Falan: Chinese company came to Yap with lots of promises but no clear plan

Yap Gov, Henry Falan met with students of Dalipebinaw Elementary School March 10, 2021 to give them an in-person lesson on how government works. Photo by Joyce McClure

Colonia, Yap— The Exhibition Travel Group (ETG), a Chinese company that had proposed to build a mega-resort in Yap, came with lots of promises without any clear plan, Gov. Henry Falan said.

“And to this day I still have not seen a plan,” the governor added in response to a student’s question about the company during a meeting with a group of 8th grade social studies students on Wednesday to give them an in-person lesson on how government works.

ETG’s chairman Deng Hong and his party first came to Yap more than eight years ago on a private jet to discuss his company’s proposal with Sebastian Anefal, then the state’s governor, and the state legislature. After serving time in a Chinese prison for various crimes, Deng Hong returned to Yap on Jan, 22, 2018 to continue discussions with Tony Ganngiyan, by then the state’s governor and Falan’s predecessor and opponent in the 2018 election.

A few landowners entered into 99-year land leases with ETG. However, some wanted to void their agreements after realizing that payment was not a lump sum upwards of $200,000 or more as they were led to believe, but spread out over the 99 years.

“But there was one phrase in their presentation that said it all – ‘when feasible,’” Falan told the students. “That means they may never do anything if it’s not feasible for them.”