Marshall Islands: Chinese pair plotted ‘mini-state’ in Pacific nation
By Frances Mao
September 9th, 2022
A Chinese couple plotted to set up a mini-state on the Marshall Islands in the Pacific, bribing MPs and officials along the way, US prosecutors say.
The man and woman tried to persuade lawmakers to set up a “Semi-Autonomous Region” (SAR) on a remote atoll.
Such a zone would have expanded foreign access to the Pacific nation, which was administered by the US until 1979.
The Marshall Islands government is yet to fully address the accusations, despite calls from opposition parties.
But US authorities say the defendants – Cary Yan and Gina Zhou – undermined the island nation’s sovereignty.
Their efforts saw bills supporting the SAR’s creation debated in the Marshall Islands’ parliament in 2018 and 2020, US prosecutors say.