Outgoing president of Micronesia accuses China of bribery, threats and 'political warfare'

Micronesia's President David Panuelo at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, December 13, 2019.

Hong Kong (CNN)The outgoing president of Micronesia has accused China of engaging in "political warfare" in the Pacific, in an explosive letter advocating for the the dissolution of diplomatic ties with Beijing.

In the 13-page letter, which CNN has obtained, David Panuelo alleges China is preparing to invade the self-ruled island of Taiwan, and has engaged in bribery, political interference and even "direct threats" to ensure the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) remains neutral in the event of war.
China dismissed the letter's contents as "smears and accusations."
    "I would like to emphasize that China has always upheld the equality of all countries -- no matter their size -- and has always respected how Micronesia chooses its own development, based on its own circumstances," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said Friday in a regular press briefing.
      Panuelo, who has previously been critical of Beijing's actions in the Pacific region, revealed he had considered switching diplomatic recognition to Taipei.