An expert on Micronesia says the threat of a breakaway of Chuuk state from the Federated States of Micronesia is a huge surprise but seems to have little substance.
The former director of a research group, the Micronesian Seminar, Father Fran Hezel, says the movers of a planned independence vote have not offered an alternative framework for governance in a country already heavily reliant on American grants.
"I am wondering whether this doesn't stem from two things. One is the fact that Chuuk is dissappointed that it is not getting more support from FSM. Second thing is I am wondering whether Chuuk is taking offence. Sometimes I get a sense that this is not just economic but it's also personal."
A vote on whether or not to seek independence scheduled for the 3rd of March has been postponed indefinitely by the Chuuk governor, Johnson Elimo, to allow for more consultation and awareness on the issue.
The US Compact with Micronesia signed in 1986 which provides more than 60% of the revenues of FSM, ends in 2023.