The Geopolitics of the Pacific Ocean,1842-2022

Michael Roberts

 Writing as a non-specialist after listening to the Chinese Ambassador’s speech at the Australian Press Club today,[1] I venture on what may seem to be outrageous geo-political hypotheticals by looking at Tasmania’s relationship with the continent of Australia. That is, I am deploying this outrageous issue as a thought-provoker.


But first to China located in its long history of subjection to Western foreign intrusions from the early 19th century (if not earlier). Its rulers lost the island of Hong Kong to Britain from the 19th century when the expanding British nation deployed what are known as the “Opium Wars” to secure control of Hong Kong.[2] Then, the Second World War and the internal struggles in China saw Chiang-Kai-Shek’s regime managing to hold out in Taiwan and retaining the island as a separate state with the aid of the “Allies” (US-led alliance in the Pacific during World War II)[3] – a position that Communist China has never accepted from the year dot in the mid-20th century.






Chiang Kai Shek with General Eisenhower in 1960






This then, has been the tension-ridden stand-off inherited by all in the 21st century. Communist China does not recognise the independent status of TAIWAN as a nation and sees its present geo-political position as a “Western imperial arm” and an existential threat. When, therefore, an US Vice-President …. Nancy Pelosi at this moment …. visits Taiwan,[4] China reads it as an act of US and Western aggression. Its countermeasures seem – to an outsider like me – equally aggressive.






I am now prompted to jump outside the box. Let me deploy outlandish comparisons by creating a hypothetical comparison crafted on a geo-political scale. Consider Tasmania and its relationship with the imposing continent of AUSTRALIA to its north over the last 70 years or so. In summary, it can be suggested that there have always been minor political tensions of the sort that small island territories have with imposing units that loom over them from next door.

However, then, insert a hypothetical giant continent named “Antarctica” to the distant south of Tasmania[5] …. say at the same distance as that between Taiwan and USA or, alternatively, Taiwan and Australia.[6] How would Tasmanians behave, politically speaking, if they had “ANTARCTICA” as a supposed friend to their south?







[1] See …. And video =

[2] “The Qing dynasty ceded Hong Kong to the British Empire in 1842 through the treaty of Nanjing, ending the First Opium War. Hong Kong then became a British crown colony” —–

[3] SEE

[4] Visit … & …

[5] See ……………………………………………………………………………………….

[6] See AND

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, american imperialism, australian media, British imperialism, centre-periphery relations, China and Chinese influences, economic processes, foreign policy, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, military strategy, Pacific Ocean politics, politIcal discourse, power politics, security, self-reflexivity, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, world events & processes

One response to “The Geopolitics of the Pacific Ocean,1842-2022

  1. What if….India lay claims to SL because a shipload of Indians were pushed out to sea and they came and settled in Lanka. They then took over the place from the local natives, gave it a new name and settled there. Isn’t that what happened in Taiwan too? Maybe SL was never a part of India, however when did Communist China say that Taiwan was always a part of China? Just a thought.

Leave a Reply