【明報專訊】RECENTLY the Solomon Islands, an island nation in the south Pacific Ocean, has once again become the focal point of the diplomatic rivalry between mainland China and Taiwan. Not only is the United States once again blatantly providing all sorts of assistance for Taiwan, but it has also mobilised its allies in the region, namely Australia and New Zealand, to help Taiwan. Though the foreign minister of the Solomon Islands visited Taiwan last week showing that communications have not broken down between them, the island nation's prime minister has openly declared that in economic and political terms, "Taiwan is completely useless to us". It remains uncertain who will emerge victorious in the contest. Even if Taiwan is able to keep the Solomon Islands as an ally owing to the US's all-out effort to save their relations, the fact that Taiwan has completely entrusted the maintenance of its diplomatic relations to the US and the US is doing so simply because it aims to contain China out of self-interest without wanting to delve into its pockets and directly challenging China, resorting only to fanning the flames and driving a wedge between China and its friends, shows that the US is selfish and hypocritical. This is also unsustainable in the long term.