have inexplicably depicted this frustration as "China's victory." Another exaggerated view even holds that "the politics of the Solomon Islands has been controlled by China." 

It's clear those people have never treated the Solomon Islands as a country with independent sovereignty and decision-making. If the island country is not "controlled" by Washington, then it must have been in the grip of the country that Washington regards as its "rival."

The word "equality" has never been in their dictionary. Therefore, they cannot truly understand the equal and mutually beneficial relationship between China and the Solomon Islands. Their anxieties are impossible to dissolve, and to put it bluntly, there is no medicine that can save them. For a hammer, everything in its eyes would be nails. Numerous superficial phenomena in the constantly changing international political realities will strengthen their inner anxieties. It's like a bottomless swamp of minds and spirits. Only those who are trapped in it would be sensitive to an independent decision made by the Solomon Islands. 

The Solomon Islands' Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare on Tuesday issued a statement to clarify the matter. He also announced that "The government has asked all partner countries with plans to conduct naval visits or patrols to put them on hold until a revised national mechanism is in place." Combining the statement with a detailed official response by the island country, at least two facts can be concluded. First of all, the Solomon Islands didn't specifically target the US or the UK, but there had been a delay in processing the ships' approval, which, therefore, leads the island country to prepare for revising and updating relevant procedures so that the docking procedures of foreign military vessels can be done smoothly and efficiently. Second, the issue has absolutely nothing to do with China. The official response of the Solomon Islands has slapped in the face of the US, but the US and Western media turned a deaf ear, instead, they continued to deceive themselves and stigmatize this simple and clear issue.

Why did Washington arbitrarily assert that the Solomon Islands was deliberately targeting the US before the issue turned clear? Even after the island country made a clarification, many people still thought so. This shows the US in fact has a guilty conscience toward the Solomon Islands. It should have been aware that what it has done with the Solomon Islands in recent times has gone too far. When White House officials slander China, accusing China of bullying and coercing other countries in the Indo-Pacific region to obey China's orders, they are speaking about themselves looking in the mirror.

In order to undermine China-Solomon Islands relations, senior US and Australian officials took turns to visit the island country since the end of 2021, making various threats and intimidations against the Solomon Islands government in a typical "coercive diplomacy," even with rumors that at one point Washington supported the overthrow of the incumbent Solomon Islands government. Does the fact Washington is so sensitive that the military vessels were "rejected" confirm such rumor? After all, the US has a track record of subverting the regimes of other countries by supporting their domestic opposition.  

It's once again an "unexpected collateral damage" to China. But what's right or wrong is known in everyone's mind. During his visit to Solomon Islands in May, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi elaborated on three principles of security cooperation between China and the island country: The first is to fully respect the national sovereignty of Solomon Islands, the second is to help maintain the social stability of Solomon Islands, and the third is in parallel with regional arrangements. This truly embodies the essence of equal engagement and mutually beneficial cooperation. 

Pacific Island countries are not anyone's backyard, and these countries not only have the right, but also the ability to make their own judgments and choices. The US doesn't have that much control, and long gone are the days of its one-man dominance.