Micronesia’s president accused China of “political warfare” in a letter to other national leaders and discussed switching diplomatic allegiance from China to Taiwan in exchange for $50 million.
President David Panuelo said China had been using “nefarious tactics, including spying and offering bribes,” in an effort to ensure that if it goes to war with Taiwan, Micronesia would be aligned with China rather than the United States, or would at least abstain from taking sides.
Panuelo sent the 13-page letter dated March 9, which was obtained by The Associated Press, to state governors and other political leaders of the Pacific nation.
The letter represented an unusually frank assessment of China’s motives in the region and laid bare the financial incentives for smaller countries to switch diplomatic allegiance.
Should Micronesia switch allegiance to Taiwan, it would represent a rare win for the self-governing island, after several Pacific nations switched allegiance from Taiwan to China in recent years.
“We’ve always respected Micronesia’s development path that it has chosen in light of its own national conditions and have supported the Micronesian side in safeguarding independence,” Mao said.