The next to go for Taiwan's 25: Solomon Island?

Solomon Islands (an Archipelago east of PNG. Better known for Guadalcanal, if you remember the movie The Thin Red Line).

After the first democratic election since 1998, there were riots. The riots targeted the Chinatown retail businesses. Local Chinese represents 1% of the population, reportedly 80% of the local retail businesses(for this country retail probably is synonymous to secondary industries and void=tertiary industry), and is accused of offering bribes to change the mind of the MPs (together accused was the ROC government), who select the PM. Most of the the Chinese migrated from the Guangdong area, only about 10% or less are from Taiwan.

Solomon Islands is one of the 25 countries that still maintians diplomatic relationship with Taiwan (Republic of China). So that it raised much interests in Taiwan and concern about the Chinese population there. After all, those who emigrated from Taiwan still have some families and friends back home, and even those who are not might have married those who are, or have done business with Taiwanese merchants.

Lu Chinglong, the spokesperson from the ROC Foreign Ministry, while denying rumours that they are the black hand behind bribing the MPs, has this to say
  • "The shops that got burned, the so called Chinese operated shops, are opened by old migrants from mainland China. They are not from Taiwan 被燒毀的商店,所謂的華商商店,這些人是大陸去的老僑所開的,不是台灣去的."
Basically he was saying he couldn't care less about "those so-called Chinese".

Now Solomon Islands is on the process of becoming a democracy, albeit still an immature one or currupted one. The people, especially the rich people, will have strong influence on politics. Given this, I do not think these 5000 people would want the new government to maintain diplomatic relationship with Mr Lu. The local Chinese merchants now will make sure they bribe the new government to dump Taiwan before 2008.

P.S. CCP did a much better jobs in the past, since late 1980s, they have been taking care of people from Taiwan, HK and Macau in crisis in Iraq, Kuwait, Yugoslavia, etc. The bonus: they were great PR opportunities.

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