An article was recently published by Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), https://www.occrp.org/en/investigations/failed-palau-media-deal-reveals-inner-workings-of-chinas-pacific-influence-effort, alleging that Tia Belau Newspaper publisher Moses Uludong entered into a media deal with a company with ties to Chinese Security Services, that tried to influence powerful local elites to turn in favor of Beijing, was dismissed by Uludong as propaganda.
The article outlined people, events, and activities that it says were aimed at influencing key people in the Pacific, and Palau in particular, to turn in favor of China instead of the Republic of China – Taiwan. Palau is one of the only 13 remaining countries officially recognizing Taiwan as an independent country.
The story reported that the media deal failed but clearly showed Beijing’s effort to influence the Pacific states.
Mr. Uludong, responding to the article, vehemently denied that the media deal was a Chinese “espionage plan…to take over Palau and the rest of the Pacific,” claiming that the media plan was his plan, his idea that he got Tian and “other media friends in China involved who are interested in Palau and its development.”
“The story makes good reading. It is propaganda to satisfy those in the US government advocating war with China to prove who controls the world. Chinese and its military and police apparatus have nothing to do with the idea and starting the company in Hong Kong,” asserted Uludong.
Uludong claimed he is not the only “lone voice in Palau supporting closer economic and trade ties with China but keeping the diplomatic relationship with Taiwan.”
“There are many of us, and we have visited Hong Kong, Macau, and China and met its private sector and government officials to promote economic ties and business, especially tourism,” expressed Uludong.
He added that the media deal did not fail, saying its license expired due to its inactive status during the COVID. He said it had been registered under a different name and was alive and active.
In his responses to Island Times, Mr. Uludong insisted that the five people involved in the Palau Media Group business in Hong Kong are not involved with “agents or representatives of the Chinese police, security and military organs.” “The individuals in the company…they don’t trust the government.”
“The story is only a flavor or a smell but not an espionage plan concocted by the Chinese,” said Moses Uludong, dismissing the OCCRP story.