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21 March 2018


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Michael Dom

China will rule the Pacific waters and change the international air routes.

The Pacific and SE Asia are already well known as the holiday destinations of wealthy citizens from Western nations.

The Pacific may also be set up as tax havens sanctioned by China. It's very likely that China already indirectly supports shady business establishments in the Pacific.

The West will kowtow to China for the fun, financing and freedom of its own.

Australia will probably be a junior partner in all this, and China will maintain good relationship with Oz for the convenience of having a nearby 'white nation' safety zone for Western tourists.

New Zealand probably gives the whole setup that weird factor appeal, being the one truly Pacificated Western nation.

I'm just saying.

Barry Kneen

A lot of recycled twaddle. The writer's ignorance is disclosed by "the collapse in the moral power and influence of the USA under the appalling leadership of Donald Trump".

Philip Fitzpatrick

A very astute interpretation Chris.

You say that: "those in positions of power and influence in PNG might do well to read 'The Imperial Achievement'. It contains many lessons for the unwary post-colonial politician."

Given our failure to interest the PNG government in the Crocodile Prize or anything else literary I have severe doubts that all but a few politicians in PNG read anything at all. Maybe their bank statements at most.

Those erudite readers outside politics have long ago recognised that China is about recolonising places like PNG using money and gifts rather than rifles and gunboats.

And yet the politicians, blinded by the lavish gifts being showered on them, fail to recognise they are being used as dupes.

Those same readers have also worked out that the Chinese construction of infrastructure on the islands in the South China Sea has nothing to do with military ambitions but is all about guarding trade routes.

Clearly it expects that a lot more trade will be making its way along that route. It would be nice if Trump and his sycophant Turnbull could work that out too.

Bowle wrote his book at the time when decolonisation the world over was reaching its climax. I wonder whether he saw that as the end of an era or, as you point out, the beginning of a new phase.

It's a pity he's not still with us to write about the new empire that is emerging in Asia.

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