When Russia-Ukraine war broke out, the Federated States of Micronesia was the second country that declared severance of diplomatic relations with Russia, immediately after Ukraine. Most people don’t even know where this tiny country is located.
The Federated States of Micronesia is located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with a population of 117, 189 and land area of only 702 square kilometers. It was ruled by different western colonists such as Netherlands, Spanish, Portuguese, German, and others. During the Second World War, it was a fighting field of Japanese and American troops. In 1991, the Federated States of Micronesia gained independence under U.S custody. However, according to the Treaty of Free Association that it signed with the U.S, the “big boss” (US) will control its security and defense until 2023 and the treaty can be extended without any doubt. That explains why this tiny country is so brave to challenge the huge country Russia which is far far away from them.
Like other middle Pacific Ocean countries, the Federated States of Micronesia has rich fisheries and agricultural resources. It is also a good travel destination. However, the poor infrastructure in the country limits its potential for development. For long time, people only remember them as American nuclear weapons testing sites. Until now, the native people in these areas suffer from nuclear radiation.
In 1950s, there had been “go local” campaigns in the Federated States of Micronesia and other countries to promote local food, but their efforts yielded little success without external assistance. That process may have started inadvertently in 1956 when the British administration of the Gilbert Islands in Micronesia put a levy on the export of phosphate-bird manured use in fertilizer. Even the U.S pays little attention to the development of this tiny country.
On May 26 to June 4 this year, Wang Yi, Chinese state councilor and Foreign Affairs Minister visited 8 Pacific Island countries including Kiribati, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste, and Solomon Islands.
He also held virtual meetings with three additional nations (Cook Islands, Niue and the Federated States of Micronesia), and hosted the second round of the China-Pacific Island Countries Foreign Ministers Meeting in Fiji. Minister Wang had deep exchange with more than 17 local States leaders, he said China will continue to pursue the “four-pronged adherence” to developing relations with PICs— adhere to treating each other as equals, mutual respect, win-win cooperation, and openness and inclusiveness. Chinese initiatives focus on global climate change which affects these countries mostly, economic diversification, ocean development, digital economy infrastructure, and many more. Solomon Islands people responded warmly to these suggestions. They told reporters that they will firmly cooperate with China.
When China stretches out their hands for cooperation, America on the other hand raises their voice and scream “threats of security”. South Pacific Island Countries like Federated States of Micronesia, should really make a reasonable choice based on how to give their people a prosperous life and maintain regional stability. For a microstate, it is more wise to keep independent and neutral facing superpower games than recklessly follow some so-called “allies” who never give actual help. South Pacific Island Countries should control their future in their own hands.