What if the Republic of Belau, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam and the Republic of the Marshall Islands came together to become the 51st state of the United States?
Now, before you scream this is outrageous, hear me out.
This new state would connect all of Micronesia and begin roughly 2,500 miles west of Honolulu across the entire Pacific to within 500 miles of the Philippines.
Texas – the 28th state brought into the union – became part of the United States on Dec. 29, 1845. At that time Texas had approximately 210,000 residents and had a geographical area of 266,807 square miles.
Alaska, the 49th and currently the largest state in the union, joined the United States on Jan. 3, 1959. At that time, Alaska had a population of approximately 230,000 people and a geographical area of 591,833 square miles.
Hawaii, the 50th state, was the first state to be physically detached from the continent and became a state on Aug. 21, 1959. At that time, Hawaii had a total population of an estimated 635,000 residents spread across a total of 132 islands with a geographical area of 6,470 square miles.
By contrast, the proposed State of Micronesia – the proposed 51st state – would encompass a geographical area of approximately 2.5 million square miles, nearly the size of the entire United States – with land masses of approximately 1,212 square miles, or slightly more than three quarters the size to the state of Rhode Island.
The current combined population is estimated at approximately 500,000 people. That is divided among Guam, the FSM, the CNMI, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Belau.
As the Pacific Rim and more particularly Asia and the Pacific continue to evolve, the value of this great blue nation continues to grow strategically and economically.
With this new state we would have a strategic border that stretched from the state of Hawaii – across the Pacific Ocean.
The Pacific Ocean covers nearly one-third of the Earth’s surface and a prudent man will not ignore such an expanse or its value.
While the overall land mass of this 51st state may be small, the strategic and exclusive economic zone value of the region will continue to gain strength and momentum as time rolls on.
Couple this with the Chinese economic and strategic desires for their country and you have a very interesting situation to say the least.
A state that stretched across this vast area could and would position the United States squarely in the center of the world’s largest and most rapidly growing economic region.
It also has the ability to draw together the vast resources of the region into one collective group, thereby sharing both strength and wisdom.
One need only look throughout the North and South Pacific to see the economic, political and social influence that the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan have exerted in nearly every major island group in the region.
So while we rap our knuckles against the wall over the smaller issues of the buildup here on Guam, we may well be ignoring the elephant in the room.
The time is ripe for Micronesian leadership to join hands and create a new entity.
Lee P. Webber is a former president and publisher of media organizations on Guam and Hawaii, former director of operations for USA Today International/Asia and is a longtime business and civic leader on Guam.
Source: Google News : https://www.postguam.com/forum/featured_columnists/time-is-ripe-for-micronesia-region-to-consider-becoming-st/article_be4ed734-50c5-11e8-aed5-2f76d41bab4d.html