Edward Acton Cavanough
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Making a Martyr
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The author relates how it was becoming clear that Suidani’s strong anti-China stance - the mission that had made him internationally famous - was not universally accepted, with even some of its staunchest supporters starting to question whether their champion could deliver on his rhetoric. Many Malaitans appeared genuinely ambivalent about Chinese companies operating in their communities. The World Bank-funded Fiu Bridge project, which Suidani had scuttled after a Chinese company won a competitive tender to construct it, was just one of dozens of bridges that had fallen into disrepair. In early March 2023, the Malaitan provincial government was readying to reassemble after its Christmas break. Back home in Solomon Islands, Suidani’s tour and meeting with Chris Chappell and Cleo Paskal, had not gone unnoticed. In a post on the ‘Yumi TokTok Forum’ - one of the larger Facebook groups in Solomon Islands - praise for Suidani was common.

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Divided Isles

Solomon Islands and the China Switch

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