Major changes in 12 months


IN a couple of days, Democrat Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th president but American law enforcement fears there might be violent protests again on or around about the day.
This is because of the events of Jan 7 when supporters of the outgoing president stormed the Capitol, the meeting place of the Senate and House of Representatives.
Thousands of President Trump’s supporters took part in demonstrations that turned violent as many saw their actions as a last stand for Trump because Congress was set to confirm President-elect Biden.
The violent demonstrations caused extensive damage to the Capitol, much like angry members of our disciplined forces storming the Parliament on Nov 20, 2018 over unpaid Apec entitlements. China was quick to draw parallels between the Capitol riots and the Hong Kong unrests of two years back.
The foreign ministry urged “people to reflect on why some people gave different narrative on social turmoil in Hong Kong in 2019,” Global Times said in an English-language tweet.
What happens in America will affect many parts of the world including tiny nations of the Pacific.
Its domestic affairs will affect its trade and geo-political interactions with our region’s prominent players, China, Australia and New Zealand.
Its relations with the Middle East, especially Iran, and the Israelis and Palestinians do affect the world.
The Israeli-Palestinian issue is being followed closely by some in PNG.
Biden and his Democratic party’s stand on the tiny state of Israel in the Middle East is something the Christian majority Papua New Guineans would be watching carefully.
One thing is sure; it will not be the same as Trump’s.
PNG Christians are divided on the Israeli claim to “occupied” territory in Gaza Strip and the West Bank and Israel’s claim to Jerusalem as its capital.
Predominantly charismatic, Pentecostal and Messianic believers back Israel claim the territory and its ancient city while others say, as Christians, they need to emulate Christ and pray for a mutually beneficial and peaceful solution to the Palestinian conflict.
Trump will be remembered by many for his many controversial decisions one of which is the official recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and the transfer of the United States embassy from the coastal city of Tel Aviv into Jerusalem.
It was a move that was seen by some as a frustration or death blow to a two-state solution for Palestine.
Following Trump’s move, countries such as Ghana, Tanzania, Nauru and Honduras have also indicated their intention to recognise Jerusalem as the Israel capital and establish diplomatic missions.
Some Christians in PNG are secretly praying or openly lobbying the Government to follow suit and establish a diplomatic mission in Jerusalem. It is not a straightforward matter, however.
PNG has on several occasions treaded the middle path in abstaining to vote on resolutions pertaining to Israel and the Palestinian state.
After the 2020 election and the violent demonstrations and breach of its halls of power by angry supporters, America’s image as a leader of the democratic world has been dealt a terrible blow.
The challenge to its long-established democracy, institutions and laws, compounded with the effects of the global coronavirus pandemic have made it quite vulnerable.
The world have changed so much over the past 12 months.
We, in PNG might be likened to a tiny outrigger canoe bobbing on these large waves of change.