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Editorial

FSM issues alarming China, US love statement

president panuelo joseph yun
Federated States of Micronesia President Panuelo hands over a gift to Ambassador Yun to demonstrate the
FSM’s Enduring Partnership with the United States. Picture: supplied

In one of the most bizarre international responses to the increasing tensions between China and the United States following the recent visit to Taiwan by US speaker of the house Nancy Pelosi, the Government of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) has issued an almost 1,000 word statement that says it loves everyone, and that right and wrong don’t matter.

The statement, issued in the late afternoon on August 6, claims representatives of both the US and China have asked the FSM Government to publicly comment. It doesn’t shed any light as to why either of the superpowers would seek the support of a small Pacific nation over an issue in which it’s not directly involved.

The statement attempts to walk the fence and grovel to both sides, and could have just as easily been the words of a marriage counsellor who asks a couple in conflict to try and understand each other’s positions and communicate better.

“The foreign policy of the Government of the FSM is to be a friend to all and an enemy to none, and to extend to all countries what is sought: peace, friendship, cooperation, and love in our common humanity. In this regard, the FSM has both an enduring partnership with the United States of America and a great friendship with the People’s Republic of China,” the Government said.

Stating the obvious, it then attempted to provide a historical account of what happened and the views of both governments.

“It is the FSM Government’s observation that both China and the U.S. see the other side as a “bully” engaging in provocative behavior, with China interpreting the visit of a high-level U.S. elected official to Taiwan as invasive, unprecedented, and unwelcome, and the U.S. interpreting the launch of missiles over Taiwan and also into Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone as a purposefully antagonistic overreaction.”

The government then explained that its position was to have no position.

“It is not the intention of the FSM Government to publicly and explicitly condemn, or condone, any particular behavior by China or the U.S. in regards to this specific issue, or to draw comparisons between either country’s actions or inaction, on the premise that the FSM believes that doing so is more likely to promote violence than to promote peace. The FSM Government believes that it is plausible that both China and the U.S. see themselves as being the responsible party that is “in the right,” with the other party as irresponsible and “in the wrong,” and that both countries would have prepared extensive justifications and rationalizations to support their perspective.”

The FSM clearly thought a good sermon on love and peace would help.

“It is the view of the FSM that we, as a global society, should let no one build walls to divide us—be they walls of hatred, or walls of stone; that we should end the vanity of nations, as we’ve but one Earth on which to live; that we should embrace the rules-based international order and the rule of law, with an emphasis on respecting others as much we respect ourselves, and recognize that freedom is merely privilege unless enjoyed by one and all.”

The statement also exposed how beholden the nation is to China, and this will alarm other Pacific nations, particularly Australia and New Zealand. The government has obviously compromised its values and integrity, made clear by its failure to differentiate between a controversial visit by a politician and actual military aggression.

“It is the view of the FSM Government that it ultimately doesn’t matter “who is at fault,” “who started it,” who is a “bully,” who and what is “wrong,” and who and what is “right,” if the outcome results in conflict.”

The words, “it doesn’t matter” are telling. Many would disagree, believing that what is right and wrong really does matter – a lot.

The government ended its sermon by calling on the US and China to hug it out, and said that in the end, the only thing that matters is climate change.

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“The FSM further calls upon China and the U.S. to re-establish cooperation on issues of international importance, such as preventing civilizational collapse as a result of anthropogenic Climate Change.”

It is unclear what FSM was thinking when it decided to issue such a motherhood statement that used so many words to say so little. Maybe it was trying to elevate its place in the world, or it genuinely believed that this could somehow bring the US and China together. Whatever its reasons we now know what at least one Pacific nation stands for in this escalating issue – nothing.

Read the full statement below.

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