President Heine of the Marshall Islands believes that cryptocurrencies aren’t the reason for her upcoming vote of no confidence, Chinese interference is.
Usually, when you put ‘crypto’ and ‘China’ in the same sentence, it’s not going to result in anything good. This seems to be the case for the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) and its president, Hilda Heine.
Live Bitcoin News recently reported that Heine will be subjected to a vote of no confidence come the 12th of November. This comes after eight senators accused Heine of tarnishing the reputation of the RMI with her proposed introduction of a state-backed virtual currency, the Sovereign (SOV).
Threat to Independence
However, according to The Guardian, Heine has now broken her silence and has said the vote has nothing to do with cryptocurrencies and more to do with Chinese interference.
It is reported that the remote coral atoll of Rongelap in the RMI has hopes of becoming a hub for foreign investors. In fact, the mayor of the atoll, James Matayoshi, attended the Asia World Expo in April to discuss plans for the redevelopment of the atoll, which was previously used as a nuclear testing site for the U.S. when the RMI was still under administration by the country.
The atoll was advertised as offering tax incentives and having a tax-free port. In addition, the 61 islets would be exempt from certain RMI laws which could potentially result in an increased risk for money laundering. Heine believes that these Chinese investors want to turn to Rongelap into a “country within our own country”. She added that some of her opponents were affiliated with some of these investors.
She stressed the importance of holding onto the RMI’s independence:
We have to be cautious knowing what the geopolitical situation is in the Pacific region. I think it’s important for the government to do its own due diligence and make sure that the sovereignty of the Pacific is secure.
Heine Feeling Confident
She also touched on the need to not be easily influenced:
We are a small country and it is easy for foreign elements to influence individual people, and so I think that the more education and information that we share with the public the better so we can see initiatives for what they are.
With Monday’s vote looming, Heine appears to be confident of the result:
If you were to take a poll today, my guess is that over 60% of the Marshallese [parliament] would come out against the vote of no confidence, because they know it is baseless.
If Heine survives the vote, it stands to reason that she will continue in her efforts to launch the SOV, which her government hopes will be used in tandem with the U.S. dollar as legal tender in the RMI.
Do you think the Rongelap development is the main reason for the vote? Do you think that the SOV will damage the RMI’s global reputation? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of ShutterStock.