The upcoming February issue of Pacific Island Times features reports elaborating on what Mainland China and Taiwan are doing to work their way into the governments and minds of Pacific Islanders. It might be through sporting equipment--think a LOT of ping pong balls and tables--a free airplane to serve isolated islands and/or hard cash doled out to leaders by visiting officials
Meanwhile, the question arises: what is official Washington, D.C. doing about these encroachments in an area where the United States was once the unquestioned dominant figure?
Guam Delegate Madeleine Z. Bordallo says top-level American leadership isn't helping:
"It's chaotic in Washington. We've never seen any kind of leadership like this before. It's not only a leader, but a leader that changes back and forth. What I'm most concerned about is some of the policies he talks about. But the fact that our country has already been recognized throughout the world. It's a free country, a democratic country. Everybody wants to live in America. They love our ways, but I'm afraid our reputation is not as good as it was years ago."
Regardless of an erratic and distracting president, Bordallo, who serves on the House Armed Services Committee says that body is doing its best to keep on top of the situation.
"We have to be very cautious, especially with Korea, and they have ambitions to be the leader of the world or a leader of this region. We have to keep an eye on everything, I'm on the Armed Services Committee. I serve as ranking member on the Readiness Subcommittee and we have daily hearings, confidential, secretive and so forth. So I feel that America has their hands on this and we're able to operate and be aware of what their plans are. It's all we can do. We have to be very cautious."