Our state has been littered with accusations, ideas, formalities, disapprovals and so on and so forth regarding this ETG thing. Every side is digged in without giving an inch of compromise. But do we really have to do it this way? Are there options out there? Is Yap Proper the only place ETG is interested in? Can any other state offers up its lands? How about Guam, CNMI, or Palau? Are they not interested?
Since Yap is the choice for this Chinese development company, I would focus on some ideas or options that can be explored within the state. This I must say requires thinking outside the box.
While I was in Tokyo back in the 90’s, I went to a place not too far from Downtown where my guide showed me miles and miles of land that was made by people. It wasn’t something that God created or was created out of Volcanic materials or lavas, it was built by the Japanese people. They extended a part of Tokyo for miles and miles out into the ocean. The guide told me that they were doing the same exact thing in Osaka to put a new International Airport, which is now completed and is operational.
The same thing can be done on Yap and it can be very beneficial to both the government and the people. The government can add on its proposal to ETG a government complex to be added on this newly created land where it can house, along with the Hotel Development, the Governor’s Mansion, the Legislative Building, and other offices. The landowners are not going to loose any lands this way. In fact, the state of Yap can actually earn itself acres of lands and on top of that office buildings, not to mention the Hotels that ETG will leave behind one day. This can be an attractive solution to Yap state so why not offering it as a package, Mr. Yang Yang of ETG? lol.
Another option, maybe a little cheaper option for ETG would be to offer up a proposal to lease one of those un-inhabited islands east of Yap. I have to apologize to my village chiefs of Iyefang on Ifaluk but Yelanglap can be an option. :). I know nothing can fit on that little island but heck with that, just put down a hut so everyone can be free of this ETG anxiety. Hahaha. On a serious note though, is the fact that there are islands on the east of Yap that are not being utilized by our people and can be beneficial if used by someone, in this case ETG. Most of you in the Outer Islands wouldn’t mind free whiskeys and cigarettes, right? lol. That would be all that ETG can offer! Hahahaha.
If none of you guys are interested, maybe it’s time I speak with my brother Francis Itimai about our little Island Felait or Welmarau. These islands are sinking fast so we must do something about them so why not giving them to ETG and require them to raise our lands to at least 20 feet above sea level. That way, when they are done leasing them, we can still see them above the sea and can utilize them to our benefits.
ETG is a development company that wanted to invest in our state. Investment is something we so dearly in need of as the compact money is disappearing into the abyss. I am sure there are many valid reasons for not wanting them on our shores. But at the same time, I think our state do need the funds and development that comes with the investment. It is an easy way of funding the services and development our state so desperately in need of.
I’ve heard arguments and concerns on the possible motives behind ETG’s proposed development. I even noticed many foreigners, mostly American citizens against this proposal. But my concern is why does it felt as if ETG is a communist government wanting to move into our state. Are we afraid of communist China? Is that it? Is china the reason why we won’t allow a private company to invest in our state? Is China the owner of ETG? I know most Asian countries, if not all, support private businesses in ways the west would think it’s government run businesses. But why would we be scared? Why is this a concern for America? Do not tell me the United States of America doesn’t allow Chinese investors in the states. If you want to be sure, talk to the governor of each of the states lining the Pacific Ocean and they will tell you they are fighting amongst themselves in terms of their tactics on getting Asian Investors (Including Chinese) into their states.
My point is this, Yap is a state within the Federated States of Micronesia. The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is an independent nation that happens to have an agreement called the Compact of Free Association with the United States of America. In that agreement, the United States of America agrees to protect the FSM so if ETG does something stupid and try to cheat us out of our lands, the United States can move in to do its promised duty. Our state use this agreement as a way of letting investors know that our government is a stable government that has the protection of the United States of America. This is a way of saying that their investment will be protected by our laws and the mighty power of the United States of America.
So if China scares the heck out of you, please rest your mind knowing that we have this protection guaranteed by the United States of America through the Compact of Free Association. Do not let anyone fool you otherwise.
The only concern I have is if this ETG can make money from this investment. As long as our laws within our State is spelled to gurantee us protection from any unforeseen circumstances invovling ETG, I will rest my mind because ETG is a business and not a government that is about to take over the state of Yap.
Communication is the key to comforting both sides of this issue. Please keep us informed.