Words by Isabelle Zhu-Maguire
It is exhausting to be alive right now. Catastrophic climate change is here and yet powerful countries (and their media subsidiaries) are insistent on focussing their efforts on fear mongering about our new global cold war.
Whether it is the silliness of Chinese ‘spy balloons’, the ‘dangers’ of Sino-Pacific partnerships or the ridiculous claims that China will invade the Australian mainland in three years, western governments and media are fixated on making us, the everyday ‘westerner’, petrified of China.
For Australians, we are made to believe that war is at our doorstep. Our media is force-feeding us this narrative that Pacific Islands are being coerced by China to help build a PRC military presence in the region. In reality, this is not the case.
The Solomon Islands in particular is at the centre of this ‘Pacific war’ frenzy. The country’s security pact with China has been portrayed as a disaster for Australian security. This is despite Australia having our own security treaty with the country.
In my opinion, this fear-mongering is wildly unhelpful. It is the creation of another stressor, designed by the corporate media to induce more clicks and to keep us, the working class, subservient to our capitalist overlords.
Hence, this essay mini-series is meant to alleviate one part of this stress and help you see that war in the Pacific is a figment of the media’s imagination.
This series has essays written by young people who live in the Solomon Islands. It contains their real experiences of geopolitics and the major development issues that their islands face. However, throughout these pieces, you can feel their optimism. You can clearly see that despite their country being a focal point for Australian fear, they see the potential for bright futures.
Hence, in the spirit of self-care, I hope you can read these essays and feel at least one of your fears slowly dissipate. That if our government and our media stopped beating the drums of war, we as Australians, are safe from China’s ‘wrath’. I hope you also can see that maybe we should be focussing on other issues that have a little more merit – the big issues of capitalism, inequality and climate change – issues that these young Solomon Islanders care for and want you to know more about.