The president of Micronesia accuses Beijing of corruption which denounces “slander”

The President of Micronesia accuses Beijing of corruption which denounces “slander»


Outgoing Federated States of Micronesia President David Panuelo has accused China of waging a “political battle” in his country and of resorting to corruption and harassment, in an inflammatory letter to Parliament , Beijing denouncing “slander”. 

“To put it simply, we are witnessing a political battle in our country,” the leader wrote in the letter obtained by AFP on Friday, warning lawmakers, detailing allegations of Chinese espionage, coercion of government officials and “direct threats” to his personal safety.

Mr. Panuelo has previously expressed concerns about Beijing's growing influence in the South Pacific and opposes a security deal that could allow the deployment of Chinese troops to the region.

The president goes much further in this letter, warning the next government of a wave of threats that he believes could turn Micronesia into a vassal of China.

Beijing has “demonstrated a great capacity to undermine our sovereignty, reject our values ​​and use our elected and experienced leaders for their own ends,” he blasted.

Mr. Panuelo notably accused colleagues in his cabinet of having transmitted to China recordings of bilateral meetings.

“We are bribed to be accomplices and bribed to remain silent. These are strong words, but they nevertheless accurately describe the situation,” he added.

“What can we say except an elected official who receives an envelope full of money after a dinner in PRC Embassy, ​​or after an inauguration?” he continued, referring to the People's Republic of China (PRC).


The leader also said he was followed by “two Chinese men” during a meeting in Fiji in July, saying they worked at the embassy and one of them was later identified as a ” intelligence officer” of the Chinese army.

“To be clear: I received direct threats to my physical integrity from officials of the PRC acting in an official framework”, a- he said again, explaining that he had to change his phone number because of “constant” calls from the Chinese ambassador, who was trying to persuade him to accept Chinese vaccines against Covid.


“These slanders and accusations against China are totally against the facts. China considers them totally unacceptable”, reacted during a regular press briefing Mao Ning, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Mr. Panuelo also revealed that he had discussions with Taiwan's foreign minister over an agreement to distance his country from Chinese funding and support, with Taipei offering to take back major projects currently funded by Beijing.


David Panuelo, 58, failed to win re-election as president earlier this week and his successor is expected to be chosen by parliament in May.

He called on lawmakers to pass new laws to tackle money laundering money and promote political integrity.

“Have you personally received bribes from the PRC? If the answer is “No”, then you are in the minority.”

Micronesia, which has a population of barely 100,000, is an ally of Washington, with which it has maintained close ties since its independence. acquired more than 30 years ago.

Competition between the United States and China in the Pacific has increased as Beijing seeks to expand its influence in this strategic region.

The Federated States of Micronesia straddle a maritime crossroads of major importance and are located southeast of Guam, an island where the United States has a military presence and which could become a key territory in the event of a conflict in Taiwan .