MY SAY : Man up and enjoy a Pearly Gates early blast off

About the author:

Mataeliga Pio Sioa, Newsline Samoa newspaper editor. A veteran journalist in broadcast and print media.

  • Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, September 18, 2018. Lintao Zhang/Pool via REUTERS
    Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, September 18, 2018. Lintao Zhang/Pool via REUTERS

The Reuter’s news report on geopolitical effects and possible impacts of the Samoa China ties should not really be major enough to spark global shock waves.

The contents were already floating around, it was a simple matter of weaving them into an in-depth write up.

There was a good balance to the article but at that level of international journalism, it is standard.

The angles are duly covered as best as it could be with everyone, including the PM Tuilaepa, having his say.

Opposition viewpoints both political and non political are included to widen the coverage on a national, regional or global context.

 The only problem with having minority opinions is that they do not reflect the wider public support.

But good journalism must extend the coverage to give it the balance of fair and unbiased reporting.

Now that the international community and more importantly the political landscape is spread out for added global digestion of our Blue Pacific Continent, what is next?

Where do we go from here with the super powers taking geopolitical interest in our corner of the vast Pacific Ocean?

What scenarios are there or will be conjured for our region as a theatre of operation for the world powers?

Who are the good and the bad guys? Is there any care in the world for the victims of any subsequent fallout?

Who are the victims? Are they important enough to matter or just acceptable statistics in any armed confrontation?

Whatever the answers to these questions and more, they have all since ceased to be news anymore. We have already moved on.

We are past the insults of being treated as puppets in a ‘ backyard batch’ for Australia.

We are no longer silent to condescending rhetoric of buildings that cannot be maintained or roads going nowhere.

Media references suggesting such rhetoric were soundly thrashed as patronizing, by Deputy PM Fiame, while on a recent visit to Australia.

Tuilaepa reacted the same way when confronted along the same lines.

Other regional leaders are becoming equally vocal in defence of the sovereign rights of each island state to decisions they believe are good for them.

This is the moral high ground we must take as our best defence against global bullying.

The super powers and their sidekicks can dribble us all over our geographical home ground, but we have nothing to lose by speaking out.

We have our own social, economic and cultural rights.

Nobody tells us what we should or should not do or what is or is not good for us.

If we want to build roads or sporting complexes for our youth developments, we decide that.

If China agrees to fund that for us and the terms are reasonable, why do we need approval, directly or indirectly from anyone else?

If the US or Australia are also willing to do the same, what are their terms and are they better than China?

Our responsibility to ourselves is to determine the better offer and take it.

If we default on our reciprocal obligations then we take full responsibility and decide on the best options available to us.

If China wants to set up a military base at Asau and it is not a workable option for Samoa, raise it before we signed on any dotted line.

If the Americans entertain a similar option then we respond in the same way.

If both should insist on their terms and our back is up against the wall, then we are down to two very simple choices.

We either stand alone and continue to plod along with our struggles to make ends meet as a free, sovereign nation or sell our independence and freedom back to colonialism.

 There is a third choice but it is beyond our control.   Competing superpowers fire off their nuclear rockets to send us along on an early check in at the Pearly Gates, as the innocent victims of global power bullying rather than climate change.