FSM to pay its debts to Guam with Beijing donation


FSM Health Secretary Marcus Samo and Chinese Ambassador Huang Zheng pose for a photo-op during a handover ceremony for China's new donation to FSM on Nov, 25, 2021. Photo courtesy of FSMIS

Beijing has logged another entry into its ledger of donations intended to further solidify its diplomatic ties with the Federated States of Micronesia, claiming that China stands on “the right side of human progress.”


FSM has received $150,000 in new donations, which the Micronesian government will tap to settle its bills incurred on Guam when the stranded Micronesian citizens were placed in quarantine facilities prior to their repatriation.

“Your donation comes a long way,” FSM Health Secretary Marcus Samo told Chinese Ambassador Huang Zheng during the handover ceremony on Nov. 25. “This particular donation you’ve extended will definitely support our obligation in terms of paying for those expenses we’ve now incurred in Guam, and also when it comes to quarantine at home.”


According to a press release from the FSM government, the new donation came as a result of the first-ever China-Pacific Island Countries Foreign Ministers Meeting held on Oct. 21.


Beijing has been conducting a cash-giving marathon to the FSM amid the slow progress in the renegotiation on funding provisions of the Compact of Free Association between the freely associated states and the United States.


The latest donation from China formed the fourth batch received by the FSM since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out last year.


Through the China-Pacific Island Country Cooperation Fund Against Covid-19, Beijing has been splashing pandemic relief aid to Pacific island countries in its bid to keep its whip hand over Taiwan and expand its clout in the Indo-Pacific region, which the U.S. is seeking to fortify against China’s threats.


“China will always stand on the right side of history and the right side of human progress,” Huang said. “China is a defender of world peace, a contributor to global development, and an upholder of the international order.”


In FSM, Beijing has apparently locked a secure diplomatic position.


Samo said the FSM’s friendship with China “remains unshaken and is even more solid than before.”


FSM officials said the fresh cash donation will also be used to purchase necessary medical supplies and equipment.


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“As you know, when the pandemic unfolded, the FSM—like any other country—struggled in terms of trying to put the pieces together, in terms of a response in what it needs to do in preventing the virus from coming to our shore,” Huang said.


“I think today, in reflection, you would agree with me that we’ve done a great job, but not without a great challenge. The fact of the matter is that we still remain Covid-19 free, and that is the testament to the great work that this administration and all of its partners have put together to protect the health of this nation.”


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The FSM and China established diplomatic relations on Sept. 11, 1989.


China has previously donated direct cash assistance to help the FSM fight the Covid-19 pandemic on three separate occasions. The first donation was $100,000 in April of 2020; the second donation, given to Pohnpei State Government directly from China, was for $20,000; and the third donation was $50,000. Other significant donations from China include containerized medical isolation units, extensive amounts of personal protective equipment, and virtual training.



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