1. Sha-Guo 13

O hai, looks like a new page.

So a month has passed since Willie arrived … In the meantime she has turned 17. It’s early February now.

In the notes to page 6 I wrote earlier that Gbegluza-Hwewi was still under colonial rule. But then I thought that was kind of boring, so now it’s actually a newly independent country with a Socialist government that is supported by Ban La-Ilanam.

The Solidarity Committee is funded by the government (that’s why Ju-Tsang and Hai-Long wear the “government employee” red epaulettes when they work for the committee – but the other members are volunteers). Its activities are directed from above: they have friendship projects for “mutual benefit” as part of large-scale and long-term plans for making strategic allies in trade and politics.

In the case of Gbegluza-Hwewi, the Sha-Guo Marine Workers’ Solidarity Committee is doing its own little part in helping the country to industrialize itself, so it can become more economically independent. And nobody would send Willie there to help build the new production line even if she actually knew anything about it, because they already know how to do it on their own, as it’s an important policy of Ban La-Ilanam’s aid program to train local experts for all the new technology. (It’s all inspired by the seemingly “strictly mutual benefit” aid programs of China in our world.) The committee does make “cultural exchange” trips sometimes, though, and their comrades abroad come to visit Sha-Guo, too.

In Gbegluza-Hwewi more pessimistic people might still view this as a “lesser evil”. We’ll find out later why they rejected it on Dog Island …


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